MANY THANKS to friends at the Cenacle Treatment Centre for dinner last night and some interesting, thought provoking conversation. As you would expect when your dinner companions are made up of a hypnotist, a herbalist, two massage therapists and a homeopathist, the conversation was varied and covered a whole bunch or weird and wonderful topics. I like evenings like that!

The conversation arrived at detoxification, cleansing of the liver, kidneys and colon, pasteurisation (and all its pitfalls), and helping to improve the proportion of good bacteria in the gut by eating natural Greek yoghurt, or failing that camel dung.

Before I go on, don’t do any of this at home (especially the camel dung bit) without seeking medical advise first. Or if you do then don’t blame me if any of the medications you are taking aren’t getting absorbed because you are drinking so much water that you are flushing them straight out. Okay, health and safety over, here goes….

It all started when I mentioned that I have cut down to one decent cup of fresh coffee every two or three days, otherwise I get the jitters and my eyes go dry. The same goes for tea – since I have cut down on the coffee, I find I am drinking more tea, and three or four cups a day has also started to make me jittery, or as I explained (with my tongue sticking out) – yuk.

Cutting down on tea and coffee is the obvious one, but isn’t addiction hard to overcome no matter how seemingly small? Drinking more water is always a good one – all the books say 8 glasses per day, or enough so that the urine is straw coloured. This is quite hard to do at first simply because we seem to have got used to living in a dehydrated state. From now on I am going to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to my pint of luke warm water and lemon which I have every morning, as this will further help to cleanse my liver.

Then there are all the sugars hidden in the foods we eat. We think we are doing well by eating low fat yoghurts for example, but check out the amount of sugar in them! Those little yoghurt drinks that contain so called ‘good’ bacteria can have several grams of sugar, and ironically it is the sugar which can stimulate the ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut. So the advice to me was to go for the normal ‘full fat’ (but low sugar) Greek yoghurt and be done with it.

And then (please do check this out for yourself), it got onto Louis Pasteur who caused us all to think that all bacteria are bad, whether he meant to or not. So instead of pickling things to preserve them, and then eating the vinegar which is beneficial to good bacteria, food stuffs are boiled to death. And these days everyone is obsessed with disinfecting everything around them, with the chances that this is doing more harm than good. Quite simply we need micro-organisms to help stimulate and strengthen our immune system.

The fact is that the human gut contains a myriad of symbiotic micro-organisms which help to maintain good health, and an imbalance of gut microbes can cause a reported wide variety of ailments from obesity and auto-immune disease to autism. Some medical professionals see the link between antibiotic treatment and poor microbial diversity in the gut leading to auto-immune disease, and this can be corrected by faecal transplant – taking the good bacteria from donor poo, and injecting it into the bowel of the patient.

A similar thing happened during the second World War when many German soldiers suffered from dysentry and noticed that the locals ate freshly laid camel poo as soon as the symptoms started. It cured dysentery due to the Bacillus subtilitis bacteria in camel dung, which crowded out the bad bacteria.

So the next time I go into the supermarket, I am going to do this in a mindful way, take my time and check the sugar and fat content of some of the so-called health foods that I consume, buy a few more lemons and apple or cranberry juice (natural, no added sugar), and think about what I do with unrefined foods such as white bread and pasta. The trouble is that these are the things I love to eat, so maybe not cut them out completely, but cut them down. After all, this is the middle path, isn’t it?

I am now off to make myself a cup of camomile tea….aaah.

About David Glover

David is a qualified yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga, and has been teaching in and around Stockport, Cheshire for the past six years. For more information see