The brain is such an important and delicate tissue that is protected by a filter we call the ‘Blood/Brain Barrier’. The BBB is a series of semi-permeable membranes that only allow the smallest cells in the blood to pass through. Under normal circumstances large foreign proteins, hormones and bacteria cannot gain access to the brain.

The Blood Brain Barrier can be breached/damaged by stress, high blood pressure, microwave radiation, some infections, trauma to the head and chronic inflammation. The most common cause of breaches is chronic inflammation caused by food intolerances such as lactose, casein and gluten. A breach in the BBB allows irritants such as toxins and pathogens to enter the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain causing inflammation of the brain tissue and permanent cognitive harm.

Symptoms of a breach in the BBB are often described as ‘feeling hung-over’ all the time: Tired, thick in the head, difficulty concentrating, irritability, poor memory etc.

It is very important that before taking strong herbal medicine, all breaches to the BBB must be resolved. When there is a breach, anything we put in out mouth will end up in our brain. Consider the harm of smoking cigarettes or recreational drugs while having a breach!

The good news is that if food intolerances are the cause, by simply avoiding the irritating foods the BBB can usually heal itself in a matter of three weeks. We can also assist the process by increasing our omega oil intake and by supporting glutathione synthesis. Glutathione is the only anti-oxidant to cross the BBB (see my writings on ‘Glutathione’ to find out how to support its production). Glutathione ‘cleans up’ the toxic residue in the brain, reducing the inflammation caused by the BBB breach.

A baby’s BBB is fully formed by six weeks old and before that, the baby shares its mother’s blood. So if the mother has an infection before this time or exposes herself to toxicity, the baby is also vulnerable to getting the infection or the toxin in it’s developing brain.

I was recently fascinated to learn that a study in mice has shown that a mother’s gut bacteria produce the nutrients that help form the infant’s Blood/Brain Barrier. So a when a mother has a healthy gut, her baby’s digestive system gets the best start possible and its brain is more likely to be better protected from infection and inflammation. I strongly recommend that if a child is to be vaccinated, that we first ensure the integrity of its BBB!