Break the Rules #104: DIY Gut Healing with Herbs with Dr. Rachel Fresco, CEO of Biocidin

Written By

Rhea Dali

Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Dr. Rachel Fresco

Special Links & Show Notes


SIBO, candida, mold, viral infections be gone! Antimicrobial herbs can help re-set your gut and immune health…when used appropriately. Dr. Rachel Fresco, acupuncturist, herbalist, and founder of Biocidin shares all you need to know about using herbs to support and heal your gut and boost your immune system.


Dr. Rachel Fresco is the founder and CEO of Bio-Botanical Research, located adjacent to Silicon Valley on the Monterey Bay. Her company has been delivering innovative botanical formulas to health care professionals since 1989.

These cutting-edge formulations are utilized as key support in the most challenging clinical presentations. Her focus in product development has been addressing concerns relating to GI health, Lyme disease, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as oral care and systemic infections. The flagship formula Biocidin®️. is recommended by noted authors, clinics, and laboratories worldwide.

University-based research and published studies on her formulas include Borreliosis, pathogenic biofilms, and immune response in elite athletes. Other ongoing clinical trials include SIBO, H. pylori, periodontal disease, mycotoxins, and other topics.

Dr. Rachel Fresco lectures at medical conferences both in the US and internationally, in addition to appearing on many podcasts and online summits relating to health and wellness. She “walks the talk” empowering and inspiring others to lead healthy and organic lifestyles, and modeling a new paradigm of the corporate culture.

Show Transcription

Dr. Lauryn: [00:00:00] Hello. Hello. Hello. Welcome to another edition of the Break the Rules podcast, where we talk about quieting the noise in the health, food, and fitness world. And today I’m super honored to have Dr. Rachel Fresco in the house, and she is the founder and CEO of one of my favorite companies out there, Bio-Botanical Research, that just so happens to help individuals support their immune systems, supporting people with gut issues, longterm Lyme disease co-infections, mold illness, you name it. This company has been around the block and is supporting individuals, maybe worldwide, I know US-wide, and practitioners as well to be able to immune proof ourselves from the inside out.

So, Dr. Rachel Fresco, thanks so much for coming on. And if you could just give us a little bit of background about who you are and what got you doing the work you’re doing in the world. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:01:22] Thank you, Dr. Lauryn. I started out as an acupuncturist actually. I graduated from acupuncture school in 1987 and I was working at Connor Company, which is a Chinese herb company, helping the practitioners understand how to use the Chinese herbs. Right at that time, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic was happening and suddenly people were dealing with opportunistic infections. And so I had some formulas that I’ve been working with and one of the doctors that I had sent it to Genova Diagnostics, which is back then called Great Smokies Diagnostic Labs.

And the owner of the lab called me up and he goes, you know, I don’t know who you are, or what this is, but it kills everything. And we want to put it on our comprehensive digestive stool analysis panel. And so he explained to me about how the culture, the stool from the patient’s sample, and find out what yeast and bacteria that patients might have.

And then they use different candidate substances, whether they’re pharmaceutical agents or natural agents. To see what might affect that particular yeast or bacteria. And it turned out that the biocide formula was effective kind of across the board because it’s very broad spectrum and that it was highly sensitive.

And so they ran those tests for six years on 300,000 patient samples and found that it was an extremely sensitive agent. And so many doctors heard about it then. So I basically had to start the company in order to meet the demand of doctors asking for the formula. So I like to joke that Steve Jobs started his company in the garage, and I started mine on the kitchen table.

Dr. Lauryn: [00:02:56] I love that. And I love that how just life finds you just at the right timing right there. With the formula that you had developed, is it just something you were using like a one-off with your own patients, et cetera. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:03:10] I was using in veterinary practice actually. I did veterinary acupuncture. And a friend of mine who was a veterinarian had been working with these different herbs and I was interested in being an herbalist and we were working with some really difficult infections in animals, like brucellosis and leishmania. And these are things that Western medicine doesn’t really have anything for. And when I saw the results with the animals, then I started playing with the formula and work with it and kind of add more things.

And I started thinking about it, like, what if you, if you took these herbs and then you added the essential oils. But what I found is that by balancing the herbs and the essential oils in a way that made it really easily tolerated by the body, you have less potential for digestive disturbance. You know how like if you take a straight oregano oil capsule, you’ll start burping oregano, and it can hurt your stomach.

But if you mix oregano oil in with a lot of other things, then you don’t get that backlash. So just kind of using my herbal background and formulation, I put the formula together that eventually was tested at Genova. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:04:14] Talk to our listeners a little bit about like using herbs in general for gut issues and protocols, SIBO, candida, et cetera.

Dr. Rachel: [00:04:26] What’s really interesting is, is that when you look at the research like if you go online and you do a PubMed research and you look at botanicals and biofilms, you see all these different herbs that stop these longterm chronic infections from being able to, to stay and take hold or spread. When I think of dysbiosis of the gut, I think that we basically have usually, unless it’s just, you went to Mexico and you came back with a bug, but typically people who have chronic problems with digestion have pathogens that may form biofilms.


And so it turns out that so many of the herbs in the biocidin formula have been researched for their ability to break biofilms, to stop them from forming, and to stop them from replicating. 

And so we actually started doing university-level research first with the University of Binghamton in New York, looking at biofilms from different types of yeast and bacteria. And then we did a research study in Europe, on Lyme biofilms. And the result was the same that the botanicals have a unique ability to break up biofilms. And so then you can get to the underlying bacteria or parasites or pathogens that may be hiding there.

And whether you’re using pharmacological agents and drug therapies, or whether you’re using any microbial natural agents, either way, you need to get through the biofilms. And so that’s one thing that the herbs have. That’s really, really nice. The other thing is that because they have so many different types of agents, the body can’t really develop resistance to them the same way as it can develop resistance to a single agent.

So you’ve got the berberine’s and the plant tannins, and you’ve got polyphenols and you’ve got all of this going on at once. And if you look at like, if you look at a white paper on some of the herbs and biocidin, you’ll see that, wow, bilberry not only has antifungal properties, but it’s protective of the respiratory tract or it’s antiviral.

There’s whole different layers within each plant of chemicals that all have a good effect. And when you use them together, you get that synergistic benefit, I think.

 Yeah, I’m glad that you said that. And just, it makes me think also for our listener’s antibiotic resistance, this is why antibiotic resistance can occur if individuals are taking just a single dose of an antibiotic, for example, and the body forms a defense against that eventually. So using something with a broad spectrum and herbal, it has less side effects as well typically than the laundry list and NPC with medications. And so that is why herbal medicine and functional medicine, we tend to gravitate towards herbals.

Talk a little bit about where an individual starts if they feel I have candida, I have SIBO,  they’re thinking that they’re on Dr. Google. And now they’re like, well, I may just want to like trial like something and see if I feel better. Is that something that you’ve seen in your practice, even acupuncture practice that you would do more anecdotal or always looking for testing?

You know, I think that some practitioners have patients that can’t afford testing. And if you have bloating, if you have fatigue, if you have intolerance to certain things, there’s a pattern that you could establish that you could guess, right? That there’s some kind of dysbiosis there. The proof would be is if you use something like biocidin and or you use something like this for forming probiotics, typically you’re going to get some kind of die off.

And, you know, you don’t want that to be severe. And that’s why we use the GI detox as a kind of mop-up agent to go along with the biocidin. But you’ll typically notice a difference. Something’s going to happen. Something’s going to change. And typically within two or three weeks, you’ll start to feel a lot better.

But if you, if you have a severe situation and you don’t work with a practitioner, then you could get yourself in trouble. So I’d say you know, if you go very slowly and gently with yourself and are in a really careful person, you’re probably okay to try these things. But if you’re at all worried about, you know, the overall effects, I would say work with your naturopath or work with you or someone who can just kind of guide a person through the process, because you want to feel sure of what you’re doing to get a protocol that’s really going to have a longterm effect. You need to do it minimally two to three months, probably more. Maybe you’ll go two to three months at a certain level. And then you might do maintenance or switch things up a little bit. And as your microbiome changes in your gut, you know, you might need different things in your diet.

You might be able to use different things that you weren’t able to before. So I think having, you know, someone to help you through that process is a good idea. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:09:12] Yeah, I think guidance for, if you’re not going to do testing, working with a practitioner that can be helpful. And having worked with patients before is helpful. And if you do testing and you find specifics, then you have a little bit also more direct direction as opposed to just start shooting, which I think a lot of people can do even just ordering on Amazon, random supplements and then I think a lot of our listeners probably can relate to that. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:09:36] The problem is you end up with like a cabinet full of supplements and you’ve never done any, you don’t really know what the outcome is you’re looking for because you don’t have any benchmarks. Or you might feel better so you stop the protocol and then you just go backwards. You know, like, we’ve see that with H pylori. You know, it’s not that hard to get rid of H pylori with botanicals, but if you don’t on an annual basis, you know, keep doing a cleanse. That’s one of the ones that can come back because usually the people who get that don’t have enough stomach acid, or there’s some reason that bacteria can take hold.

So, you know, I think it is a good idea to have a, you know, a functional medicine person or a naturopath or a nutritionist who’s experience on your team and just for your annual health maintenance, you know, it’s good to check on a lot of different things. Just like you would your regular blood panel. You want to check some benchmarks for your functional health as well.

Dr. Lauryn: [00:10:31] Talk a little bit about, so we mentioned die-off reaction. That’s a big topic and it’s something that, is that something that’s normal or is it if a person is experiencing that, are they going too fast? Explain what die-off reaction is what typical symptoms are and the normalcy of it or not. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:10:50] So die-off reaction is when you’re, you’re, you’re changing your ecology, you know, in your intestinal track.

And so you may be eliminating things. And so if, if those things are getting eliminated and uptake and taken out through your liver, you know, people can get headaches, they can get extra fatigue. People can get adjustive changes, either constipation or diarrhea or gas. Some people can feel anxious or have problems with sleep.

Some people even can get rashing on the surface of their skin, as things are trying to detox out of the body, if that’s happening to that level, that you’re just, your discomfort is great. It’s typically that you’re doing it too fast. It doesn’t do any good to detoxify if your pathways can’t handle that level of detox.

And that’s why I put together the GI detox product some years ago, because. If you combine those toxins before they’re reabsorbed, you can help your body not have to like deal with it. So I recommend when people use biocidin then an hour or two later on an empty stomach and away from any other supplements or medications that they use, the GI detox, which is clay, charcoal, you may have folic acid packed in. Things that bind the toxins and help pull them out. And it’s got a special type of silica in there as well. So that formula has been super helpful. Doctors have given me the feedback that since we came out with that formula, that they’ve pretty much eliminated the problems that they used to have with die off with their patients.

So the thing was with formulas, like biocidin is that they are strong and that you do need to go slowly. It’s not like a tincture from the health food store that you can just squirt in your mouth, a whole dropper full. Really. You do have to take it as directed and it’s much more concentrated. So people typically start with one drop of the liquid and see how they do that day.

And then maybe go up to two drops the next day and gradually increase and using the GI detox. And then if at a point you start to feel too much discomfort you back down the last amount you were using, where you didn’t feel comfort, stay there for another few days and then experiment with going up again.

We actually get some people who are so sensitive that they have to put like a drop in a whole glass of water and just sip the water. It’s not that common, but there are those people. So you don’t know how you’re going to react to something. So always starting slowly and, and having the support of the detox products on hand is helpful.

Dr. Lauryn: [00:13:16] Yeah, I’m happy you also mentioned the body being ready and not readiness maybe. Like go low and slow approach. Um, talk a little bit about also prepping the pathways, the channels of elimination, maybe even prior to starting the protocol. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:13:32] So if you’re, if you’re a person who, you know, is just highly toxic, you might think of supporting your detox by taking herbs or homeopathics that support the liver and kidney drainage. Right. Open up those pathways, you might do extra saunas. You might eat a diet that’s a little wider and more cleansing. I mean, I’m sure if you’re listening to this, hopefully, you know, better than to be eating, you know, gluten and dairy and things that are, that are typically congestive when you’re trying to do a cleanse.

Dr. Lauryn: [00:14:05] Right. So, yeah, from a food perspective also sweating, whether it’s infrared saunas can be helpful and, or just like moving your body, fresh air, exercise, lymphatic flow. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:14:19] I get lymphatic massage every week because I’m one of those people who’s a universally poor detoxifier. So we talked before we started recording about mold exposure and I had significant mold exposure when I was younger.

And I have that phase one and phase two detoxification sort of deficit. When you look at my genetic snips, like the top of my 23 and Me says basically you’re screwed. I’m like, I’m like the Canary in the coal mine for toxins. So that probably is what led me to create a lot of these things because I needed the support. And so I have to eat really clean and I have to constantly assist my body in detoxification. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:14:59] Yeah. I’ve learned the same through my mold illness journey. And it’s just been like, Man such a game changer to be able to assist the body with detoxification as well with the protocols I’m using some of your products as well.

Dr. Rachel: [00:15:14] I mean, I used to have fibromyalgia and people told me that I would never recover. I couldn’t even carry my purse, let alone a horses water bucket. I couldn’t exercise at all. I was completely exercised intolerant and I was in so much pain all the time. Like if I walked for half an hour on the beach, I’d have to be like having ice packs on my neck and taking Advil. Like I couldn’t survive just normal activities. So I am happy to say that I am 100% here. Like I work out every day. I have five horses right now. One of them was a huge stallion. You know, I don’t have any problem in doing what I need to do in my life anymore.

And I’m almost 60 and I’m in better shape now and feel better now than I did when I was 30, when I was in the throws of mold illness. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:15:59] That’s amazing. And your skin is beautiful by the way, too. Talk to us a little bit about on the flip side, so we talked about die-off reactions that can occur when taking anti-microbials.

How about the likelihood of like killing off good guys, too? Like bacteria and kind of getting into insufficiency dysbiosis, where you can wipe out healthy guys and your biome and how to also maybe approach that on a back end of using antimicrobials. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:16:30] Well, the good news is, is that in the studies we’ve done with biocidin, we found that the number and diversity of beneficial increase with biocidin.

It will not wipe out your good flora, but the olive leaf, the Olivirex does hit the commensals a little bit. So if you’re using both the biocide and the Olivirex, then you might want to consider, you know, extra supplementation. That being said, I put together the pro flora for our with the spore-forming probiotics from MegaSpore.

I love that company. They have the best quality of those performing probiotics. And so we’ve got several of their strains along with high-potency quercetin. And so the quercetin is really key because it stops you from having that mast cell histamine reaction. 

When I used to take other types of probiotics, you know, you get gas and bloating, right? With the quercetin in this formula, it really stops that from happening. So even though the biocidin itself doesn’t necessarily harm your beneficial flora, let’s just assume that anybody with long-term dysbiosis needs more flora, right. And so we put the pro flora in our, bioclear cleansing kit, along with the GI detox on the biocidein, those three things as a basic cleanse for that reason.

So you want to, you know, the unfriendlies, right? You want to pull out the toxins and then you want to replace and heal, you know, help heal the mucosa of the intestines. So that’s the reasoning behind that program and it’s, it’s easy to use and doctors really enjoy it. And then we have a more expanded program, the comprehensive kit, which is a two month supply of all the different things.

And that one includes the Olivirex, because what we’ve found with certain people who have tested for high methane, that the olive leaf seems to really help with that. So, so adding the olive leaf in there. Also, you know, with things like Lyme disease, people will have chronic immune suppression that allows subclinical viruses to come to the floor. So, you know, we’ve all been exposed to cytomegalovirus, for example, right. Or EBV, but in those people, in that population, Those viruses can become a lot more problematic. And so olive leaf was one of the agents that is very supportive in that situation. So that’s why the Olivirex is in the comprehensive program.

So if you’re looking for more simple digestive plans, the bio clear program is fine. If you need like a really sweeping, you know, everything then the comprehensive kit is good and the comprehensive kit is nice too, cause it includes the free dental side. And so I took the biocide and I put it in toothpaste so that you could treat your oral cavity. Last week, somebody sent me a study and it said that if you brush after every meal, that there is a notable decrease in dysbiosis in your gut. Isn’t that interesting? 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:19:31] Just like in general? 

Dr. Rachel: [00:19:33] Yeah. So if you were to use something like the dental side in toothpaste, and we have that rinse, the oral rinse, if you were to use that, it’s going to help keep your oral bio, you know, more balanced and healthy so that you’re not swallowing things that end up in your gut that you don’t want there.

Dr. Lauryn: [00:19:50] Wow, that’s really cool. I do have to look into that. That’s awesome. Well, talk to our audience, we’ve kind of been talking about gut, which is my favorite topic. How the gut is related to the immune system. I think a lot of people hear that the gut is the gateway to health is what I oftentimes say or your immune system’s in your gut.

What does that mean to the layman and how can we really use that in our favor right now, during a time in life where viruses and illness and immune compromise is something on people’s minds? 

Dr. Rachel: [00:20:24] Yes. I think it’s really important. First of all, I think, you know, I keep seeing different numbers, but there’s somewhere between 60 and 80% of the immune cells in our body are in our digestive system. 

If our digestive system is so busy fighting off unwanted influences that it can’t support our body in fighting off, you know, other invaders, you know, that’s obviously an issue. So keeping your gut balanced and healthy is going to be the first line of defense. Also, we know that there are specific receptor sites in the gut that can make you more susceptible to viruses, right?

So that’s another reason to do regular cleansing and use agents that help to keep your gut in good shape. Diet is a big part of that obviously. It’s the number one thing, but the herbs and supplements definitely, you know, have a really beneficial impact. 

So typically when I travel, I always had it with me, you know on the plane and I would use it throughout the winter just to increase my wellness and what I saw a lot of times when going to conferences was, you know, I’d pass a doctor in the hall at a hotel and he would whip the throat spray out of his pocket, you know?

Like so many doctors knew this, that the biocidin throat spray is sort of the go-to. But it was really excellent timing that we did a study last year with the University of Louisiana and what they were looking at was immune-compromised athletes. Like NFL players, Olympic team members, people who exercise extremely hard. And then they get a suppression in the secretory IGA, which is the marker of your immune system in your saliva. And so they wanted to see if the biocidin throat spray would help to increase these athletes’ immune system. And so they did a study, it’s a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, and they found that with one dose of the biocidin throat spray, after 30 minutes, there was a 66% increase in the SIGA. So that is saying basically that the immune response is better when you have these herbs on board. And that that response was sustained for 90 minutes after use. So what I’m doing right now is using the throat spray several times a day, and also, especially going into any stores, you know, anytime I feel I’m more exposed, I’m using the throat spray, I’m carrying it with me.

And I know that a friend Dr. Kellyann Petrucci has been doing the show called the virtual doctors night out. I didn’t get to see all of the episodes, but I caught a couple of them and like Dr. Vince Pedre, Dr. Tom  Moorcroft, Dr. Ann Shippy. They were saying the same thing. I carry my biocidin throat spray around.

So, you know, we’ve done studies on it. We know that this is helpful for immune support and upper respiratory support. So I recommend that for your, for your listeners, for sure. Right now. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:23:49] Yeah, I think I ordered four of them. So I have one to carry with me in my car and my purse. I have one at home, and then one on backstock. So armed and ready there.

Well, Dr. Rachel Fresco, where can people find out more about you, your work, and obviously biocidin formulas? 

Dr. Rachel: [00:24:09] So is our website. And right now you’ll see at the top of the website, we have the biocide wellness kit, so to make it really convenient for people right now and less expensive, I put together a kit that has the throat spray, the olive leaf extract. A product, Olivirex, and the biocidin in a capsule form. And I put those together in a little kit. And that would be a great one to keep with you or to give to others in your family, a great medicine cabinet staple in any case, but especially right now, that’s something I really wanted to be able to get in the hands of more people. So I put that together. 

And we also, we can’t consult with people on their own medical needs, but we like to refer them to people like you to get support with how to use the supplements. 

Dr. Lauryn: [00:24:57] Well, thank you so much for just gracing us with your wisdom and your years of experience and helping us guard our immune defenses as well on today’s show.

And I’ll let you get back to breaking some rules out there in the health, food, and fitness world. 

Dr. Rachel: [00:25:11] Thank you so much.


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