01 Jan 1970 |




Antibiotic resistance

When penicillin was introduced early in the last century it immediately reduced deaths from bacterial infections, and today antibiotics are still saving lives and making possible scores of medical procedures and treatments that would be dangerous  or even deadly  without them.

But will they for much longer ? That’s the question experts are asking because of a phenomenon called antibiotic resistance. In layman’s terms, antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria evolve to become resistant to the drugs which once sent them packing. When the drugs no longer work to kill bacteria, routine medical procedures become riskier.
Bacteria that have developed resistance to many antibiotics include strains of streptococcus and staphylococcus. One example you may have heard of, which has caused lots of problems in hospitals, is called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. Infections which are caused by these bacteria are now much harder to treat.
So why is antibiotic resistance happening now ? The NHS says that it is being driven by our overuse of these essential medicines. The more antibiotics we all take, the more opportunity bacteria are given to evolve resistance to them, especially if we don’t take them in accordance with instructions from the GP. That’s why a European Antibiotic Awareness Day will be held on November 18 to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics.

And we can all share in the push to use antibiotics more wisely, and slow down the rate of antibiotic resistance. Appropriate use, according to the NHS, means only taking antibiotics as prescribed, taking the entire course (and not stopping when you start feeling well  usually there should be no tablets left in the packet), and not skipping doses or saving some for later.
But we may also need to fundamentally change our attitude towards antibiotics. In a recent survey 90% of GPs said that patients visiting them in surgery expect to be prescribed antibiotics for winter ailments, when in fact, as the NHS pointed out, the drugs have little or no effect with coughs and colds.
Antibiotics simply don’t work for many colds and for most coughs, sore throats and earache. According to the US National Library of Medicine, antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Many common infections are usually caused by viruses. These include respiratory infections such as coughs, colds, bronchitis or the flu.
Another good reason to only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary is because some people suffer from side-effects after taking them. These can include allergic reactions, stomach and bowel problems, nausea and fungal infections.
The good news is that for most winter ailments most people don’t need prescription medicines at all. Most colds, coughs and sore throats can simply be treated with plenty of fluids and plenty of rest. Winter bugs can certainly make us feel poorly, but in the vast majority of cases our bodies will fight them off naturally, and well feel better in a few days or, at most, a week or two.

10 Natural Antibiotics That Fight Infection – What Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know

It is almost instinctual for us to head to the doctor’s office to get a prescription when faced with an infection or other illness. However, the antibiotics often prescribed usually wind up doing much more harm than good, killing off healthy bacteria and the bad pathogens.

While antibiotics do have their place in medicine, why not think about reaching for a natural solution when you can? Here are 10 natural antibiotics that you’ve probably already got around your kitchen.

1. Garlic.

By eating a few cloves of garlic each day, you can effectively fight off all sorts of bacteria, viruses and infections. Studies have even found that garlic can assist in areas as severe as AIDS symptoms, diabetes and high blood pressure

2. Onions.

Onions are closely related to garlic and have similar health benefits, reducing pain and inflammation as well as illnesses like colds and touches of the flu

3. Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Grapefruit seed extract, referred to as GSE, is conventionally used as an anti-microbial compound. It has shown great promise in preventing the growth of various fungi and bacteria, even being recommended for use in bathroom cleaning.

4. Horseradish.

Horseradish gives your body energy; this stuff is potent! Horseradish helps your body defend itself against potential illnesses. It also promotes healthy blood circulation and has antibiotic properties when broken down in the stomach. Horseradish can treat everything from urinary tract infections to kidney stones and bronchitis.

5. Vitamin C.

Vitamin C can be found in a wide variety of fruits including oranges and pineapples. It is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system —that is why orange juice is so relieving when you’ve got a cold.

6. Manuka Honey.

Manuka honey is made by bees in New Zealand and, like other types of honey contains peroxide that gives it its antibiotic properties. This property is present in many other kinds of honey, its just that New Zealand has marketed their honey better than anyone else. It also contains several other antibiotic components that are not found in other types of honey such as methylglyoxal

7. Cinnamon.

Cinnamon can help lower blood sugar in folks dealing with adult onset diabetes tendencies. It also contains antibiotic properties and can help treat yeast infections.

8. Apple-Cider Vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, known to possess anti-biotic properties. It can assist greatly in preventing and relieving a sore throat helping to kill the germs that cause the condition.

9. Ginger.

It is incredibly common for ginger to be used in the treatment of flu and colds. It is also great for treating an upset stomach and for nausea as well as treating muscle and joint pain.

There is a reason to avoid consuming ginger in very large amounts if you are expecting to be pregnant, however; some experts fear it may lead to miscarriage.

10. Eucalyptus.

When placed on the skin, eucalyptus has many antiseptic properties. It has also commonly been used in teas and inhaled to fight coughs, and it is great for killing fungus.