380 Trillion Viruses Live In Us; How Do We Live Symbiotically With Them?
Interest in the microbiome has been steadily increasing over the past decade or so, and for good reason. The role of our internal ecosystem (gut flora) is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our times, offering an insight into how we heal, fight off disease, and stay healthy — even in difficult times. In “Immunity and the Microbiome,” microbiologist Compton Rom presents a compelling argument for why we need to pay attention to the ecosystem of good bacteria in our digestive system.
Once we realize the great implications of how remarkable the microbiome within us can make or break our state of health, then we can boost our immunity over viruses, bacteria, and infections.
While the term “immune system” is relatively common in our daily vernacular, Rom does not limit it to the body alone. Rather, he has a holistic vision and ties the health of all life on this planet with the health of the Earth, including global warming, as well as the nature of disease-causing organisms. This holistic approach allows us to appreciate our unique role as conscious beings existing in various ecosystems that need to be recognized and respected.
Rom discusses historical evidence, showing that humans have evolved to live symbiotically with the life not just around us, but within us. This becomes particularly relevant when discussing the role of our virome, or the trillions of viruses and phages that live within our body and its cells. This he says is a major facet in maintaining proper health, by promoting symbiosis with viruses, so they don’t cause disease and illness.
We can optimize our virome and microbiome by introducing probiotic fermented and anti-inflammatory herbs, as well as a diverse diet of fruits and roots, to lower risks of infectious disease. In fact, the bacterial cells within our microbiome outnumber our human cells by tenfold.
Rom suggests our immunity from illness, as well as our relationship with the planet, begins at home. The best place to start our journey to optimum health and ideal immune function is by improving our diets, meditating, doing breathwork, exercising, and most importantly, proactively diversifying our gut microbiomes.
Compton’s philosophy is to take a non-chemical and non-pharmaceutical approach to healing, using natural herbs, and oils to eliminate pathogenic bacteria.
Our bodies, he notes, respond “best to natural compounds that have evolved alongside us for millennia. Synthetic compounds are singular in nature, while whole earth compounds carry numerous micronutrients and co-factors necessary for growth, many of which scientists have yet to discover.
This is why natural compounds are so much more effective. Modern medicine has yet to use them because they are impossible to patent; synthetics can be sold at a much higher profit than naturally derived and sustainably harvested herbs.”
What sets Rom apart from other scientists, including microbiologists and virologists, is that he does not regard bacteria, viruses, and fungi as enemies to be feared. Rather, if we take a holistic approach and see the world as a purposeful, organized, and flowing reality, then we can protect our bodies by strengthening them, rather than by taking a militant course that involves killing microorganisms, using toxic chemicals, and drugging our bodies.
As Regina Meredith aptly explains, healing and disease prevention begins “at the top,” not only with the health of our bodies, but also our states of mind, how we think, and our relationships to our planet and all the beings with whom we share precious resources.ta
The immune system is an evolutionary device. World-renowned biologist Bruce Lipton agrees that it is not completely formed when we’re born and remains in a state of evolution throughout our lifetimes. Thus, it’s what we do on a daily basis that makes the most difference in how we feel and how we stay healthy, regardless of genetics.
The fact that we can determine our own state of health is an exciting and promising notion, and it is the essence of the emerging science of epigenetics. In simplest terms, our leading scientists, such as Lipton and Rom, tell us we can take control not only of our own states of health, but also the stability and richness of our planet, and that the two are inseparable.
Zodiac Essential Oils to Enhance Your Sign
Astrology and aromatherapy might seem to share no more in common than distant cousins. However, just like extended families, they come together flawlessly if you unite them consciously and intentionally to reach your goals, conquer your dreams and achieve the peaceful calm you get from a weekend at the spa.
How Your Zodiac Sign Influences Your Personality
Horoscopes often prove eerily accurate (check out these Chinese Zodiac Elements). It’s like you’re staring into a mirror — you see your own personality, desires and truths reflected in the message. You can use that accuracy to choose essential oils that align with your needs and desires.
If you’re a Virgo, for instance, maybe you find yourself biting your fingernails and worrying about things outside your control, while Capricorns sometimes see the world in black and white instead of rich color.
Your personality can influence more than your social habits and professional aspirations. For instance, Virgos might battle anxiety now and again because they can’t turn off their worrying thoughts, while Capricorns could find themselves at risk for depression, headaches and other symptoms of a doom-and-gloom mindset.
Aromatherapy offers a chance to use your sense of smell to heal, focus and channel your energy effectively.
While aromatherapy helps heal negative emotions and symptoms, it also brings out your positive personality traits and strengths. Massage and craniosacral therapy expert Suzanne Bovenizer points out that Libras thrive on creativity and expression, so they benefit from aromatherapy with essential oils like frankincense, rosemary and basil.
How Strongly Do You Identify with Your Sign?
While horoscopes offer a reliable roadmap to choosing essential oils, you’re a complex, unique individual. When your birthday lies at the beginning or end of a particular sign’s dates, you might take on some of the qualities of neighboring signs. If you were born on the cusp of Gemini, for instance, consider essential oils that benefit Taurus.
Try out essential oils that you’re attracted to, especially considering your personality traits. Following are a few suggestions to help you begin your journey toward enhanced clarity and growth.
Aries, you’re always the life of the party, but you can’t spend all your time entertaining others. Rosemary’s soothing scent will relax your aching muscles and allow you to embrace temporary solitude. It’s also ideal for stress relief because it reduces the levels of cortisol (the hormone responsible for your “fight or flight” instinct) in your body.
Mixed into a massage oil, rosemary oil can help with those tender joints and cramped muscles.
You’re not opposed to the occasional romantic interlude, Taurus, so celebrate your sensual side with ylang-ylang essential oil — a mild but effective aphrodisiac. It’s also relaxing, which can help you release any jealousies you might harbor and restore your mental equilibrium.
Ylang-ylang will also lower your blood pressure when your temper gets the best of you. Whether you’re using it as a prelude to romance or as a way to calm your nerves, add it to a hot bath filled with Epsom salt. Let the oil and the steam overwhelm your senses as the water relaxes your muscles.
Gemini, you’ll never shy away from intellectual discourse, whether you’re debating Descartes or pondering politics. Basil, one of the most powerful essential oils, will bring out your quick wit and help you connect mentally with others. When you feel tense in unfamiliar surroundings or when emotional baggage gets too heavy, basil will get your blood pressure back under control.
Basil works well in a diffuser when you use it to sharpen your mental focus. You can also add fresh crushed basil to a garden salad or a bowl of tomato soup if you’re chasing this herb’s health benefits.
Digestive distress can put a damper on your fun-loving personality, Cancer, especially if you’re concealing a hint of resentment or fear. Lavender aids digestion and soothes an upset stomach to restore comfort. You sometimes slip into a moody malaise, Cancer, so use lavender to ease your anxiety, too.
For a quick and easy source of calm, add a couple drops of lavender to your pillow before you fall asleep. You’ll breathe it in all night long and wake up refreshed and free of anxiety.
Fire rules your sign, Leo, which might impact your heart. Use garlic essential oil in your aromatherapy rotation to boost heart health. It’s also useful for congestion — both the physical and mental varieties. If you have any pent-up frustrations or passions, use garlic to let them loose.
Always dilute garlic essential oil if you plan to apply it to your skin. You can also mix it with lemon juice or peppermint to weaken its strong odor. If you’re feeling frustrated, dilute the oil and apply it to the soles of your feet for fast absorption.
Chamomile essential oil will ease your anxiety, Virgo, because of its mild sedative properties. Use it to slow your racing thoughts and calm your pounding heart. It also helps cleanse your body of harmful toxins and reduces the emotional fallout of nervous reactions. Melissa essential oil will also achieve similar results, so you might consider using the two in tandem.
Add chamomile oil to your bath at night or sprinkle a couple drops in your favorite shampoo. You can also add the fresh herb to your tea to take advantage of its digestive benefits.
Libra, you need to calm down after partying and catering to the needs of others for days on end. Looking for that elusive “peace of mind”? Frankincense can take you there. It deflects and reduces stress. The Three Kings gave baby Jesus frankincense as a symbol of deity, so it also has the power to connect you to Source. You’re prone to colds, tummy aches and minor illnesses; frankincense relieves physical pain and promotes a healthy immune system.
Rub frankincense into your palms or the soles of your feet for an immediate mood boost. Go deep, heal, surrender and let Frankincense transport you to faraway lands where time is never of the essence.
You have lots of energy, Scorpio, but burning fast and hot can leave you completely tapped. Patchouli essential oil works wonders for healing the emotional and psychological impact of stress. It can supply extra energy when you don’t have anything left to give.
A little goes a long way with this oil, so take it slow and let it guide you. Add a couple drops to a warm compress and apply the compress to your forehead for instant relaxation.
As an astringent, geranium oil stimulates muscle contractions. You might have noticed that you’re constantly fidgeting with excess energy, Sagittarius, and geranium essential oil can help keep your muscles healthy and strong while easing the symptoms of the musculoskeletal conditions to which you’re prone.
Go ahead and give it your all — let geranium pick up the slack. Add a smidge to your bath salts and spend a few luxurious minutes all to yourself.
You like to take your time, Capricorn, and you’re a pro at examining all sides of a situation. Eucalyptus essential oil relieves mental exhaustion and reduces muscle pain, which can supercharge your stamina as you contemplate difficult choices or encounter everyday stressors.
You might also suffer from skin- and hair-related issues, both of which eucalyptus soothes. Add the essential oil to your face wash or your shampoo to take advantage of all its benefits.
You don’t mind arguing with others, Aquarius, especially when you know you’re right. While your adversarial tendencies can come in handy, it’s time to look for that elusive half-full glass. Lemon essential oil gives your mood a boost and helps you focus on the positives.
Take a deep breath, relax and let lemon whisk you off to your happy place. Add the essential oil to your bath water or use lemon juice in a cup of tea or cold beverage so it can soothe your sinuses.
Pisces: Tea Tree
You see only the best in the people you love, Pisces, and tea tree oil will enhance that aspect of your personality. It also promotes good health and reduces inflammation.
Use tea tree oil when your nerves feel a little frayed and let it promote calm and rational thinking when your emotions become too hot to handle. Add some tea tree oil to a warm, wet wash cloth and breathe in the steam for the best results.
If you’re looking for other ways to live with intention and purpose, you can find answers here on Gaia.