271: The Rain Barrel Effect

The Rain Barrel Effect

Have you ever heard about the rain barrel effect? Chances are, you haven't. Using it to analyze why we get sick, the rain barrel effect is how various factors like lifestyle, diet, and environment contribute to the improvement or deterioration of our health. My guest, Dr. Stephen Cabral wrote a book about the rain barrel effect, and that's what we'll dive deeper into in this episode.

Younger Years

It was a long road before Dr. Stephen Cabral became a Naturopathic, Ayurvedic, and Functional Medicine Doctor that he is today. He says it's not always the most accessible road to get to this point.

Dr. Stephen Cabral says that when one goes into this profession, there might be a lot of times you were suffering from something and you overcame it. You discover what thing you want to share with the world. And that's fundamentally no different for Dr. Stephen Cabral when he was 17 years old.

One morning, Dr. Stephen Cabral got up, and all his glands were swollen. He literally couldn't walk. His heart rate was about 150 to 160 beats per minute. But doctors had no idea what was wrong with him.

Dr. Stephen Cabral's white blood cell counts were off, but they couldn't determine exactly what it was. This went on for a couple of years, going to a specialist after specialist and the best doctors in Boston.

The Diagnosis

Eventually, Dr. Stephen Cabral's mother heard about an alternative medicine doctor. This person was a medical doctor, but they had training overseas and also studied acupuncture.

Dr. Stephen Cabral slowly learned about hormones of the body, food sensitivities, and his gut. He took some of that knowledge back to conventional medicine. Dr. Stephen Cabral was eventually diagnosed to have Addison's disease.

It's feeling like you're living with the flu all the time. Dr. Stephen Cabral also dealt with rheumatoid arthritis coupled with type 2 diabetes. This was likely the time when the rain barrel effect started to escalate.

“My entire immune system shut down from being a stressed out as a senior in high school, and working a couple of jobs,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “But I also took 3,000 capsules of amoxicillin the previous two and a half years because of a dermatologist who thought it would be a good idea to help my skin as well.” 

Dr. Stephen Cabral gut was devastated. And it wasn't a quick fix. It was years of figuring out what was wrong with him.

“But I can say now that I have no rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and Addison's disease,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “I now have more energy and vitality than I did even as a teenager. All things are possible if you're able to dig deep enough and figure out what's going on.”

Genetics Does Matter

Taking too many antibiotics can also do more harm than good. And Dr. Stephen Cabral also believes that genetics do matter. But they honestly don't matter as much as people think they do.

“Because according to a study, 95 percent of all disease as we know it, is diet, environment, and lifestyle. Now a lot of that you can be doing well but then you take something like antibiotics, and it starts to open up the tight junctions in the gut,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. 

He adds, “When those gut junctions open up, you now allow normal proteins from the foods that you're eating to spill into the bloodstream. And when those spill into the bloodstream, it increases the immune activity that increases inflammation. It can then create an autoimmune-based response.”

That's why more than 90 percent of all autoimmune diseases in the U.S. and the world relate to some intestinal permeability. Dr. Stephen Cabral says sometimes; it's only a matter of time or degree of intestinal permeability that is separating people from excellent health to potentially suffering from a disease.

What Can Be Done

Dr. Stephen Cabral says the only step that matters in the beginning. Because we see a lot of people with Hashimoto's or rheumatoid arthritis or whatever it might be. You can do things to try to lessen the symptoms with rheumatoid, and you can do things for the inflammation. 

“You can suppress it with biological drugs. But you can die for something as simple as pneumonia. We do a lot of lab testing. You can get a lab shipped to you anywhere in the world, so you can test your intestinal permeability. We use something called an organic acid test,” advised Dr. Stephen Cabral.

The organic acid test will look at candida overgrowth and fungal overgrowth because as you're taking antibiotics, they're antibacterial but they're not antifungal.

Another thing is, if you shut down stomach acid while you allow bacteria and parasites actually to go right through the stomach unabated, you can do a stool test and then if you want you could run a food sensitivity test.  If you have the data, it's tough to refute because you're looking at it.


Everyone's worried about inflammation. But the problem is, we can't always worry about inflammation because we have yet to figure out what's causing the inflammation in the first place. And a lot of factors can contribute to inflammation.

“It sets the stage for the immune-based reactions; wherein inflammation can also help or hurt you by opening up those type junctions. The nice thing is, you can work on it all at once,” explains Dr. Stephen Cabral. “What we do is, we work at getting rid of the most invasion invasive pathogens.”

He adds, “We remove the H. pylori in the parasites first. Because you have to fix the stomach. So you can start digesting food again to absorb nutrients. It doesn't all have to be supplement basis. We're big on supplements for the first 12 weeks to maybe 16 weeks, but then we try to wean people off as their digestive system is improving.”

Once you're able to get rid of H. pylori and the parasites, Dr. Stephen Cabral works on the SIBO, the bacterial overgrowth as well as the candida overgrowth because those can be accomplished at the same time. The gut wall is sealed and repopulates with good bacteria.

“And the reason why probiotics are not always the best idea, is because if you are to have bacterial overgrowth putting more bacteria in, it can sometimes give people a lot of brain fog, more bloating and gas,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral.

Road To Healing

Once all the bacteria or pathogens are out of the body, Dr. Stephen Cabral says the next step is to repopulate our body with healthy gut flora. One way is through Dr. Stephen Cabral's candida and bacterial overgrowth protocol.

“We use biofilm disruptors. The way we're able to get rid of bacteria and yeast is we have to remove the outer layer the protective layer that's keeping it hidden. We use specific types of enzymes to dissolve the top layer,” explains Dr. Stephen Cabral. “And then you're using natural things such as oregano. We're doing them for 12 weeks.” 

Your whole body will heal itself. But Dr. Stephen Cabral says it still needs the raw material.

“So, we give it glutamine. We give it zinc carnosine and a little bit of the aloe vera. Other things we know that are scientifically proven to help decrease the inflammation, rebuild the gut mucosa, and then rebuild the gut lining. The predominant ones are glutamine and zinc carnosine.” 

The Right Protocol

Dr. Stephen Cabral started his protocol about a decade ago and was refined approximately five years ago. They would do iterations of different types of biofilm disruptors. Because apparently, they knew it had to be done.

“But we didn't always know the perfect product. The nutritional supplement industry takes whatever is great right now, and it can make it better in the future. As for herbs, herbs don't get better,” Dr. Stephen Cabral said. 

He adds, “Herbs are not going to change over the thousands of years. We still have the amazing herbs. But what can change also is the delivery method. We're using time release capsules and different types of things that can work great with the gut and then obviously probiotics.”

Dr. Stephen Cabral believes that he's on the right track by administering lab tests before and after. Then he goes through the protocol to make sure the body is genuinely on the road to health.

Influences From India And China

Nature gave us a very powerful medicine. And Dr. Stephen Cabral says we can use nature's medicine which was used for thousands of years ago. There was a lot of study in India and China but also in South America. Using mainly herbs, there are different ways to get it to work. You need to make sure you follow the correct process.

Dr. Stephen Cabral says that studying in India and China influenced him significantly. He realized that there has to be an easier way. There are so many great forms of medicine, and that motivated him to travel all over the world to intern as a Naturopathic Doctor.

“As a Naturopathic Doctor, you have to specialize in something. I found that every form of medicine worked. The problem was it did not work for everyone in every circumstance,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “Every form of medicine is the best, as long as you know who to apply it with.”

By saying there is no such thing as disease, it's not discounting what you're currently suffering from. Ultimately, Dr. Stephen Cabral says the disease is not a real thing. The symptoms are real. We are doing ourselves a disservice by giving the disease a name which prevents us from looking at why we had the symptoms in the first place.

Recommended Diet

People diagnosed with Hashimoto's cannot eat gluten, dairy, and beans such as coffee. Dr. Stephen Cabral says when you remove those, all of a sudden the immune system gets to calm down. And there's no longer that immune-based response which triggers the Hashimoto's in the first place.

“Try being gluten-free for 21 days and do a rotation diet. After 21 days, try gluten-free grains first like rice. Try white rice first or gluten-free oats. We see a noticeable change in 7 days. The reason I said 21 is to allow deep healing to sink in, decrease inflammation and deal with estrogen dominance,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral.        

Success Stories

Most of Dr. Stephen Cabral's patients have inflammatory joint issues. But rather than helping people to lose weight, Dr. Stephen Cabral stresses the importance of getting the body to a healthy state. Because of that, it drops inflammatory levels. 

“In fact, 30% of our energy for the day goes to digestion. To get energy back, eat half a plate of vegetables, a quarter of root-based vegetables like yam and sweet potatoes. Choose the other quarter for protein,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “You may also combine food through a smoothie. It's life changing because most people don't drink water. Also make sure that for the first week or two, you eat cooked vegetables.”

If you have gas, bloating or digestive issues, Dr. Stephen Cabral suggests running an organic acids test. Once you're cleared, do probiotics or fermented foods. You may not have probiotics or fermented foods if you have SIBO or bacterial overgrowth. For more recommended recipes, do check out Dr. Stephen Cabral's website where you can download a free smoothie guide.

“You can do all the bio-hacks, but if you're not looking for nutrition first, you're always going to fight an uphill battle,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “We do a minimum of three consultations. Everything that is wrong with you right now is due to some deficiency or toxicity.”

He adds, “Lab tests can help. Then rebuild the body. It takes six weeks or so to remove heavy metals from the body. And it takes eight to twelve weeks to remove all the yeast overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth.”

The Rain Barrel Effect Book

The first half of The Rain Barrel Book explains how we get sick. Then Dr. Stephen Cabral explains in the second half how we can repair the body. The Rain Barrel Book is an excellent reference to learn how your body works really and it's also available on his website.  He also has a fantastic podcast called The Cabral Concept, so I'm inviting everyone to check that out, as well as the Cabral Wellness Online Store on his official website.

But Dr. Stephen Cabral isn't stopping there.  He said his next goal is to be able to start teaching health practitioners by the end of the year on how to repair the body. There are eight parts to Dr. Stephen Cabral de-stress protocol, and only one element is about supplements. Part of his goal is also to make lab testing accessible to everyone.

“My goal as a health practitioner is to help people finally figure out why they haven't been able to lose the weight, get well, or find their way out of a funk in life,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “I use advanced state-of-the-art lab testing that anyone can do right at home to uncover the underlying root cause reasons holding people back from living their best life ever. I believe that anyone can get well, lose the weight, and feel alive again if they want it!”


After almost 20 years and over 600,000 pages of research study completed, dozens of certifications in the natural health field, over 16,000 health & fitness client sessions, and a doctoral degree in Naturopathy, Dr. Stephen Cabral's knowledge, experience, and compassion are at the top of his field. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral also spent over 5,000 hours of formal doctoral degree work, which included 2,200 hours of internships. These internships were mainly spent overseas studying the very best of natural medicine (much of which is unknown here in the US). 

His internships included studying, working, and living in clinics all around the world. This intimate setting allowed Dr. Stephen Cabral to talk in depth with the patients at these clinics and listen to their struggles and path to wellness. He also got to see first hand the remarkable recoveries these people were making. Some of these internship locations included India, Sri Lanka, China, Europe, and various practices in the US. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral has appeared in every type of media outlet as a national health & wellness consultant, as well as a contributor to MTV, Men’s Health, Women’s Day, Maxim, SELF, Diet.com, Nutrition Data, Conde Nast, and many others. He has also authored and co-authored four books and published over 1,100 articles. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral has been hired by over 300 health clubs, wellness clinics, Holistic centers, training studios, and by other health professionals to improve their training programs and services. This allows Dr. Stephen Cabral to reach more people and hopefully improve more lives by teaching the health & fitness professionals that work directly with those in need. 

Get Connected With Dr. Stephen Cabral!

Official Website

The Rain Barrel Effect

Cabral Wellness Online Store

The Cabral Concept



Recommended Reading

The Rain Barrel Effect


Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

The Rain Barrel Effect – Dr. Stephen Cabral & Ashley James – #271

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel



Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


Follow LTH on Social Media

Join The LTH Supportive Community!

Ashley's Top 10 Favorite Episodes


Related Posts

Let Our Doctors Teach You
The Foundations of Holistic Health
 ★ Free 7 Day Course ★
Ideal Food - Exercise - Sleep - Digestion
Adrenal Health - Food Quality
What Your Doctor Should Be Teaching You

Let Our Doctors Teach You

The Foundations of Holistic Health

Free 7 Day Course

Ideal Food - Exercise - Sleep - Digestion

Adrenal Health - Food Quality

What Your Doctor Should Be Teaching You

You have Successfully Subscribed!