Although antibiotics are a wonder of modern science, the over-use of antibiotic pharmaceuticals has reached its limit and seems to be at a breaking point. In the past several years we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in ‘super bugs’ and drug resident bacterial strains that doctors and scientists just don’t know how to deal with.
While antibiotic pharmaceuticals were hailed as miracle drugs upon their arrival in 1940s, today they seem to be creating just as many new problems as ones that they solve. While this article is in no way advocating for the complete eradication of antibiotics, perhaps it is time we decrease our use of pharmaceutical grade antibiotics – not only in our ‘medicine’ but in our food supply too. We can ween off our pharmaceutical grade antibiotic dependency by using natural methods that have worked relatively well for our ancestors for centuries.
The following is a list of easily attainable naturally occurring antibiotics that we all use to help boost our body’s ability to fight bacteria without drugs.
You may know it as a spice, but Turmeric has been used in Ayruvedic (Indian) medicine for over 3,000 years now. Turmeric is derived from the root of the Curcuma plant. While it can used for a wide range of bacterial, fungal viral and inflammatory ailments, scientific research has suggested that its use can be effective against Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) – a common bacterial strain seen in gastric ulcers. Other bacterial strains that turmeric has been shown to inhibit or kill include E. Coli, Vibrio Vulnificus, Bacillus subtilis. If you’re going to use turmeric as a natural antibiotic, physicians suggest dosages of 400-600mg of extract three times daily.
Colloidal silver’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties should certainly not be ignored. But a metal? Really? Well, it’s made from microscopic particles of silver. During the 1980s Dr. Larry Ford recorded more than 650 disease-causing pathogens which were destroyed upon being exposed to small quantities of silver. Colloidal silver can be administered orally or topically (externally) in the case of treating wounds. In addition to skin health and wound care it can be used to treat ear infections, pink eye, sinus infections. It is also claimed that it can assist in the preventions of colds and flus. Research has also shown colloidal silver to increase antimicrobial outcomes of pharmaceutical antibiotics when taken along-side of them. It’s best not to consume too much as the silver can accumulate in body tissues.
Not only is garlic a must have in the kitchen, but it’s extracts are increasingly becoming a must have for the medicine cabinet. Contained within garlic is a compound called allium – a compound that has been shown to be effective in killing or inhibiting both kinds of bacteria – gram positive and gram negative. Alliums efficacy in inhibiting or killing bacteria was shown in a 2011 study which was carried out by Lu, Rasco et al. Whereas pharmaceutical antibiotics typically only kill a narrow range of bacterial strains, garlic extracts have been shown to have one of the broadest antimicrobial and antibiotic spectrums. It appears that garlic extracts are effective whether they are applied topically or consumed orally. While garlic is especially effective in treating intestinal infections, it is also said to inhibit various viruses, mold, parasites and fungi.
A scientific study carried out by Tierra, M. in 2007 deemed Echinacea to be an effective alternative to antibiotics. Echinacea is an herb which is native to the region which lies just east of the Rocky Mountains in the US. The herb was used often in traditional medicinal remedies by the Indian tribes of the Great Plains. Today, as antibiotic pharmaceuticals become less and less effective, people are beginning to show more and more interest in Echinacea’s medicinal properties. Echinacea is widely used to fight things like urinary tract and vaginal yeast infections, as well as the common cold, and the flu. Additionally, people are treating burns, boils and other skin wounds with echinacea. But how does it work? Well, research suggests that the herb helps to activate important biochemicals which decrease inflammation in the body. This would explain why it might reduce cold and flu symptoms. It should be noted that there are different species of Echinacea which are used as remedies. The most widely used are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallid, and Echinacea purpurea.
Thyme essential oil
Thyme oil comes from the herb Thymus vulgaris – a member of the mint family. In 2011, a study carried out at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland showed that thyme oil effectively inhibited the growth of 120 different bacterial strains in patients with infections in their respiratory, genitourinary, and oral cavities. Surprisingly, the oil was eve effective against certain antibiotic-resistant strains. Thyme oil should only be used topically – not orally. The oil should be avoided in those with hyperthyroid problems or high blood pressure.
Written by: John Preston