Antibiotics are one of the few things proponents of pharmaceutical medicine "can always get us" with. Their question: But if you have a serious infectious condition, surely you'll accept an antibiotic. Sometimes we have to concede - antibiotics seem the answer.
But does it have to be the pharmaceutical kind, the ones that kill not only a pathogen but also all the beneficial bacteria which we live in perfect symbiosis with? We actually need those little bugs to properly digest our food. And yes, there are alternatives.
Here is an article in the UK Health Sciences Institute Alert, forwarded through Jennie Gorman, which summarizes the information on four natural antibiotic alternatives, just to give ourselves a choice - and so we can be more specific next time about what kind of antibiotic we might prefer to use.
From: Health Sciences Institute e-Alert
Rachel Linkie, UK
10 October 2003
Lately, HSI members have shown a great deal of interest in the subject of antibiotics and the natural alternatives to pharmaceutical antibiotics. So in yesterday's e-Alert, I asked US HSI Panellist, Dr Allan Spreen, to give us his insights into the antibiotic question. Today, Dr. Spreen concludes his comments with some very useful advice for anyone seeking natural supplements that support the body's defence systems.
Finishing off the comments he made yesterday, Dr. Spreen noted that while bacteria contain the genetic material to resist synthetic drugs, this does not seem to be the case with natural agents that have antibacterial properties.
And, as Dr. Spreen pointed out, "We hear little about them because of the fact that they are not patentable and therefore have no profit potential, at least nowhere near the level drug companies desire."
But we're going to hear all about them now - compliments of Dr. Spreen.
The big 4
There are four natural anti-bacterial (and anti-viral) agents that have a lot of what many would call "anecdotal evidence" behind them. They actually have more than that, but getting them legitimately studied may have to wait until the fears over bacterial resistance put our backs hard against a wall with no place else to go.
Dr Fred Klenner, in Reidsville, North Carolina in the US, was using intravenous ascorbic acid (vitamin C) against viruses, serious bacteria and even toxins such as snakebites as early as the 1930's. His patient records showed amazing successes, witnessed by hospital personnel, while most outsiders (who refused to review his data) labelled him a quack.
Those who did [review the data], such as Drs. Jungeblut and Zwerner, Otani, Ormerod, and others, all came away impressed that his work was both accurate and therapeutic. He treated diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus, and in the middle of a polio epidemic in North Carolina he was considered to have "cured" 60 out of 60 cases of infantile polio. He even published his findings, but since polio was 'incurable' nobody picked up on it enough to even challenge it with a study.
Dr Robert Cathcart, probably the most experienced therapist currently using very high doses of ascorbic acid, has been using the nutrient for decades to get AIDS patients back on their feet from his clinic in Los Altos, California.
Seeds & leaves
GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT
"Citricidal," a natural antibiotic made from an extract of grapefruit seed, was developed from the observation that something in grapefruit (though not in other citrus fruits) keeps bacteria at bay for extended periods of time.
Bio/chem Research, of Lakeport, California, has done extensive research on the antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties of this amazing substance.
Paying for approval through the FDA is out of the question, but the extract has been tested against a huge list of pathologic organisms. It is a popular agent for campers to add to water of questionable quality (everyone should carry some for emergencies), and has been used by nutritional therapists for years against yeast. Resistance has not occurred against the substance, and it's even biodegradable.
It's just too cheap for the big time - though it's generally available in many health food stores.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT
This amazing substance, member of a group of plant compounds called flavonoids, comes from the plant Olea europaea. The extract is called Oleuropein, and has long been known for its anti-microbial properties, which are assumed to offer protection to the tree against predatory organisms.
Also called calcium elenolate, the substance has been officially tested as an anti-microbial agent, with sufficient power to achieve a published status in peer-review journals.
Olive leaf is even well known as an antioxidant. I strongly recommend keeping some to hand.
The good silver
This is by far the most controversial agent in the armamentarium of 'natural' antibacterial agents. That may be because there is no known use for the silver ion in human biochemistry, which may in fact be the reason for its benefits. Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's research has found that bacteria have an enzyme system that is disrupted by the presence of silver ions, causing the organism to die.
The effect is hardly a secret: water filters today are impregnated with silver to take advantage of the anti-bacterial effects. It was also commonly used as about the only hope against severe infections prior to the advent of antibiotics in the 1940's.
The word 'colloid' is significant, representing very tiny amounts of the substance, as very tiny particles, suspended in a liquid. This answers a common argument about colloidal silver possibly causing a known side effect of silver overuse called argyria, which can cause a greying colouration of the skin. Amounts needed for antibacterial effect tend to be far below doses that cause argyria. Dr. Wright suggests adult doses of "1 tablespoon of colloidal silver at a 40 ppm (parts per million) concentration at the first signs of any infection and 1-2 teaspoons three to four times daily until the infection is gone. Then stop!"
We'll probably never see such low-profit ideas reach the level of accepted conventional medical therapy. However, it might be worth everyone's while to get more informed about each of them in case the day actually arrives that the conventional armamentarium runs dry.
Oil Of Oregano Rivals Modern Antibiotic Drugs
(older article, but interesting nevertheless)
Oil pressed from oregano leaves that contain the active ingredient carvacrol may be an effective treatment against sometimes drug-resistant bacterial infection. Georgetown University researchers have found that oil of oregano appears to reduce infection "as effectively as traditional antibiotics." Oil of oregano at relatively low doses was found to be efficacious against Staphylococcus bacteria and was comparable in its germ-killing properties to antibiotic drugs such as streptomycin, pencillin and vancomycin.
Scientists Identify a Secret Ingredient in Honey That Kills Bacteria
A new research published in the July 2010 print edition of the FASEB Journal explains for the first time how honey kills bacteria. Specifically, the research shows that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections.
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday October 14 2003
updated on Thursday December 2 2010
URL of this article:
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