I believe that the process
of overcoming an incurable illness is much the same as training for
and winning the Olympics. The individuals who have the courage to take
charge of their own health, have the unending determination and make
the near impossible sacrifices it takes to be one of the select few
who beat illness and choose life are today's true heroes.
My own healing journey from death's door
to a return to super health was not an easy one. I made a lot of mistakes
along the way. But I know in the end that my journey produced lasting
changes in my life, and I hope that by sharing what I have learned
with you, you can take charge of your own health and realize your
body's phenomenal potential…
Jordan began suffering from constant
diarrhea, fatigue, chronic systemic infections and acute weight loss
while working as a camp counselor during summer break from his studies
at Florida State University where he was an athletic/scholarship student.
He returned to FSU that fall and tried to deny he was sick. But within
a short time, he became so ill he had to return home.
The very next morning, my father and
mother took me to the emergency room. It was the first time I had
ever been in a hospital. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be my last. I
was hoping it would be a quick visit. I'd get some "cure all"
medication and be on my way back to school.
My "quick visit" lasted two
weeks. During this period, I would lie in bed with an IV pole attached
to each arm, delivering intravenous antibiotics and nutrients, and
watch TV. I got even more depressed because this was the time of the
Oklahoma City bombing.
The doctors prescribed antibiotics and
antiparasitic drugs that had to be given intravenously for maximum
effect. To add to this, my body was so overridden by infection that
it had become terribly inflamed. To combat this, I was prescribed
two heavy-duty, highly toxic steroid medications, hydrocortisone and
prednisone. I was given every kind of test imaginable. I got more
x-rays in those two weeks than most people get in a lifetime. Both
my upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts were scanned-and believe
me, these weren't the usual short bursts of radiation you get with
dental x-rays. I felt like radiologists were conducting an in-depth
tour of my gut.
I was told that I had Crohn's colitis.
Crohn's disease is a condition primarily involving the small bowel
and proximal colon that causes the intestinal wall to thicken and
cause narrowing of the bowel channel, blocking the intestinal tract.
The result is abnormal membrane function, including nutrient malabsorption.
I had an even worse variation of the disease. The doctors noted I
had marked duodenitis, an inflammation of the duodenum, which is at
the beginning of the small intestine, coupled with widespread inflammation
through my large and small intestine. Although less than one percent
of Crohn's disease patients specifically experience duodenitis, it
appeared that I was one of the chosen few with both duodenal and total
Neither his doctors' best intentions
nor their medical drugs helped. Jordan's weight dropped from 177 pounds
to 104 pounds. It was doubtful he would survive his illness. He became
wheelchair bound. At one point, doctors suggested a newly introduced
but still experimental surgical removal of a portion of his colon.
Such extreme measures led Jordan to realize no answer for his woes
would come from modern medicine. Thus, he began to seek answers in
the field of alternative medicine. It was an odyssey filled with hope
I estimate that over the course of about
two years my father spent $150,000 on natural health treatments. I
took dozens of probiotic formulas, as well as enzyme, fiber, anti-candida
and antiparasitic formulas. At one point I was taking upwards of six
bottles a day of extremely expensive probiotics; one of these products
sold for two dollars a capsule and was delivered in a special oil
matrix carrier. I remember using two bottles of powdered acidophilus
a day, two bottles of bifidus, and two bottles of bulgaricus-mind
you, every day. One product alone, the two-dollars-a-capsule oil matrix
product, was at a dosage of thirty capsules a day. I wanted to get
better. I wanted to end the pain. So I was willing to try anything
My search for an answer for my Crohn's
disease sent me further and further from home. I traveled to clinics
all over the world, oftentimes in a wheelchair. As I mentioned, I
went to the offices of 70 health professionals from seven different
countries-in Europe, South America, Mexico, and Canada. As my search
grew more frantic and desperate, at times I was grasping for straws.
I tried two or three treatments that no rational person would consider.
I know what it's like to be desperate, willing to try anything. I
tried almost 500 different "miracle" products. I was the
victim-and I choose that word carefully-of many well-meaning network
marketing distributors of health products who made outrageous and
unfounded claims. So much of what passes for scientifically validated
nutritional supplementation is shamelessly promoted through network
marketing or multi-level marketing and truly has little, if any, scientific
Sometimes help comes from the unexpected.
For Jordan, devoutly religious, help came from his Creator.
So what else was new? It was early 1996.
My father had just gotten through telling me he had spoken to an eccentric
nutritionist on the phone. My father didn't want me to get my hopes
up so he had investigated the man's program himself. The nutritionist
told my father he believed I was ill because I was not eating the
diet of my ancestors, based upon Biblical principles.
When my father told me about all of this,
naturally, I was curious. Since I had opted not to have surgery and
I was still alive, I decided to try this. It fit into my belief system.
In an effort to start all over, I took myself off all nutritional
products and read the Bible to see what people ate thousands of years
ago. I also learned that the longest living cultures in the world
had one thing in common: they consumed living foods that abounded
with beneficial microorganisms.
A few weeks later, I got on a plane,
still bound to my wheelchair, and headed for southern California to
live closer to the man who would teach me how to eat from the Bible.
After integrating into that particular nutritionist's program some
of my own findings about nutrition and health from the Bible I saw
Most times promises are best kept, but,
occasionally, times arise when a promise broken is best. It had been
ten months since I had taken any supplements, and although my father
had promised he wouldn't send me anything else to try, he decided
to send me something anyway. It was a plastic bag containing black
powder. I had already tried over thirty different probiotics. Now
was I supposed to eat this stuff that looked like dirt?
"Forget it," I thought.
My dad called on the phone and urged me to give it a try.
"It may look like dirt, but it isn't," he said. "It
contains healthy organisms from the soil."
An article that accompanied the package
explained that these were the nutrients missing from today's pesticide-sterilized,
barren soils-not only trace minerals but organisms (Homeostatic Soil
Organisms™, or HSOs™, as I later named them). These were living organisms
that had been wiped out by the pesticide treatment of America's farm
lands, pasteurization of foods, and modern man's disdain for all microorganisms-even
those life-supportive bugs our bodies need for great health.
I decided to include these HSOs in my
daily diet, which also included raw goat's milk in the form of fermented
kefir, different organically grown free-range or grass-fed meats,
natural sprouted or sourdough breads made from whole grains that were
yeast-free, organic fruits and vegetables, raw sauerkraut, and carrot
and other vegetable juices-all "live" foods with their beneficial
enzymes and microorganisms intact.
During my forty days and nights of parking
my motor home close to the beach, I prayed, listened to music and
planned everything around buying, preparing and eating my food. My
weight went from 122 to 151 pounds. I gained 29 pounds in 40 days!
The photograph of me on the beach that you see on the cover of this
book was taken during this period. I was not completely well yet,
but I had made miraculous strides toward full recovery. I continued
to gain weight and strength, and by my twenty-first birthday, I weighed
170 pounds-practically my original weight before I got sick. I doubt
if anyone in the world was happier than me.
The terrain of my body and my intestinal
tract were being rebuilt, and it appeared that somehow the HSOs themselves
were taking care of my underlying condition. After all, in three months,
I had gained over 50 pounds.
The combination of the Biblical diet
and the HSOs had restored my health. I still went through periods
of detoxification every few months or so, but I continued to persevere.
In December 1996, I came home to Florida. I was at my normal weight.
I was ready to start my life again. I was finally healthy. Praise
I've Got A Gut Feeling
Why do we say when a
performing artist, whose songs were so full of feeling, sang from
Why do performers get "butterflies
in their stomach" before going on stage?
Why does indigestion produce nightmares?
Why are antidepressants now also being used for gastrointestinal ailments?
I like word games. I like definitions.
Here's one from Merriam-Webster's
The etymology of the word gut leads us
back to the Middle English word guttas, which then takes us
to sometime before the twelfth century to the Old English word gEotan,
meaning "to pour." Your gut, the dictionary says, is "the
basic visceral or emotional part of a person," also "the
alimentary canal or part of it (as the intestine or stomach),"
or "the inner essential parts." As we go along, keep these
definitions in mind.
It turns out that both our gut and our
brain originate early in embryogenesis from a clump of tissue called
the neural crest, which appears and divides during fetal development.
While one section turns into the central nervous system, another piece
migrates to become the enteric nervous system, and thus form both
thinking machines. Only later are the two nervous systems connected
via a cable called the vagus nerve, the longest of all the cranial
nerves whose name is derived from Latin, meaning "wandering."
In keeping with its etymological origins, the vagus nerve meanders
from the brain stem through organs in the neck and thorax and finally
ends up in the abdomen. There's the brain-gut connection.
So profoundly influential is the state
of the gut upon people's health that I have coined the term-it's a
tongue twister-gastro-neuro-immunology to try and capture the essence
of the link between our two brains and even our immune function.
It is from the healthy gut that we enjoy
neurological and psychological as well as immunological health. This
is not to discount the highly important mass of gray between our ears-the
human brain. This is simply to say that the body has two brains-the
brain we all know of between our ears and the second brain, our gut.
In China, the gentle art of tai chi emphasizes
the lower abdomen as a reservoir for energy. Tai chi teacher Kenneth
Cohen, author of The Way of Qigong (Ballantine Books 1997), explains
that it's possible to strengthen the abdominals by learning how to
compact qi (prana) into the belly. "From the Chinese viewpoint,"
he says, "the belly is considered the dan tian or 'field of the
elixir,' where you plant the seeds of long life and wisdom."
Lastly, in Biblical times, the seat of
emotion, which we call the heart, is actually referring to the bowels.
That thought in itself conjures up an image of a young Romeo sending
a love note to his girlfriend with the inscription, "Baby, you
really move me."
The trouble with these modern times is
that so many influences today are counterproductive to gastrointestinal
health. I know: I was very likely one of the victims of one or more
of these influences-including vaccinations; milk contaminated with
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; indiscriminate
overuse of antibiotics; and poor diet-and that's just a few of our
modern day enemies out to destroy our gastrointestinal health.
Many people are falling victim to these
influences. As a result, they are experiencing health problems that
could be overcome if they knew that they centered in their gut. No
wonder so many of us have poor health. We've neglected the health
of our gut for far too long.
For us, the center of health is the gut-the
body's gastrointestinal tract. And that's why at Garden of Life our
whole food concentrates are always targeted, in one respect or another,
to aiding gastrointestinal health. One of our mottos surely is that,
"you are not what you eat, but what you assimilate."
But the gut is more than the second brain;
it is also the seat of the body's defenses, the center of immune function.
In addition to the lymphoid tissue concentrated within the lymph nodes
and spleen and immune cells circulating in our bloodstream, lymphoid
tissue and immune cells are also found at other sites, most notably
the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and urogenital tract.
Such lymphoid tissue is termed MALT or mucosal-associated lymphoid
tissue. In the gastrointestinal tract, however, it's called the GALT
or gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Our gut produces about 75 percent
of our body's total immune system cells. So when we want to boost
immunity, we must also look at improving gastrointestinal health.
So profound was Jordan's healing story,
noted medical journalist Morton Walker filed an in-depth report in
The Townsend Letter.
Once my story became public through the Townsend
Letter, demand for these homeostatic soil organisms was incredible.
I became the "hub" for anyone in the world with a gastrointestinal
problem who couldn't get better and soon I began receiving thousands
of phone calls. Eventually, I had to create a formula containing these
organisms. I called the product Primal
Defense™, because I believed that what we were doing was original
and primitive, closely approximating one of the truly important, beneficial
influences upon our Earth's first inhabitants.
There's a good reason why
Defense with Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs) has become
our flagship formula at Garden of Life. Every idea that we have put
into action has come from the premise of this formula and the lessons
it has spawned. A lot of diseases, we now realize, result from living
too far removed from our microscopic allies, the beneficial bacteria
in our environment.
I chose a name for the company-Garden
of Life-to exemplify my belief that our Creator gave us everything
we need within His creation to have abundant and healthy lives.
Asthma. Allergies. Irritable bowel
syndrome. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lupus. Crohn's disease. Chronic fatigue
syndrome. Immune disorders. All are reaching epidemic proportions.
To protect yourself from these disorders
and insure long-term super health-as well as to aid your body's healing
quest in the case of these and other related disorders-may I respectfully
suggest you eat some dirt?
Do not be surprised by what I say. Dirt-or
to be more specific, the Earth's soil-is one of your body's best friends.
Dirt or soil is so essential to health
that if you or a loved one is suffering from any of the above conditions,
this may be due to a lost connection with Earth.
When we were back in the era of primitive
man, we got dirty. We were exposed to all sorts of microscopic bugs.
Our food was dirty. But was this all bad? Not really, and it's a shame
that today words like dirt or soil are such a negative concept.
Even today as children, we are meant
to make mud pies, to play in the mud, to get dirty. It is as necessary
to our long-term health as almost anything. Our immune systems need
this kind of exposure to learn how to react later on in life to real
or not so real threats to our health. You see, without early exposures
to all sorts of organisms in the soil, later in life when our immune
system is exposed to various benign intruders, it may overreact. Hence,
we develop autoimmune diseases, some types of asthma, and allergies.
And that's just one of the consequences of our lost connection to
Earth. Our immune system may never truly reach its full zenith of
defensive powers against disease-causing organisms or chemical toxins
without re-establishing this lost connection to the Earth.
So while modern civilization proceeds
full speed ahead with technology, we must not allow ourselves to become
apart from Nature. It is in our best interest to maintain contact
with the good Earth. Most of us don't.
Therefore one premise-one guiding light
for Garden of Life-is that most of us will benefit by returning to
our bodies these missing microorganisms.
In fact, society's growing separation
from dirt and germs may well be the cause of the growing incidence
of a wide range of maladies, says epidemiologist David Strachan, who
first advanced the over-cleanliness theory in 1989 when he was at
Britain's London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
At that time, Dr. Strachan noticed that
children belonging to large families were much less likely to develop
asthma, hay fever or eczema. Dr. Strachan theorized older children
coming home dirty with all sorts of resident soil microorganisms were
actually protecting their younger brothers and sisters.
We need dirt, says Dr. Strachan. He may
be onto something. But, in fact, the reestablishment of the HSO-body
link yields far more benefits than simply aiding in cases of autoimmune
disease. Overall bodily functions and immunity are greatly improved.
Cholesterol levels are naturally reduced; energy levels are increased;
and resistance to disease-causing organisms is enhanced. We have even
seen increases in serum enzymes and normalization of serum albumin,
indicating improved lymphatic flow and removal of lymphatic blockages.
With soil organisms, I was able to enhance
my own body's healing response. Two of the soil organisms in Primal
Defense are Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus lichenformis.
In studies conducted in Germany at the University of Berlin's Max-Volmer
Institute, both were shown to inactivate human immunodeficiency, herpes
simplex (HSV-1 and HSV-2), simian immunodeficiency, feline calicivirus,
murine encephalomyocarditis, and other lipid envelope viruses-along
with mycoplasmas, fungi and bacteria. They do so by producing a potent
chemical called surfactin, a detergent-like substance that dissolves
the lipid membranes of lipid envelope viruses, thereby rendering them
The soil organisms provide even more
important health benefits. They establish colonies in the entire digestive
system, starting in the esophagus and ending in the colon, by attaching
themselves to the walls of these organs. Burrowing behind the putrefaction,
which lines the intestinal walls, they eat and destroy unfriendly
microorganisms. The decay is then dislodged and flushed out of the
body in the normal evacuation process. This aids in detoxification
of the intestinal tract, increases the body's ability to absorb nutrients,
and, again, makes the immune system super-strong by removing mucoid
plaque that covers the gut-associated lymphoid tissues, especially
aiding the body's ability to fight off infectious viruses and bacteria.
The Miracle of Poten-Zyme
But there was something more that I learned from my own illness.
I realized people used to get much more reliable results from herbal
medicines because their digestive tracts, at one time, were far more
able to utilize foods and herbs than today. Today, for most of us,
our digestive tracts are damaged to greater or lesser degrees due
to our overuse of medications and poor dietary habits. Many herbs
and other sources of natural healing agents, such as mushrooms, are
fibrous and difficult for the body to break down.
We took the fermentation process that
helped heal me-what today we call the Poten-Zyme™ process, with more
than 14 species of homeostatic soil organisms and other lactic-acid
producing microorganisms-and use it to "unlock" the active
ingredients of our whole food concentrates and herbs.
This is important. There are records
of traditional herbalism from the Orient and other cultures in the
Far East dating back 1,500 years ago, which talked about herbal remedies
that were used to treat a variety of ailments. In the past, they provided
very predictable, very effective, very potent results. Yet today,
we are not getting the same kind of healing response from these herbs.
The reason people today aren't being helped is not necessarily due
to the lack of healing properties in the herbs themselves-it is the
direct result of an ultimate breakdown in the human digestive tract.
The nutrients and phytochemicals contained in herbs are not being
broken down and utilized properly by the body, primarily because people's
guts have been destroyed from the overuse of prescription medications-antibiotics,
corticosteroids, and other immune suppressive drugs-as well as chlorinated
and fluoridated water, ambient pollutants in our environment, and
an overall poor diet coupled with a steady intake of junk foods. The
application of the Poten-Zyme process is a way for the body to utilize
all of the phytochemicals and phytonutrients available in these herbs,
with very little stress on the digestive tract. This benefit is extremely
important to those people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, or
those with AIDS or other immune disorders, who have very little digestive
capability. This enzymatic "pre-digestion" process increases
bioavailability and absorption of the medicinal compounds making them
"body-ready" for everyone, even those with compromised digestion.
In other words, the sickest persons, with the least ability to utilize
fibrous herbs, receive a much greater boost from our nutritional formulas,
thanks to the fermentation process that the whole food concentrates
and herbs undergo, making their healing constituents far more available
to the sickened person's body.
This ancient method of bio-fermentation
incorporates beneficial microorganisms (probiotics) and their enzymes
into the foods to gently break them down into their most basic elements.
This is not something that any company could easily duplicate. Our
fermentation, done in the U.S. Southwest and Australia, is not available
anywhere else in the world. Our Poten-Zyme lactic acid fermentation
process uses a "mother" culture that contains microorganisms
resistant to many of the agents that kill more fragile probiotic species
(such as acidophilus)-including stomach acid, heat, cold, chlorine,
fluorine and ascorbic acid. We now have a rare, self-sustaining culture.
PATIENT Heal Thyself deals extensively
with dietary habits. These excerpts share a few of Jordan's insights
into what makes for a super healthy diet.
Most Americans simply do not eat the
nutritious diets that our own ancestors ate to remain healthy and
live long, disease-free lives.
Instead, we have strayed from the foods
of our Creator, foods that at one time nourished the world's healthiest
peoples. We have altered the Maker's intent, and we have allowed food
to become our idol.
The old ways-the primitive ways and heeding
the word of our Maker-can help us to overcome modern diseases of civilization
and help to provide the nourishment that will make us strong and disease-resistant.
Many cutting-edge researchers from both
major academic institutions as well as "alternative" medicine
now believe that a more primitive diet is superior in virtually all
ways to the modern diet. But I want you to go further. I want you
also to participate in the ultimate wisdom of the Maker's or Biblical
So how do you do it? How do you move
from the modern diet to the Maker's Diet?
Let's look in detail at some of the components
of the Maker's Diet.
Fruits and vegetables.
Primitive humans ate three times more of a wide variety of fruits
and vegetables than we do. Fruits and vegetables (along with legumes
and nuts) provided a startling 50-65 percent of daily calories and
up to 100 grams of fiber a day-five times today's level.
Our not-so-distant ancestors consumed 35 percent of their calories
in protein. The difference: their protein came from pasture-fed animals,
wild game and fish, which also supply highly beneficial omega-3 fatty
acids that protect against modern diseases like cancer, diabetes,
and heart problems.
The Austrians and Germans have sauerkraut. The Japanese have pickled
ginger. There is kefir and a porridge called podji. We used to have
real catsup, real mayonnaise, real sourdough-real fermented foods.
In one sense, for all its benefits (and there are plenty), we can
also say the miracle of refrigeration has ruined the health of modern
men and women. Refrigeration, at least in America, has replaced our
need for fermented foods. So have modern processing methods that no
longer allow for the fermentation of foods. In spite of technological
advancements, our bodies still cry out for such foods.
Our ancestors ate less of the following:
Grains, cereals, pasta, bread.
The over-consumption of grain products is a huge problem in our
world today. Grains contain nutrient inhibitors that prevent us from
utilizing many minerals. Grains also contain disaccharides, sugars
which are difficult to digest and can lead to the growth of undesirable
microorganisms in the gut. The over-consumption of carbohydrate foods,
particularly grains, can lead to the overproduction of insulin, which
may be a major cause of many metabolic disorders and other illnesses.
Rather than honey and fruit, today's main sweet is 120 pounds
of refined sugar a year per person. Evidence shows sugar drives up
blood levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides, known factors
in diabetes and heart disease.
Modern processing techniques have led to a dramatic change in
the types and kinds of oils we now consume. Today, we consume highly
refined, nutrient-poor vegetable oils and shortening. These cause
our bodies to become overloaded with polyunsaturated fats and artificially
created hydrogenated and trans fats that promote cancer, inflammation,
abnormal types of cholesterol and heart disease.
Part III of PATIENT Heal Thyself
provides dietary, lifestyle and nutritional supplement protocols for
conquering a wide range of so-called "incurable illnesses."
Here are some of Jordan's recommendations for conquering autoimmune
These therapeutic foods will help you get well.