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It’s clear modern science has seen exponential growth within the past century. This has fortunately lead to advances in modern medicine, which have helped save countless lives.
Unfortunately, we are still caught in the middle of a biological war on a microscopic scale – with our bodies as the battlefield.
Just as the human race has fought for its existence, so have other bacterial organisms – some harmless, some quite the opposite. The discovery and production of antibiotic medicine means that bacteria are learning to fight back to ensure their survival.
So what are the easiest ways to overpower antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Perhaps a stereotypical list of your doctor’s most common recommendations: plenty of rest, regular exercise, a nutritious diet and correctly taking the prescribed dose of medicine provided (to help prevent reproduction of resistant bacteria).
But many are also finding that turning to herbal alternatives provides an extra boost to the body’s immune system. Considering these methods have been used well before the invention of antibiotic medicine, here are five worth looking into:
1. Oil of Oregano
This is an antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic natural remedy to ease the pain or inflammation of some of the body’s most common discomforts. In diluted amounts, it can be used topically to treat itching and irritation, even having a strong effect on staph infections. Ingesting only a few drops has also been known to improve gastrointestinal systems. It’s important to remember that oil of oregano is something that is found in a nutrition or natural health store – you won’t get the same effects from oregano you can buy with the rest of your groceries.
Though there have not been a large number of scientific studies done on the effectiveness of goldenseal, it has been used by Native Americans for a long list of common ailments, including those that affect the skin (rashes, acne, itching, herpes sores), the digestive system (stomach aches, hemorrhoids, constipation, intestinal gas), the respiratory system (hay fever, the common cold), and even the eyes (inflammation, conjunctivitis). It has also been believed to cure or strongly alleviate diseases and discomforts that naturally come along with being female – such as menstruation and urinary tract infections. When combined with echinacea, it is theorized to become increasingly effective in strengthening the body’s immune system altogether.
Eating two to four cloves of raw garlic (cooking it will make a delicious meal, but will cause it to lose its medicinal value) will boost your immune system, helping keep the viruses, fungi and bacteria in the body at bay. Chock-full of antioxidants, it has been known to fight the flu, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and may improve the healthy glow of your skin. However, as with anything we consume, garlic should be consumed in moderation. It has the tendency to work as a blood thinner, so ingesting too much could be destructive to your health.
4. Manuka Honey
Originating from New Zealand, Manuka honey has a positive effect on internal ailments such as ulcers, heartburn, indigestion, and sore throats. In 2007, Manuka honey was granted a 510(k) Clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a wound dressing, which can be applied topically to ease the discomfort of small open wounds, sores, ulcers and burns. Some have even turned to using it to fight plaque. Different brands of Manuka honey will have a UMF (unique Manuka factor) rating of 10 or higher on the bottle – the greater the number, the more powerful its antibacterial properties will be.
Turmeric can be sold as a powder, like what you may find at a grocery store, or purchased as a tablet or capsule at nutrition and natural health stores. An active ingredient in this Indian spice is curcumin (not to be confused with cumin), and as possibly the most powerful component of the turmeric spice, some buyers prefer the purer formulas of curcumin than the whole herb itself. Lab studies have suggested that it has anti-carcinogenic properties, slowing the growth of cancer and tumor cells. Other studies are being done to see if it helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, depression and increases success in kidney transplants.