At some point in your life, the chances are that you have taken some antibiotics, as they are some of the most commonly prescribed medications. In fact, they are often overprescribed for some conditions like sore throats or bronchitis, which are actually viral and cannot be treated with the use of them.
Some of the concerns over the use of antibiotics include the following:
- Side effects: Some of the most common side effects caused by consumption of antibiotics include allergies, as well as gastrointestinal distress. In some rare cases, reactions to antibiotics can lead to kidney toxicity and even death.
- Gut imbalance: According to some studies, antibiotics affect the healthy bacteria in the gut, which can greatly impact our overall health.
- Multidrug-resistant bacteria: Bacteria are smart. The more antibiotics are prescribed on a global scale, the more bacteria figure out how to resist the effects of antibiotics. Multidrug-resistant bacteria, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are increasingly becoming more common. According to some Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 million people in the United States become infected each year, with the drug-resistant bacteria and as a result of these infections, there are at least 23,000 death cases.
Some herbal antibiotics, which have been used for centuries, are garnering attention for their strong antibacterial properties and fewer side effects. The pharmaceutical industry recognizes the power that herbs have, by combining them synergistically with synthetic antibiotics. In that way, they create phytopharmaceuticals which are actually more powerful than synthetic antibiotics alone.
The herbs and food which we will present you here have shown efficacy for treating infections. They are available over the counter as capsules, teas, or tinctures. However, you should not use them without consulting with your doctor first. Herbs are very potent and they can also cause side effects and potentially harmful interactions with other supplements or medications which a person may be taking.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Echinacea was very popular in the United States. But, its use began to decline after the development of pharmaceutical antibiotics. Studies have since shown that it can actually be very effective for treating many strains of bacteria.
Note: It can slow the metabolism of the body of coffee and certain medications.
An alkaloid which is found in goldenseal, berberine, has demonstrated some activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA. There are some additional compounds in goldenseal which may enhance the antibiotic effects of berberine, so it may be prudent to supplement with goldenseal rather than its berberine extract.
Note: Berberine may cause some brain damage in infants and children as well. Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, do not consume it.
Allicin, which is the active component of garlic, can successfully target many strains of bacteria. Garlic cloves have some beneficial effects, but they are actually not as potent as its supplement form.
Note: As a supplement, garlic can prolong bleeding and can also have major interactions with some medications. It may also be unsafe for children.
This type of tree grows in India and the oil it consists has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2,000 years. This type of oil is commonly used to combat bacterial infections of the skin, like dermatitis and acne.
Note: If taken by mouth for under 10 weeks, neem is likely safe. It may also harm your liver and kidneys if you consume it in large doses or for long periods of time.
This evergreen tree, which is native to South America, has been used for medical purposes for centuries. In addition to the antibacterial properties it has, this tree has also shown promise for cancer therapy. However, according to the findings of some studies, the doses required to reduce the number of cancer cells would be toxic to humans.
Note: Pau d’arco can delay blood clotting. It may also not be safe for people who have bleeding disorders, or those who go in for surgery.
In New Zealand, bees make manuka honey by pollinating the manuka bush. This honey is different from some other types of honey. It has stronger antibiotic properties and it may also be effective in treating MRSA.
Note: Manuka honey may not be safe for infants.
Having antibacterial properties, this grape is beneficial in the treatment of acne. There are not enough studies done in order to know if this type of grape is safe for oral consumption.
Note: Just like in goldenseal, one of the active compounds in the Oregon grape is berberine. It is not recommended to be consumed by children, as well as by pregnant and nursing women.
You can add the ginger root to dishes, or for a more potent dose, you can also take it as a supplement in order to receive an antibiotic boost.
Note: Ginger has the ability to slow blood clotting, so people who suffer from a bleeding disorder or upcoming surgery, should use it with caution.
In addition to herbal remedies, we can say that it is important to fight infections through lifestyle choices. So, we should get a quality sleep, limit sugar consumption, exercise on regular basis, and reduce stress as well.