November 14, 2016
November 14, 2016
November 2, 2016
For many Americans, antibiotics have become a standard routine when they get sick. Since the 1940s, these drugs have significantly reduced illness and death from bacterial infections. However, they are not the go-to fix for everything.
Conditions such as a sore throat or bronchitis are usually caused by a virus and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Nonetheless, the medical industry keeps prescribing these drugs to treat non-bacterial infections. As a result, bacteria adapt themselves to these drugs and become resistant. When this happens, a common, easily treatable disease may become an unstable killer. In fact, if we don’t stop the overuse of antibiotics, bacteria may evolve to a point where even the last-resort treatments will fail.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 23,000 American people die each year as a direct result of these unstoppable infections.
Long before Alexander Fleming discovered antibiotics in 1927, our ancestors relied on medicinal plants and natural remedies to strengthen their immune systems and prevent or cure infections. Some of these natural practices are still in use today.
Turmeric, the bright yellow-orange colored spice that most of us know from Indian curries, has been well known and documented for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, parasites and fungi. It has successfully been used to fight Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers and gastritis.
It can be taken as a supplement, drunk as tea or mixed with honey to create a skin-, wound- and infection-healing paste.
Another excellent and versatile antibiotic is garlic, which has been shown to protect the body by killing harmful bacteria. Clinical tests suggest that garlic may be as potent as some of the commonly used antibiotics. Furthermore, garlic has proven to be effective against some of the tougher antibiotic-resistant superbugs. To get the most active compound out of fresh garlic, the Daily Health Post recommends leaving crushed garlic exposed to the air for 15 minutes before consumption.
Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and cultured yogurt may sound like ancient foods to you. However, more people are going back to these age-old healing foods to strengthen and renew intestinal flora. Probiotics or friendly gut bacteria are essential to good health. In addition to killing the bad guys, probiotic bacteria support proper digestion, boost the immune system and enhance the body’s resistance to infection.
Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial essential oil derived from the Australian Melaleuca Alterniflora tree. As reported by Green Future, over 400 scientific studies have proven tea tree oil’s value as an antiseptic agent. It can be used to treat fungal, bacterial and viral infections. These include acne, athlete’s foot, nail fungus and bacterial ear infections.
Oregano has been long studied and used as a treatment for bacterial infections. In vitro, studies using oil of oregano have shown that it may be as efficient as the most commonly used antibiotics, but without the nasty side-effects.
Propoolis, the natural antibiotic made by bees, is a sticky, glue-like substance bees collect from the bark of certain trees. Bees use it to block off the entrance of their hives to protect their home from infections. As reported by the Natural Healing Centre, bee propolis has been hospital-tested in Europe. It has been shown to be effective against staphylococcus (throat and chest infections), salmonella (food poisoning) and E.coli (gastric infection).
Unlike chemical antibiotics, these natural antibiotics don’t destroy the good intestinal bacteria, and don’t cause bacteria to turn into superbugs.
Sources for this article include:
February 19, 2016
Antibiotic resistance is rapidly reaching the scale of a global health crisis. More and more people are being treated with “last resort” antibiotics, and the head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, recently warned that the explosion of increasingly virulent drug-resistant microbes may eventually mean the “end of modern medicine.”
“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis,” Chan said. “More and more governments recognize (it is) one of the greatest threats to health today.”
One thing that ordinary consumers can do to stem this tide, is to avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatments by using natural alternatives.
One of the most common misuses of antibiotics is when doctors prescribe them for viral problems, such as a cold or the flu, or minor bacterial infections that might otherwise have cleared up on their own.
Essential oils provide numerous benefits over antibiotics. They do not contribute to the evolution of drug resistance, preserving antibiotics for truly serious or life-saving uses – particularly if you avoid always using the same essential oil for every infection. In addition, essential oils do not cause wholesale destruction of your body’s good microbes – “microbiome” – the way antibiotics do. Antibiotic use is increasingly being linked with a variety of systemic health problems, probably due to disruption of the many subtle processes that our microbiomes perform for our bodies. Even taking probiotics after antibiotics is not enough to undo this damage.
So, for your health and for the health of society as a whole, here are some of the top antimicrobial essential oils. Studies have shown many of these to be as effective as antibiotics, and in some cases more so.
Tea tree oil is one of the easiest essential oils for a beginner to use. Unlike most essential oils, it can safely be applied directly to the skin, without first being diluted with a carrier oil. It has shown potent activity against viruses, bacteria and other microbes.
Eucalyptus oil, in addition to its antimicrobial effects, has been shown to speed wound healing and to protect injuries from exposure to air (much like a bandage).
Does your natural toothpaste contain peppermint essential oil, and not just peppermint flavor? It should! Peppermint is a potent antimicrobial and antiviral agent.
Lavender oil has shown antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is particularly effective in speeding the healing of minor skin injuries including cuts, wounds, burns and sunburns, and keeping them from scarring. It is also an effective treatment for inflammatory and bacterial skin conditions including acne and psoriasis.
The common kitchen herbs oregano and thyme, in their essential oil form, are potent antibacterials that have both shown effectiveness against staph bacteria, including the MRSA superbug. Oregano has also been found to be effective against E. coli and salmonella.