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Antiseptics, Antibiotics and Antifungals
Since the discovery of the first antibiotic compounds, their use has skyrocketed. This is not a positive development. Our bodies have an inbuilt system for dealing with pathogens - the immune system - and many current treatment patterns ignore this natural method of defence. There appears to have developed an unnecessary dependence on antibiotics to treat ailments that can be easily cured by the body itself.
Conventional antibiotics are commonly prescribed by doctors for conditions where they are not directly indicated. For example, antibiotics are still commonly prescribed for viral infections, upon which they have absolutely no effect at all (beyond preventing the possibility of a secondary bacterial infection).
Antibiotics are often prescribed for very minor bacterial infections, where they are undoubtedly effective, but often unnecessary. Exactly why this happens is unclear, but studies indicate it arises from both the healer's desire to "do something", and the patient's unstated but still obvious desire for a "medical" cure.
This is not to say that pharmaceutical antibiotics and antifungals have no place in treating illness. They are fantastically powerful drugs, which have been used to great effect to save millions of lives. No, the point is simply that they are overprescribed. This undesirable state of affairs has a number of undesirable results. Firstly, antibiotics wipe out the body's own natural populations of bacteria, enabling opportunistic infection by more lethal microbes. Secondly, with repeated exposure to antibiotics and antifungals, bacteria and fungi develop resistance to the drugs. This is an alarming trend which has resulted in drug resistant strains of some very nasty pathogens (as has happened in the case of tuberculosis).
As a result of the above, it is desirable to treat minor infections naturally. This method aids and assists the immune system, instead of depleting it, as does conventional therapy with antibiotic and antifungal preparations.
So how then can one treat an infection without resorting to the use of standard antibiotics and antifungals? There are a number of highly effective natural remedies with antibiotic and antifungal properties. Not only are they generally safe and without the ill effects of pharmaceutical compounds, they are readily available and inexpensive. Some of the simplest are described below.
Natural Home Remedies
Garlic contains allicin, a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal compound which gives garlic its hot and burning flavor. Contemporary studies reveal that it is a potent antimicrobial agent that effectively destroys drug-resistant bacteria. Raw garlic is a natural food that destroys harmful intestinal bacteria, leaving the intestinal flora intact to digest food.
Garlic can also be used on the outside of your body, as an external topical application. This works wonderfully for killing fungus infections such as athlete's foot, vaginal yeast infections, and oral thrush. It is also effective as a treatment against staphylococcus and E. coli bacteria.
As strange as this sounds, salt water is a highly effective antibiotic. Apart from organisms evolved to live in salty water, it is highly lethal to a large variety of common microbes. Next time you need to treat a sore throat, try gargling twice a day with a solution made from a teaspoon of common table salt dissolved in 300ml of lukewarm water. You will be amazed at the efficacy of this basic treatment. It goes without saying that salt water can be used as a topical treatment for other bacterial infections - just apply to the affected part for a few minutes at least twice a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca alternifolia, or Australian tea tree oil as it is more commonly known, is a native Australian plant with many remarkable properties. The natural oil derived from this plant is a powerful antimicrobial agent effective against both bacteria and fungi, and as such is recommended as the agent of choice in the topical treatment of infection.
Cases have been reported where the application of tea tree oil healed an infection that had survived a twelve-month course of antibiotics.
Tea tree oil has successfully been used to treat athlete's foot, acne, fungal infection of the nails, dandruff, yeast infection, boils and lice.
Goldenseal root is a highly effective antiseptic and antibiotic. It contains a compound called berberine which kills a wide range of germs including many types of bacteria, fungi such as those that cause candida (yeast) infections and ringworm, viruses, and various parasites such as tapeworms and Giardia. Berberine may also activate white blood cells, making them more effective at fighting infection and strengthening the immune system. For these reasons, berberine is used as an antibiotic and disinfectant, both externally and internally.
The usual dose is a third of a teaspoon with 1 glass of water; 3 times daily
Note that like pharmaceutical antibiotics, Goldenseal should not be taken over a long period of time because it will also affect healthy bacteria. One can compensate by adding yoghurt or Acidophilus to one's diet.
Echinacea is another excellent herb which both stimulates the immune system and inhibits growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi. These properties make Echinacea the ideal herb for treating infection and reducing inflammation.
Over 500 scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of this herb.
Echinacea is most often used for ear aches, strep throat and lymph gland problems. This herb is also known for helping to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and for lessening the duration of the illness during cold and flu season.
Tabebuia Impetiginosa (Pau d'arco bark) contains the active constituents Lapachol and Beta-lapachone, so known as naphthaquinones. Laboratory tests have demonstrated that both Lapachol and Beta-lapachone have anti-fungal properties as potent as the common antifungal drugs used to balance yeast levels in the body. Boil two tablespoons of bark at a medium setting for 20 minutes in half a liter of water; drink half a cup 6 times daily.
More than 4,000 years after Egyptians began applying honey to wounds, it is now being sold for regular wound care all over the world. Also called Leptospermum honey, manuka honey comes from hives of bees that collect nectar from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand. Manuka honey is a particularly potent type of honey that experts say kills germs and speeds healing.
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Disclaimer: The material on this website is not intended for diagnosing, prescribing or for the treatment of any disease. If you require diagnosing, prescribing or treatment of any disease you are advised to consult your doctor or a health care professional.
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