Reculturing our Worldview: Symbiosis With Bacteria


A resurgence in our understanding bacteria is necessary for human survival. “Germ theory” as it was coined in the mid 16th century has caused certain debilitating effects to the health of the modern human. We have accidentally targeted bacteria in our drive for sterility which are actually largely responsible as a first defense for human skin and orifice. Bacteria are also largely responsible for educating the bodies resistance and upgrading systemic antibodies by helping to deliver samples of dna from virus and other pathogens to the lymphatic system for analysis. What we have largely failed at is to realize that bacteria at large are not the “germ” to be eradicated, they are actually the germinater of all life on this planet; the substratum of all existence. They are nothing less than our ancestors and we have much wisdom to learn from them. They are the most efficient organism on the planet at processes; specifically group process.

In recent mapping of the micro-biome of the human body we have discovered that there are 10 bacterial cells per one human cell in and around the body. This makes up about 10 trillion cells of our “me” which are bacteria; about 3 lbs of your total weight. This makes us more like a bacterial culture, than an individual person.

Bacteria and Depression

We have recently discovered a link between serotonin levels in the brain and bacteria in the gut. It turns out that 80-90% of the serotonin in the human body is in the gut. Through food metabolism, it is made and maintained by the bacteria in the gut. The vagus nerve connects the gut and the brain and this ability to send impulse signals from the stomach to the brain through the vagus nerve is largely the mechanism of how serotonin enters the brain. This shows an immediate link between depression and destruction of gut flora due to germ theory.

Bacteria and over-use of antibiotics

We are now in a state of failing medicine due to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. One generation of bacteria is 20 minutes. It turns out that bacteria can analyze anything fed to them and begin to create resistant offspring in 20 minutes. All of the antibiotics we feed animals, our bodies, and in turn our ecosystem is causing bacteria to speed up their ability to create resistance, and morph in new ways. It has also been recently found that once bacteria are exposed to one antibiotic, they can even generate resistance to others which they were not exposed to.

It is essential on this planet right now that we stop targeting bacteria as something to kill and realize that through our overuse of chemicals, this includes chlorine and fluoride in our water, and iodine in salt, we are causing a super-bug epidemic that will wipe out most of our population.

To learn more about bacteria-human interactions check out:

Return to Nature – Fermentation Video Series

Return to Nature Article – About Vegetable Fermentation

Return to Nature Article – The role of Bacteria in Human Evolution

Return to Nature Article – About Kombucha

The Atlantic – What Gut Bacteria Does to the Human Brain

Ted Talk by Bonnie Bassler:

Stephen Harrod Buhner – Herbal Antibiotics

Science News – Microbes can play games with the mind

Center of Disease Control (CDC) – End of Antibiotics

Human Microbiome Project –

Gut Microbes, Probiotics, Leaky Gut, and Autoimmune Disease

FDA Website – Risk in Antibacterial Soap

Neurohacker Article – Psychobiotics: Bacteria to Brighten our Mood

NY Times – Dirt in the Diet 

The Atlantic – Link between Gut and Soil Flora

Medical News Today – Just One 10 Second Kiss Transfers 80 Million Bacteria

Michael Pollan in NY Times – Germs and Gut Flora

Medicine In Balance Blog – What do you know about your Microbiome

Sandor Katz [Author of “Art of Fermentation”] Interview – About Bacteria

Parkinson’s Disease May Start in the Gut and Travel to the Brain

The Second Brain : The Scientific Basis of Gut Instinct and a Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines

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About Dan

Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way – Check out more at
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