by PF Louis
November 17, 2011
A close friend was put into a long term antibiotic regimen for a
very unusual and difficult bacterial chronic lung infection. She
started noticing nerve pains, arthritic symptoms and insomnia after
a few months despite dosing up heavily with probiotics.
After visiting an amoxicillin forum, she
discovered that many others had similar side effects.
probiotics, and the medical monopoly paradigm
Almost everyone who knows anything about gut flora knows it's wise
to take probiotic dense foods and supplements during and after
antibiotic use. But when is the last time an MD gave that
recommendation when he or she wrote up an antibiotic prescription
for you, a family member or close friend?
The same person mentioned earlier told various MDs in the clinic her
problems; they all frowned and shrugged. They had never heard of her
side effects, which were corroborated by several amoxicillin users
on a forum.
Still, not one doctor asked if she was
probiotics. In all likelihood, her
case is not an unusual one.
A big bugaboo in medical circles is antibiotic resistant microbes
MRSA, the virulent staph resistant
bacteria that has become a bit of an epidemic. The medicos blame
frequent and overused antibiotics that bacteria have evolved
But they keep prescribing antibiotics,
even for long term dosage.
Meat and dairy consumers who don't bother to select organic dairy or
meat from grass fed livestock are taking in antibiotics constantly.
Antibiotics are injected into livestock and also put into their
Subsequently, humans who consume those animal-products are taking in
the same antibiotics. Despite pressure, The FDA has thus far
refused to ban antibiotics from animal feed.
The ostensible use of antibiotics for preventing disease in
overcrowded factory farms has concealed a secret that is even worse:
the antibiotics make the livestock
fatter more quickly by destroying their probiotic intestinal
factory farmers love that!
intestinal flora destruction invites physical and mental issues
Getting fat faster happens with humans on antibiotics too, for the
same reason it happens with farm animals, gut flora destruction.
Besides being important for digestion, probiotic intestinal flora
have more than one immunity function.
The first is to prevent the bad bacteria or fungal microbes from
getting out of hand. Too much Candida yeast and not enough friendly
bacteria create Candida overgrowth, which is a quality of life
damper and potentially a symbiotic haven for cancer cells.
Though probiotic bacteria do go after pathogens, the obvious good
guy bad guy game goes beyond direct conflict.
Even from the gut, probiotic bacteria plays a role in triggering
disease-killing cells in the blood as well as serving other immune
regulating functions in both blood and organ cells. Digestion is
very important, but gut probiotic microbes go beyond digestion and
make up to 80% of our immune system.
Recently, a small number of medical pioneers have come across
evidence that the rising numbers of mental disorders can be traced
to intestinal flora imbalances. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
has based her pediatric practice in the UK on fixing all kinds of
behavioral and eating disorders by using diet and probiotics to
restore gut health.
She had discovered what she calls GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
by curing her son of autism. That's way beyond the medical monopoly
paradigm! You can find more on her work
Antibiotics may have their place and time but it's not everywhere
or all of the time. Many consider it wise to opt for
herbal antibiotics as an alternative.
Herbal Antibiotic Alternatives
by Pina LoGiudice, ND,
Director, Inner Source Health
June 09, 2011
The Bad News -
Antibiotics Are Not Working
Since the accidental discovery of penicillin in 1929 by Alexander
Fleming, antibiotic use has saved countless lives.
Unfortunately, antibiotics are losing
their effectiveness. Today, modern medicine faces the challenge of
antibiotic resistance, thanks to the overuse of antibiotic
medication. One example is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
which now accounts for approximately 20% of serious infections in
some areas of the United States.
MRSA is also now becoming resistant to
vancomycin, the choice medication
for this serious problem.
Interestingly though, back in the 1930s,
Fleming lectured throughout the
world, warning that less than judicious use of these drugs could
lead to problems. He cautioned us not to give penicillin unless
there was a clear need for it. Fleming noted in his early
experimentation clear evidence of bacteria’s ability to get around
This is because bacteria can quickly
change its machinery to avoid the killing effects of the
Besides overuse, the addition of low-dose antibiotics in our animal
feed is also to blame. Antibiotics are employed not so much to stop
infection, but to make the animal grow faster artificially.
Way back in 1977, the FDA concluded that
adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed raised the risk of
Despite this knowledge, we still
continue this practice today.
The Good News
- There Are Antibiotic Herbal Alternatives
We can help the situation and avoid antibiotic drugs by harvesting
the powerful substances nature has given to us.
Both animals and man have harnessed the
medicinal power of herbs for at least as long as history has been
recorded. Plant alternatives use different mechanisms of action.
As such, herbal antibiotic choices can
help without further contributing to resistance issues.
Many common ailments such as,
...do not necessitate drugs in most
Many times, these can be effectively
treated with the right lifestyle changes and botanical medicine
- Start With a Good Lifestyle
Antibiotics kill the vast majority of the bacteria, but it is
up to our body’s immune system to finish the job and get rid of the
rest of the bugs.
To use a military analogy, our immune
system acts like the “ground troops” that come in to get germs that
are still entrenched after the antibiotic “carpet bombing” has
cleared out the larger mass.
Harnessing the healing power your body possesses requires taking
good care of yourself. It is important to remember that in most
cases, bacteria can take over only when the environment allows.
My recommendations to keep your immune
system strong include:
Getting quality sleep (at least
Eating healthy whole foods and
avoiding sugar intake
Practicing relaxation, such as
meditation or yoga
relationships and following your passions
All of the above are important for a
These will help you prevent an infection
- and help treat one most effectively if it occurs. These lifestyle
recommendations will also help herbal antibiotic alternatives work
Alternatives - Four Herbs to Know
The following plant medicines are very effective choices in helping
us avoid pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Along with many other botanicals, these
have been used to fight infections for thousands of years. I see
them work everyday in my own practice. They have proven to be quite
safe when used in the short term at standard dosage.
When used in conjunction with the
aforementioned health recommendations, these can be valuable allies
to keep in your natural medicine cabinet.
Hailing from the northwest
United States, goldenseal is a potent antibiotic, well known
to help treat sore throats as well as digestive infections
which can cause diarrhea.
The Native Americans taught us
that goldenseal has the ability to soothe the linings of the
mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and
genitourinary tracts while effectively clearing bacterial
A few drops locally can stop a
sore throat in its tracks.
Oregon Grape (Berberis
Also from the Northwest, Oregon
grape contains a substance known as berberine, which can
stop bacteria from adhering to the walls of the intestine
and urinary tract.
When used as a tea, it is a
wonderful way to wash away urinary tract infections; it can
be used in dried capsules or liquid tincture to treat
digestive tract conditions like infectious diarrhea.
This Asian herb with thousands
of years of traditional use is now being proven through
modern research as being able to disrupt the quorum-sensing
system of bacteria.
This system helps bacteria
attach to each other and thrive as a community. Andrographis
basically helps break up the bacterial “party.” As a result,
it is beneficial to treat symptoms of upper respiratory
tract infections and sinus problems.
Numerous studies report its
ability to reduce upper respiratory infection symptoms, such
as fatigue, sore throat, cough and headache.
The sweetness of Manuka honey is
already being used in hospitals in protocols for wound care.
You can place the honey directly
on gauze and cover the wound. Typically, the bandage is
replaced three times a day. Although studies show most honey
has antibacterial activity, manuka honey seems to be
especially potent due to a compound called methylglyoxal.
In fact, studies have confirmed
its activity against a wide range of medically important
bacteria, including MRSA.
Always Be Safe
It is important to note that there are cases where conventional drug
antibiotics are still be the safest choice.
For example, cases of sepsis (blood
infections), certain pneumonias, kidney infection and excessively
high fever may require a potent drug antibiotic. A naturopathic
doctor or holistic physician well-versed in botanicals can help you
decide which herb is appropriate or when a drug is needed.
It Is Up to Each of Us
To truly slow and eventually reverse antibiotic resistance, it will
require us to stop using antibiotics unnecessarily on an individual
level, and as a world community by ceasing the use of antibiotics as
growth enhancers in animal feed.
Using herbal medicines like goldenseal, Oregon grape, andrographis
and manuka honey can help us make natural choices for our best
medical care - and we can then save the drug antibiotics for when
they are really needed.
May 31, 2008
There are many herbs that
are considered natural antibiotics. These herbs are very
useful to know about, and keep on hand in your medicine
cabinet at home.
Most herbal antibiotics are
extremely useful for treating almost any kind of
infection or illness. They are very inexpensive, as
well, and the gelcap supplements can be stored for a
year or more at room temperature.
Garlic is one of the most powerful antibiotic
herbs that you should always keep handy. It can be
purchased in gelcap or liquid form for easy medicinal
use, and fresh raw garlic can be used easily also.
Garlic contains a natural compound known as
Allicin, which is more
powerful than standard Penicillin.
Garlic does an excellent job of fighting infections both
inside and out. It can be taken orally to fight
bacterial infections inside your body, such as a throat
infection, ear infection, sinus infection, kidney
infection, bladder infection, etc..
Garlic can be used as an external topical application as
well. It does an excellent job of killing fungal
infections like vaginal yeast infections, athletes foot,
and oral thrush. Garlic is also an effective treatment
against E. coli bacteria and staphylococcus .
Echinacea is another
excellent antibiotic herb, and it is particularly useful
for glandular infections and problems.
Echinacea is most often used
for strep throat, ear aches, and lymph gland problems.
It's also effective for helping to prevent cold and flu
symptoms from becoming too severe, plus it shortens the
length of sick time during cold and flu season.
Golden seal is another very powerful natural
antibiotic herb which works well for fighting almost any
kind of infection.
It is usually used
internally for throat, sinus, and ear infections. It's
also excellent for any other infections including
kidney, bladder and yeast.
Unlike garlic, putting Golden Seal on a yeast or fungus
infection externally doesn't normally kill the
infection, but it can help prevent infections in cuts
and scrapes. This herb produces the best infection
fighting and bacteria killing results when taken orally.
Kelp is an herb not
commonly thought of as an antibiotic, but it acts as one
in your body because it stimulates your thyroid and
helps it to produce more iodine. Iodine kills bad
bacteria that causes sickness inside your body.
Kelp is also effective for treating strep throat when
used in tea form. Since this herb is naturally high
iodine, drinking it in tea form will coat the throat,
allowing the iodine to kill the strep bacteria.
The human body has a harder time while benefiting from