Dan De Lion: How to Heal the Human Microbiome with Fermented Foods and Traditional Herbalism

Did you know that our human cells are outnumbered 10:1 by other microbes and bacteria?

Well... Now you do. :)

And my guest today — Dan De Lion, herbalist and educator over at returntonature.us — shares his personal strategies to help realign our microbial health to it's once robust, prolific environment.

For many of us, we suffer from chronic inflammation of our intestines. Which, in many cases, can lead to more severe health issues down the line.

That's why in today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • The problem with modern sanitation practices,
  • The group of herbs Dan recommends we all grow to help combat common infections,
  • Dan’s favorite fermented creations that you and I can make in the comfort of our own homes,
  • And much, much more... 

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Episode Breakdown

  • Dan describes his early childhood growing up in New Jersey
  • Dan talks about how you can help support his latest project (a foraging herbalism roving van school)
  • Why Dan says sanitation has become a problem
  • Dan explains where microorganisms occupy space in and on your body
  • How we’re consuming minute amounts of antibiotics through factory farming
  • James shares how natural remedies helped cure a past infection
  • Dan explains intestinal inflammation and the many reasons we get a porous intestinal wall
  • Alternative anti-inflammatory herbs that can act like aspirin
  • The effects of antibiotics on the body
  • The problem with eating dry, brittle food
  • How cows create protein from bacteria 
  • A few of the main roles bacteria play in both our nutrition and mood
  • Should they throw out biology books due to the new science of the microbiome?
  • The pancreas and appendix’s role in mediating bacteria
  • The problem with isolated bacterial strains 
  • The importance of synergy in herbalism
  • How Dan might help someone with a staph infection
  • The importance of officinalis herbs
  • Preventative health care versus acute condition health care
  • The differences between teas, infusions, decoctions, tinctures, salves, and balms
  • How the FDA regulates herbalism
  • Maintenance dosing versus heroic dosing
  • How the vagus nerve impacts our enteric nervous system
  • How we need to change our perception of the communication within our bodies
  • Neural tissue in unexpected areas
  • What Dan says about people going to the store to buy Activia
  • The benefits and drawbacks of pasteurization 
  • The benefits of making homemade yogurt on your countertop 
  • Commercial versus homemade fermentations
  • How Dan makes a few of his favorite fermentations
  • What to look out for when making your own fermentations
  • Conscious omnivory 
  • Why Dan says you should splurge on buying healthy foods rather than procrastinate until it’s too late

Questions I Ask 

  1. “How did you get to where you are today?"
  2. "Isn't it true that for every one cell there are approximately ten other different types of bacteria?"
  3. "What exactly happens to our bodies when we do decide to take antibiotics?"
  4. "Say I have a flair up again, how would you help me with my problem?"
  5. “How would you say we go about preparing these herbs?"
  6. “Can you maybe go into a little more detail about the vagus nerve and exactly what role that plays in our body?"
  7. “How do we go about entering this world of bacteria?"
  8. “What temperature would we need to keep it [bacteria] under in order to keep all the natural constituents alive?"
  9. “What are some of your favorite ferments?"
  10. “Do you have a favorite salt?"

Mentioned Resources

Quote Highlight

"To discuss herbalism is an act of rebellion and all you're trying to do is help people. Dan De Lion

Who is Dan De Lion?

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.

Contact Dan, Here:

Website: http://returntonature.us/get-involved/contact/

Social media: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Music Credit:

My Garden by The Grouch

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James Broderick