Quinton Marine Plasma – a Remarkable Therapy Rediscovered

Written by FARER, Leslie J.

In 1925, France mourned the loss of a national hero – an eminent biologist and physiologist whose discovery and work saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the early 1900’s who would otherwise have perished from incurable diseases. So highly esteemed was this scientist that his eulogy was given by then Prime Minister Paul Painlevé to an audience of an estimated one million mourners. Who was this brilliant researcher who has been called the French Darwin? His name, which most people today will probably not recognize, is René Quinton. His discovery of a special extract of seawater was one of the greatest medical innovations of the 20th century. Miraculous in its efficacy and universal in its applications, it seemed to benefit, if not cure, virtually any human ailment. The basis of Quinton’s discovery: diluted sea water harvested from bio-rich plankton blooms is virtually identical, physically and chemically, to human plasma, and as such, provides the therapeutic potential to regenerate depleted cells, tissues, organs and bodies, and thereby restore health.

René Quinton – Scientific Visionary

Charles Darwin hypothesized in 1871 that under specific atmospheric and biochemical conditions, the spark of life was ignited in an aqueous environment: a warm little pond,” he called it. René Quinton (1867-1925), who devoted years of study to the oceans, took this theory a step further and demonstrated that the aqueous source was the sea and that the first living cell, the ancestor of all life on Earth, must have borne a strong resemblance, if not an identity, to unicellular plankton. He also suggested that these organisms were nourished by the sea’s abundant spectrum of mineral salts, that their physiological processes, and those of subsequent animal life forms, developed according to the specific ratios of minerals found in the sea, and, most remarkably, that the primordial matrix in which these microscopic creatures thrived is mirrored in the composition of our internal fluids – our blood plasma, lymph, amniotic and cerebral-spinal fluids. In other words, the composition of our “milieu intérieur” (internal environment), as Quinton called it, is equivalent to the primordial oceans in its proportions and synergy of minerals and trace elements. (Note: The salinity of our internal fluids matches that of the early oceans – approximately 0.9%, known as isotonic. The seas have become more concentrated over time, and currently the marine salinity is 3.3%, called hypertonic.) Quinton often remarked, “We are a veritable living aquarium.” (1) In other words, each of us carries within us a microcosm, a miniature pack and parcel of the ocean that circulates though our bodies, nourishing and informing our cells, linking us to our ocean origins from where life sprang!

Historically, the sea has long been associated with renewal, purification and regeneration. Quinton explored the oceans and discovered the exceptional healing powers of sea water harvested from specific locations known as vortex plankton blooms – vast and unique aquatic ecosystems of particularly abundant and rich biological life. Quinton sampled and studied the marine extract manufactured within the bloom and realized its enormous therapeutic potential. By 1897 he developed the protocol for harvesting, filtering and processing this special serum. Because of its similarity to blood plasma, he called it Plasma Marin (Marine Plasma), which later became known as Plasma de Quinton. Its method of administration, usually by subcutaneous or IV injection, was called the Marine Treatment or the Marine Method. Its effects on the most prevalent and virulent diseases of the time were no less than dramatic and miraculous. Cholera, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infections: cured; infant mortality (extremely high in early twentieth century Europe): significantly reduced; even severe burns and exema: healed.
In 1904 Quinton published his ground-breaking book, L’eau de Mer- Milieu Organique (Seawater – Organic Medium) which describes his research, experiments, and results, and demonstrates the connection between human and marine plasma. The Paris Academy of Medicine hailed the work. In 1906, the first Dispensaire Marin (Marine Dispensary) was established in Paris, and later dozens of such free clinics were opened in France and elsewhere in Europe, where Quinton and a team of eminent doctors treated thousands of people and further developed the Marine Method, fine-tuning protocols specific to the pathology of each patient. Quinton Marine Plasma was officially recognized as a medicine in 1907 and listed in the Dictionnaire Vidal, the French equivalent of the Physicians Desk Reference, from 1953 until 1999.

The Bio-terrain Theory of Health

In the latter half of the nineteen century, the great French microbiologist Louis Pasteur developed the modern Germ Theory of disease which maintains that infectious diseases are caused by harmful microorganisms, still a foundational premise in western medicine. In contrast, Quinton and his colleagues adhered to the Bio-terrain Theory, which argues that illness is the result of a depleted, deficient, and therefore, physiologically compromised internal environment or “terrain” (from French and Latin roots meaning “of the Earth”). Note the agricultural reference and the analogy to nutrient-rich soil that promotes the growth of abundant vegetation, or the opposite, nutrient-deficient soil, which impedes healthy proliferation. Holistic practice today as well as centuries-old eastern medical disciplines share the focus on establishing internal balance and homeostasis as the precursor to and foundation of health. When the milieu intérior of the body is in equilibrium, all cells, tissues, organs, and the body as a whole functions optimally; when out of balance, or in disequilibrium, the stage is set for disease to take hold. According to this theory, the invading microbe is not the primary cause of disease, but is secondary to a disturbed terrain which cannot resist the infection. Quinton and his medical associates demonstrated, through the treatment of thousands of cases of wide-ranging pathologies, that the mechanism for the marine plasma’s overwhelming success was the reestablishment of mineral balance and reconstruction of the bio-terrain; in other words, restoring the “sea aquarium” to its original and optimal integrity. Although Pasteur’s discoveries were revolutionary for mankind, he realized on his deathbed in 1895 the profound effect of the quality of the milieu intérieur on homeostasis and supposedly uttered, “The microbe is nothing; terrain is everything.” A 1907 article in the French newspaper L’Intransigeant summed it up:
“The works of Pasteur bring us a conception of disease. Those of Quinton bring us a conception of health. What is Pasteur’s serum? It is a serum for and against a particular disease, a serum which attacks a given microbe and none other. What is sea water? It is a serum which attacks no microbe in particular, but provides the organic cell with the force to fight off all microbes.”

Vortex Plankton Blooms – Biological “Factories” of Marine Plasma

At any given time, the seas contain six or seven gigantic swirling cyclones – oceanographic and biological phenomena that result from specific conditions of light, temperature, currents and weather patterns. (2) Known as vortex plankton blooms, these aquatic cyclones are hundreds of miles wide at the surface and extend deep into the ocean, stirring up clouds of rich mineral nutrients from the sea floor as they spin and gyrate. The abundant mineral source provides nourishment for phytoplankton which photosynthesize in response to light entering the vortex and rapidly proliferate. The lush growth has been estimated to surpass all terrestrial vegetation – over six billion tons! (combined mass from all plankton blooms ) (2) – and provides a feast for a profusion of zooplankton which, in the process of feeding on the marine flora, secrete a rich and bio-active fluid or serum. When combined with surrounding seawater, this fluid contains all of the major and trace minerals, plus mineral salts, amino acids, DNA, RNA, antioxidants, polysaccharides, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and phytochemicals – all in bio-active form. (2-4) While researching the oceans, Quinton was intrigued by these eco-rich vortices teeming with life, and discovered that, when diluted to the isotonic concentration of blood plasma, the composition of the vital serum produced within the bloom was mirrored in our own internal fluids. He then had the foresight to recognize the remarkable healing potential of this bio-rich brew, the progenitor of our own “sea aquarium.” When harvested, processed and cold-filtered, it became known as Quinton Marine Plasma.

Quinton Marine Plasma is More than Just Seawater or a Mineral Drink

It’s been hundreds of millions of years since the emergence of the first creature on land (a monumental evolutionary feat!) so, one might ask, since we’ve been land-dwellers for eons, have we lost our connection to the sea? Unless we reside in a permanent beach-front villa, we don’t routinely bathe in the ocean’s restorative waters and absorb its healing minerals and constituents. What’s more, our foods are grown in increasingly mineral-depleted soils. Chances are, we’re mineral-deficient.
Minerals are crucial to a multitude of physiological processes including, to name just a few, the construction of tissues, maintenance of pH balance, activation of enzyme systems, transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of muscles, and production of energy. A lack of just one can cause the presentation of multiple disease symptoms. Our physiology evolved according to the primordial sea’s specific ratios of minerals and still depends on that synergy today. Luckily, we can replenish our “sea aquarium” with ideally dosed full- spectrum major and trace minerals found in marine plasma. In addition, zooplankton have done the work of digesting and metabolizing the minerals, converting them to organic (i.e., attached to carbon) form, easily assimilated by the body through passive diffusion in the intestines. In contrast, inorganic minerals, such as those that come in supplement form, must first be converted by intestinal microflora to organic form, and often are not fully absorbed. Also, artificially isolated trace elements, whether taken individually or combined, may be minimally effective since they are not perfectly proportioned in the ideal ratios. Minerals function interdependently and must be properly dosed to positively influence physiological processes.
Finally, Quinton Marine Plasma is more than just seawater – it’s a “milieu vivant” (living medium) as René Quinton called it, and contains, besides minerals, amino acids, nucleic acids, antioxidants, polysaccharides and essential fatty acids, all components and by-products of living systems. Quinton demonstrated that marine plasma must be kept “alive” in its original matrix – it cannot be dried and then reconstituted without losing its potency and biological activity. (1) It has a dynamic, complex nature which must be maintained in its original aqueous state, a property which remains somewhat of a mystery to scientists. Even today, over 100 years later, rapidly advancing analytical techniques have yet to fully elucidate the remarkable and mysterious properties of seawater.

Mode of Action

We saw earlier that a balanced milieu intérieur is a precursor to homeostasis – the main tenet of the bio-terrain theory. Marine plasma stimulates the regeneration of the internal environment by a gradual replenishment of depleted minerals which in time acts to restore key cellular metabolic processes, improving the overall functioning of the organism as a whole. The status and quality of the internal fluids, specifically blood plasma, are crucial to cellular processes, such as the myriad intricate reactions involved in respiration or protein synthesis, and it is within this liquid environment that our billions of cells receive necessary nutrients and establish contact with each other. Quinton Marine Plasma, by filling in the gaps of deficient minerals, enhances both cellular nutrition and communication. It restores electrical potential and cellular conductivity, (5) thereby re-establishing direct communication between cells, and, by positively influencing osmosis, (2) facilitates the transport of critical nutrients into cells. In addition, the broad-spectrum optimally dosed minerals in marine plasma support the body’s buffering systems in order to maintain pH within a narrow range,(4,6) another factor essential to homeostasis.

René Quinton’s Research and Clinical Outcomes

After Quinton’s discovery of Marine Plasma in 1897, his initial experiments were performed on dogs. First, Quinton removed and replaced various volumes of dogs’ blood with isotonic marine plasma. Thankfully, there were no ill effects as long as the injection rate of the marine plasma was consistent with the pace of renal elimination. (1) Next, in the ultimate test of the marine plasma’s safety and identity to mammalian plasma, Quinton completely drained the blood of a dog and replaced it with marine plasma, an experiment that seems would have placed the animal in grave jeopardy. As outlined in Quinton’s notes, at first the animal hardly moved, but in subsequent days, after recovering both from the trauma of losing blood and from an infection that occurred during the procedure, the dog’s “regenerated” blood showed increases in red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, and other blood components. By the fourth day, he ate almost a pound of meat, and by the eighth, “the dog ran around wildly,” with a level of vitality that exceeded his original disposition. (1)The animal had reconstructed a new and improved bio-terrain, blood cells and all, that was superior in quality to his original! Affectionately named “Sodium” after the experiment, the dog must have become a pet, since Quinton noted that five years later, he was still “alive and well.” The happy ending to this experiment demonstrated not only the safety of marine plasma, but its potentially enormous value as a substitute for blood plasma! (The French army purportedly used Marine Plasma as a transfusion substitute.)
After the success of the animal experiments (which were repeated and corroborated in 1969), Quinton next turned his attention to the thousands dying annually of the most dreaded epidemics of the early twentieth century: cholera, malnutrition and wasting, tuberculosis, nervous system disorders, (paralysis, neurasthenia) chronic gastrointestinal afflictions (terminal cachexia, dyspepsia, enteritis), even syphilis. With the establishment of an increasing number of Dispensaires Marins, Quinton and his associates were able to treat the masses of sick children, and then adults, facing pre-mature death. After weeks or months of repeated injections of the therapeutic plasma according specific protocols of the Marine Method, these children were restored to health, and many without any adjuvant therapy. Hundred year-old black and white photos from the archives of the dispensaries document wasted, diseased, disfigured tiny bodies miraculously transformed to plump, healthy babies, who grew into robust children and adults, as also documented by photographs. (Many of these patients were tracked for up to 20 years or more.) Dr. Jean Jarricot, a protégé of Quinton who was the director of the Dispensaire Marin of Lyon and treated over 4000 children, remarked in a 1938 presentation to a medical committee: “All these tiny humans, with death at their doorstep (because most of our cases were those that had been abandoned and given up as hopeless), all these resuscitated infants found a new vitality that, according to the supporting documents, persisted throughout the years.” (7)
After obtaining a phenomenally high success rate with infants and young children, Quinton and his medical team turned their attention to the scores of women whose previous pregnancies ended in miscarriage or still-birth, or who produced so-called “tainted” infants with congenital and physiological defects (often as a result of syphilis or tuberculosis). Infant mortality was extremely high at the time and Quinton sought to investigate whether his marine serum could counteract genetic malfunctions that hindered the fetus during its development. Remarkably, injecting mothers during their subsequent pregnancies with the marine plasma fostered normal development and resulted in infants with fewer abnormalities, and often completely healthy babies. The marine plasma apparently turned off disease-producing gene expression! According to Dr. Jarricot, “The profound changes that occur using the Marine Treatment with children that have grave hereditary challenges, the lasting transformations of the wasted organisms, lead us to conclude that the same kind of modifications and similar transformations could even affect the fetus and its intra-uterine development. Without any treatment other than isotonic marine plasma injections during the next gestation period, these same women brought infants into this world that were better developed than normal, devoid of any congenital defects, infants that developed with regularity and normalcy, that were still intact during years of observation.” (7)
Quinton and his colleagues did not limit the Marine Method to infants, children, and pregnant mothers – chronically ill adults suffering from advanced stages of disease, some with death anticipated for the same day, were also successfully and miraculously healed. And not just life-threatening conditions were treated – patients with skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis and even alopecia (baldness) reacted favorably to the Marine Treatment. The applications of this unique serum seemed universal, whether the disease was benign or virulent.

So Why Have We Not Heard of René Quinton?

The reason is partly historical. Quinton and his medical team at the Dispensaires Marins were active in the early twentieth century, in the years leading up to World War I. Despite his monumental discoveries and his work saving thousands upon thousands of lives, Quinton was drafted into the French Armed Forces and served during World War I. He later died in 1925 from wounds inflicted during the war. Obviously, this put a damper on the continuity and momentum of the Marine Treatment. But his medical colleagues, including Dr. Jarricot, continued the therapy until World War II. Also, because the Marine Treatment was mainly practiced in Europe, and Quinton’s and his associates’ work remained untranslated, in the original French, the import of the therapy to the rest of the word was hindered. Also, the Marine Method was unduly overshadowed by the impact of penicillin and antibiotics, not to mention a growing drug industry. But in the 1980’s, the therapy was revived in Germany, France, Spain, and Italy and is currently gaining interest in other parts of the world.

About Today’s Product

Quinton™ Marine Plasma is still harvested today as it was over 100 years ago, from specific coordinates in the same plankton bloom off the coast of France where Quinton first sampled the enriched seawater. Once harvested, the raw extract is transported in temperature-controlled vehicles to a pharmaceutical manufacturing site in Spain, where, under sterile conditions, it is cold-filtered to remove plankton, other microorganisms, and impurities, and then sealed in dual-tipped glass vials, the packaging chosen by Quinton himself. The product is protected from heat, radiation, UV light and contact with metal at all stages of manufacture, in order to preserve its character as a “living medium.”
Quinton™ Marine Plasma is available in two strengths: hypertonic, undiluted at 3.3% salinity, and isotonic, diluted with ultra-pure water to match the 0.9% salinity of blood plasma. Although Quinton and his associates administered the marine plasma by injection, it may also be taken orally, which is the intended and preferred route of the product today.
Quinton ™ Marine Hypertonic and Isotonic Plasmas, when taken orally, re-establish internal equilibrium and restore the bio-terrain. The isotonic form is suitable for sensitive or allergic patients, children, and the elderly. The hypertonic form is intended for energy enhancement and performance purposes, such as after prolonged fatigue, or before, during, or after intense physical or mental activity when rapid re-mineralization is required. According to the manufacturer and thousands of records from the Dispensaires Marins, there are no contraindications or side-effects of either form of marine plasma, although patients placed on a low sodium diet should be monitored when using the hypertonic.

Although, obviously, the product is no longer injected to cure the scourges of the early twentieth century, in recent years it has successfully been used orally for a wide-range of clinical indications such as:

  • Gastro-intestinal health (supports the growth and proliferation of probiotic organisms in the intestines and provides relief from constipation and diarrhea. Also used in colonic hydrotherapy.)
  • Prenatal development (René Quinton dramatically demonstrated the phenomenal effects of the marine plasma on healthy fetal development, as outlined earlier.)
  • Pediatric care (supports childhood growth and development)
  • Gynecology (useful for menopausal and pre-menstrual symptoms, and hygiene)
  • Dermatology (promotes healthy skin and treats conditions such as exema and psoriasis)
  • Endocrinology (enhances adrenal, pituitary, thyroid and sex hormone function)
  • Athletic training and performance (especially Quinton™Hypertonic; potent mineral and electrolyte replenisher)
  • Energy enhancement (aids recovery from fatigue and depressive states)
  • Immune system support
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Dental protocols (root canal and dental washes, irrigation)
  • Neurological function
  • Respiratory health

Specific protocols have been developed for each of these indications and many more. It would be wise to consult your health care practitioner to recommend a regimen tailored to your health concern and specific for your particular bio-terrain and metabolism. Generally, for healthy adults, the manufacturer recommends for the first month, one to two Quinton™ Isotonic vials per day, on an empty stomach. For the second month, add one vial of Quinton™ Hypertonic every other day, on an empty stomach, separate from the Isotonic. After the second month, increase the Hypertonic to one to two vials per day for up to three months. After three to nine months, reduce intake to one or more vials per week of either Isotonic or Hypertonic as a maintenance dose. Consistency of use appears to be as important as dosage. (6)



René Quinton traced our origins to the sea, where he discovered the extraordinary healing powers of waters obtained from immense swirling vortices abounding with life and bio-rich essential nutrients. He made the monumental connection between our internal fluids and those of the primordial oceans, and discovered that, by simply returning to the source of life we can regenerate and rejuvenate our own “sea aquarium” and thus restore health. More than 100,000 case studies from the early 1900’s prove the remarkable efficacy of the Marine Treatment. After years of being cast aside in the wake of an increasingly drug-dominated medical industry, Quinton’s foundational therapy is being rediscovered as a powerful tool to regenerate our bioterrain and address the heath-care challenges of a new century.



  1. Quinton, René. L’eau de Mer- Milieu Organique. Paris: Masson Ed., 1912.
  2. Dittman R. Bio-Terrain, Evolutionary Biology, and the Practice of Medicine in the Early 1900’s: An Intro to René Quinton’s Marine Plasma. Explore! 2006; Vol. 15 Number 4.
  3. http://www.eclectichealing.com/pleomorphism.html
  4. Dittman R. René Quinton’s Integral Approach to Maintaining the Internal/External Terrain. Explore! 2007; Vol. 16 Number 6.
  5. Dittman R., Brugioni, R. Evolutionary Development of Our Internal Ocean: Restoring Bio-Terrain with Quinton Marine Plasma. Explore! 2006; Vol. 15 Number 6.
  6. Passebecq A, Soulier, JM. “Human Plasma and Ocean Plasma: A Comparative Study of the Therapeutic Properties of Seawater Preparations.” 1992.
  7. Jarricot, J. “Marine Origins and Pediatric Life.” Extracts of the Acts of Congress of Thalassotherapy. Monpellier 1938.