Your body is constantly fighting off invaders. It’s a never-ending battle to stay healthy and strong. But what if your environment is working against you? What if the food you’re eating, the water you’re drinking, and the air you’re breathing are all poisoning your body?
Believe it or not, this is happening more often than you think.

Your body is a reflection of your environment. If you are eating, drinking, and breathing unhealthy things, your body will become unhealthy as well.

In today’s blog post, we will discuss the terrain theory of health and how you can optimize your terrain to stay healthy!

Terrain theory and germ theory in history

It is hard to believe that just over 200 years ago, many people believed that disease was spread by bad air. This theory, which came to be known as the germ theory of disease, was first proposed in the early 1800s by a French scientist named Louis Pasteur. He hypothesized that diseases were caused by microorganisms, and he was able to prove this theory with his famous experiments on fermentation.

The germ theory of disease quickly gained acceptance, and by the late 1800s, it was the dominant theory of disease. This theory led to the development of many medical interventions that helped save millions of lives.
However, there was another theory of disease that was popular in the early 1800s, and that was the terrain theory of disease. This theory was first proposed by a Swiss doctor named Antoine Béchamp.

The terrain theory of disease states that it is not just microorganisms that cause disease, but also the terrain or environment in which they live. This theory fell out of favor when the germ theory became dominant, but it is making a comeback in recent years.

So, what is the terrain theory of health? And how can you optimize your terrain to stay healthy?

The terrain theory of health states that the key to good health is not just avoiding pathogens, but also optimizing the internal environment in which they live.

This theory is based on the observation that different people can be exposed to the same pathogen, but only some will get sick. This means that there must be something about the individual’s internal environment that makes them more susceptible to disease.

There are many factors that can contribute to a person’s terrain, such as their diet, stress levels, and exposure to toxins.
Optimizing your terrain is key to good health. There are several things you can do to optimize your terrain, such as eating an anti-inflammatory diet and reducing your exposure to toxins.

Improve your gut health

You may not be aware of it, but you have an extensive community of microbes living in your gut – your gut microbiome.
This community includes bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and it plays an important role in all aspects of your health, from your immune system to your brain and nervous system, cardiovascular system, and skin health.

In fact, having an imbalanced gut microbiome is linked to inflammation, which is a key factor in many chronic diseases. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation. These include eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, taking probiotics, and getting enough sleep.
By taking care of your gut microbiome, you can improve your overall health and quality of life.

The difference between probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are found in fermented foods and supplements. Probiotics help to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut microbiome.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as food for probiotics. Probiotics and prebiotics work together to support a healthy gut microbiome.

Postbiotics are the waste products produced by probiotics as they ferment fiber. Postbiotics help to nourish the gut lining and support a healthy immune system. 

Eating fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, is a great way to get Probiotics into your diet. Probiotic supplements are another option. If you take Probiotic supplements, it is important to choose a high-quality product that contains multiple strains of Probiotics. 

In addition to Probiotics, it is important to include plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps to feed Probiotics and promote gut health. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. It is also important to stay hydrated and to eat regularly.

Once you and your community of microorganisms have chomped down on your food, it is essential to remove the resulting waste from your body as efficiently as possible.
Waste elimination is an important part of gut health. When your body eliminates waste efficiently, it helps to reduce inflammation and keep your gut microbiome balanced.
Removing the waste quickly and efficiently lowers your toxic load and is greatly increased through exercise.

Reduce your toxic load

One way to reduce your toxic load is to lower the use of plastic.
Plastic is made from petroleum, a non-renewable fossil fuel, and can take thousands of years to break down. Plus, it can release harmful chemicals into the environment. So, try to avoid using plastic as much as possible.

You can also help reduce your toxic load by eating organic foods. Pesticides and herbicides are toxins that can be carried into your body on the foods that you eat. By eating organic foods, you can avoid the majority of these toxins and help protect your health.
Additionally, you can reduce your toxic load by getting fresh air and purifying your water. Indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, so open your windows and let in some fresh air. And, purify your water to remove contaminants like chlorine that can harm your health.


You probably don’t think twice about the cleaning, beauty, and body products you use every day. But did you know that many of these products are full of toxins that can be harmful to your health? Synthetic chemicals like parabens and phthalates can disrupt hormone function, while others like triclosan can contribute to antibiotic resistance. And because these toxins can accumulate in our bodies over time, it’s important to be as selective as possible about the products we use.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to avoid toxins in our everyday products. Many companies now offer natural and organic alternatives to conventional products. And for those who want to take things a step further, there are also a number of DIY recipes for cleaning, beauty, and body care products. By making small changes in the products we use, we can help protect our health and the environment.

Manage Your Stress and Improve Your Sleeping Patterns

Years of stress, poor sleep habits, and eating processed foods have likely taken their toll and as a result, disease has started to show up. You are in luck because there are a lot of things you can do to help reduce stress, improve your quality of sleep and maximize your terrain so that disease becomes something you’re in control of.

How do we take control?
First, take a look at your lifestyle and see if there are any areas where you can make changes to reduce stress.
For example, if you have a sedentary job, take a break every 20 minutes or so to walk around or do some other type of light activity. Stretching, squatting, walking, breathing exercises, or just remembering to move your neck and joints so they don’t become stiff.

Including exercise in your day is a great way to reduce stress. If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, start by adding just 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time as you’re able. As you progress, you’ll feel your muscles getting stronger, your stamina will increase, and you will be able to breathe more easily!
All of these fabulous benefits just because you moved your body? Absolutely, what you may not know is that moving the body also creates ATP, the cellular energy currency that runs your body. This totally free energetic health concoction adds up to quite a heady mix of internal chemical and genetic benefits….Or in other words, better terrain.  

Sleep and  your circadian rhythm

In addition to making lifestyle changes, there are also some things you can do to help improve your sleep habits. One important thing to consider is your circadian rhythm. This is the natural 24-hour cycle that regulates many aspects of your biology, including your sleep-wake cycle. If you’re not sleeping well, it may be because your circadian rhythm is off. To help reset your circadian rhythm, avoid artificial light at night and get exposure to natural light during the day.


One of the most important ways to reduce stress and optimize your sleeping habits is to ground yourself. Grounding means connecting yourself to the Earth’s electromagnetic field, which helps to reduce inflammation and disease.
You can do this by spending time outside in nature, or by using a grounding mat or sheet.

Journaling and meditation

Journaling and meditation are also great ways to reduce stress, and setting a regular sleep schedule will help to ensure that you’re getting the most restful sleep possible.
Putting aside some time to journal your thoughts about how your day went and then meditating before sleep leads to incredible life benefits that you cannot even begin to understand until you take that leap into the inner realms. Meditation is by far the greatest gift I have ever given myself.

Optimizing your terrain doesn’t have to be difficult – making small changes to how you move through your daily routine can make a big difference in your overall health. I find it such a shame that people don’t include these types of activities in their lives. Once you get sick these healthy activities become a necessity, they aren’t just some throwaway add-on that can be overlooked.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that cycles between specific periods of fasting (not eating) and feasting (eating). It is a powerful and ancient healing strategy that helps to optimize your health.

Intermittent fasting may help to improve immune regulation, stimulate cellular autophagy, improve genetic repair mechanisms, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower the risk of chronic disease. Simply put, intermittent fasting may help to create a healthy terrain in your entire body.

There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the two most popular methods are the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours) and the 5:2 method (fasting for two days per week and eating normally the other 5 days).

Whichever method you choose, be sure to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and take light exercise regularly. These lifestyle factors will also help improve your inflammation levels and overall quality of life.

Regulate the immune system with beneficial herbs

I just cannot place enough emphasis on how important it is to stick to a diet low in inflammatory foods and high in antiinflammatory nutrient-rich foods if you want to maximize the potential of your terrain and maintain your health.
A diet that is so rich in nutrients requires that you consume a significant amount of immune-boosting herbs, which in turn protects your overall health.
Curcumin, ginger, and Boswellia are just a few of these powerful anti-inflammatories that help reduce the effects of acute or chronic inflammation by downregulating the inflammatory process and soothing the pain caused by inflammation.

While you can get these herbs in supplement form, I believe it’s always best to obtain nutrients from whole food sources whenever possible.
Adding these nutrient-supporting herbs, curcumin, and ginger in particular, to your smoothies, soups, and dishes is important, but if you want to optimize your immune system, supplementation can be easy and super effective.

Curcumin supplements, for example, provide much higher concentrations of curcuminoids than you could ever hope to get from dietary sources alone. The same goes for resveratrol, quercetin, rosemary extract, and other immune-supportive compounds. 


Since its inception more than 150 years ago, the germ hypothesis of disease has been the primary focus of Western medicine and contemporary healthcare. According to this idea, the most important factor in the development of infectious diseases is the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and other pathogens.

Because of this, contemporary medical practice places a significant emphasis on sterilization, the elimination of pathogens and tumors, the regulation of our external environment, and the treatment of symptoms, but places very little to no emphasis on the importance of supporting and bolstering the body.

Proponents of terrain theory believe that we need to focus on supporting and strengthening the body so that our bodies can better fight off infection and disease. This means focusing on things like nutrition, detoxification, and stress reduction.

It explains that infection and sickness cannot be caused by germs alone unless the conditions within the body allow it to happen.
Instead of attempting to control our external environment by concentrating on eliminating infections that are located outside of us, it lays an emphasis on fostering health and maintaining homeostasis within our bodies in order to improve and safeguard our health.

There is evidence to support both the germ theory and terrain theory of health. Both should play a role in our overall health and wellbeing. However, terrain theory offers a more holistic approach and should be prioritized as a lifestyle choice.

Further reading

If you want to learn more about the terrain theory of health and how to optimize your terrain, I recommend reading The Terrain Theory of Health by Dr. Thomas Cowan.

Do you think the germ theory or the terrain theory is more accurate? Let me know in the comments below.


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