(NaturalHealth365) Most of us are aware that antibiotics are powerful drugs that fight bacteria-related infections with harmful side effects. Unfortunately, in today’s society of pill taking, we use too many antibiotics with an increasing danger of antibiotic resistance. The problem is further compounded with antibiotics found in factory foods like, dairy and meat products.
According to the CDDEP, (The Center of Disease Dynamics, Economics, & Policy) the United States is one of the highest user of antibiotics – ranking fifth in the world.
How the wrong diet makes antibiotics useless
Heavy prescription, abuse and unintentional ingestion of antibiotic-based foods are the primary cause of resistance to antibiotics. This is emerging as one of the most serious public health problems of our time. Although antibiotics can eliminate infectious conditions, their continuous use is shown to build resistance to the antibiotic drug.
The harmful bacteria in the body get accustomed to the therapeutic levels of antibiotic drugs and stop responding to the drug. In other words, an antibiotic drug even at its high potency cannot stop a bacterial growth and becomes incapable of treating an underlying infection.
In fact, researchers suggest that almost every kind of bacterium has adapted itself to show resistance to the antibiotic drug treatment.
What are the potential dangers of antibiotic resistance?
Destroys healthy bacteria – the population of healthy bacteria in the gut is decreased to a smaller number creating an imbalance in the gut eco-system resulting frequent illness, indigestion and poor nutrient absorption.
Infection spreads faster – an antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads like a wild fire to others in the family or neighborhood threatening an entire community with a new strain of infection.
Complicates treatment – because the strain is more virulent, patient does not respond to heavy doses of drugs. The treatment becomes more difficult and expensive.
Death due to infection – the underlying infection remains untreated posing severe threat to other organs and in some cases leads to death.
What actions can we take to avoid antibiotic resistance?
1. Avoid the spread of infection in the first place by washing your hands thoroughly.
2. Consume organically grown produce, avoid consuming animal and animal-based products that are fed antibiotics.
3. Choose natural antibiotics like garlic, herbs and vitamin C that have bactericidal properties.
What are natural antibiotics?
Nature has an effective yet a safe answer to bacterial infections through a variety of phytochemicals from different plant parts. These have been used for many centuries in traditional medicine system for a treatment of a variety of conditions.
Natural antibiotics act in a unique mechanism – in addition to its bactericidal action. They stimulate the immune system, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties which inhibit the growth of bacteria as well as scavenge them.
What are some of my options?
Vitamin C: This water-soluble vitamin is a potent antioxidant and anti-infective agent. Abundant in all fresh fruits, especially the citrus variety, vitamin C can be consumed liberally in the diet in its natural state.
If considering a vitamin C supplement the recommended dosage is 1-3 grams per day for healthy individuals. But, if you’re suffering from a bacterial or viral issue – much more vitamin C may be required for a short period of time.
Oregano oil: The oil of oregano leaves is a powerful anti-infective agent and natural antibiotic. It has been shown to be effective against harmful bacteria, yeast and viruses.
Most of the oregano oils in the market are usually a blend of other oils. The common dose recommendation is 2 -3 drops 3 – 4 times daily. If consuming capsules a dose of 100 – 150 mg per capsule per day is recommended.
Olive leaves: Olive leaves are known for its anti-microbial properties and analgesic effects. The active ingredient oleuropein is responsible for its therapeutic effects. Olive leaves are low in toxicity and the recommended safe dosage for an adult is 25 mg per day twice daily for maintaining health.
Ginger: The active components in ginger gingerols, zingerone and shogaol are linked to its anti-bacterial effects. Additionally it is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent and used in Ayurvedic system of medicine as a pain reliever. Ginger is a fantastic therapeutic food that can be included in daily diet as part of a menu. As little as 2 – 3” of ginger added to a dish shredded, crushed or cooked will take care of the daily needs.
Turmeric: This is a culinary staple in Indian cuisine and can be consumed safely at an amount of 1 to 2 teaspoon per day added to a recipe. Turmeric is known for its remarkable bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and anti-carcinogenic effect. If considering a supplement, 500 grams consumed in a fat-soluble base facilitates its absorption.
Garlic: There are plenty of studies that demonstrate the powerful antibacterial effect of garlic. One study showed that natural spices of garlic exhibited potent anti-bacterial effect. According to the researchers of this study garlic showed effect on multi-drug pathogens and can be used for treating drug-resistant microbial diseases.
For effective antibiotic effects, garlic needs to be crushed, exposed to air for few minutes and consumed raw. If using a supplement, consume a garlic extract with at least 1.3% alliin at a dose of 600 – 1200 mg per day.
With antibiotic resistance on the rise at an alarming rate, it seems wise to turn to natural and healthier alternative for fighting bacterial infections. It is also important to remember that we need to consume organic, natural and antibiotic-free products for improving overall health and make a conscious effort to avoid unnecessary ingestion of antibiotics – which can damage our digestive system and immune function.
Horn C. Olive leaf to fight infection. Natural Health 2000;30:40.
Karuppiah P, Rajaram S. Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinale rhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Aug;2(8):597-601.
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