Ecologists are working with medical doctors at Duke University, mapping the microbial flora of the gut and the findings are astonishing. These researchers are among a growing body of scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health and mapping the bugs of the gut as part of an ambitious Human Microbiome Project.

Folks nowadays are learning about the benefits of cultured foods like kefir and yogurt, and how probiotics can help re-colonize the gut after a round of antibiotics, but consider the incredible insights these scientists are now discovering:

One Duke ecologist recently quoted in Nature stated that even using antibiotics once decimates the flora in the gut so extensively that it will NEVER return to the same diversity and complexity again. He went on to compare the effects of antibiotic use on the gut to clear-cutting and then slash/burning a pristine Amazonian rain forest valley. Once destroyed, the web of interconnected life will never regain its former density or complexity.

Additionally, some physicians are performing fecal transplants on patients who have severe digestive disorders caused by a lack of beneficial micro-flora in their GI tract. One woman, who had lost more than 60lbs and was suffering from a vicious c. difficile infection, received an enema consisting of a small amount of her healthy husband’s stool. Within 2 days the symptoms she suffered for more than 6 months were completely relieved.

Chinese medicine is inherently an ecological medicine in that it starts from a place of recognizing the inherent complexities and interconnections between human beings and the broader environment.
As more research is done, physicians will continue to be more cautious about antibiotic use and may eventually utilize powerful cultured cocktails of beneficial bacteria to combat infections rather than a broad slash and burn technique used today.

No doubt, antibiotics are one of the great discoveries of modern medicine, and yet, if the hallmark of good medicine is evolution and innovation, then beneficial bacteria may be at the forefront of a new ecologically minded medicine.

Research of matcha has shown that it has a beneficial effect on the beneficial colonies of bacteria in the gut. Additionally green matcha tea is highly antibiotic and is used as a detoxifying agent. Matcha consumption goes hand in hand with foods that benefit the gut, and also pairs well with probiotics.