Monday, September 10, 2012

The Rules Of Antibiotic Use + Great Natural Antibiotics

Antibiotics are here to stay . . . and there are times when they are literal life savers!  However, since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, there has been a tendency to overuse these "miracle drugs" and push aside many amazing natural anti-microbial, antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal botanicals, oils, tinctures and homeopathics.  

This rampant overuse has led to the development of new "super bugs" that are now resistant to these same anti-biotics.  As you will see in the article below, bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics when either over prescribed or taken incorrectly.  

So if it becomes necessary to take an antibiotic, please pay attention to these rules . . . and if you want to avoid them, please continue reading after Dr. Cohen's article.  I've provided a list of great natural antibiotics, anti-virals and anti-fungal options!

Suzy-Cohen-1_2Dear Pharmacist,
Recently, when I had some dental work done, the dentist gave me a prescription for antibiotics. By the end of the week, my stomach really hurt. Could antibiotics cause that? –M.S. Sanibel, Florida
Answer: Pretty darned likely! Antibiotics do a great job of killing off just about all the bacteria in your body, including the beneficial ones. You may not be aware that your whole gut is full of bacteria that serve several important functions, including helping you to digest your food and to form important nutrients that your body needs, such as vitamin K and B12. There are more micro-organisms in your intestines than there are cells in your body.
Once the antibiotic sweeps your intestines clean of beneficial bacteria, any stray yeasts that happen to be living in your intestines suddenly have more room to grow and thrive. This can result in an uncomfortable yeast infection. If the yeast is Candida, you could be dealing with the unpleasant effects for years to come. That’s one reason I’m so opposed to unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. The one for your dental work may have been necessary, but please, never ask your doctor for antibiotics to deal with a cold or flu, which are caused by viruses.
Antibiotics zap bacteria, not viruses. Well-meaning doctors cave sometimes and prescribe antibiotics to flu patients who hint for it. Antibiotics are hard on your body for a number of reasons, so unless you really need it, please don’t take it.
Which reminds me, if you do need it, then make sure you completely finish what’s in that bottle. Don’t stop taking the antibiotic as soon as you’re feeling better. There’s a reason. Antibiotics typically kill off the weaker germs first. If you stop too soon, the only survivors will be the tough guys… the ones who fight back with a fury. So you could wind up with a dangerous, antibiotic-resistant infection, and that spells trouble, possibly even hospitalization.
If antibiotics cause nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain, you should let your doctor know. You may be given an alternative medication that your system tolerates better. Stop your antibiotic if you experience symptoms such as itching, hives, or breathing difficulties. These are signs of a dangerous allergic reaction.
People who take antibiotics should also take a dietary supplement called a “probiotic” in between doses of the antibiotic. Good brands contain multiple strains of beneficial bacteria that replace the ones that the antibiotic kills off. You can find over-the-counter probiotics at your health food store. Follow directions on the label and continue for several weeks afterwards if not indefinitely. Some of the more effective (and least allergenic) formulas include Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Plus, or Saccharomyces Boulardii, or New Chapter All-Flora.
Did You Know? Asthmatics with insufficient vitamin D are 50 percent more likely to be hospitalized for an asthma attack.

Garlic has been used worldwide for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. This wonder plant treats everything from a simple earache to pneumonia, MRSA, Helicobacter pylori, the flu and even the black plague.  Garlic's active ingredient allicin is not only an effective antibiotic it is also an effective broad spectrum anti-viral and anti-fungal.  I once met a gentleman from Australia who swallowed 1 small clove of fresh garlic every morning and swore by it!  I think he may have been on to something . . .

A close relative of garlic, onions have also been shown to have excellent antibiotic properties with a history of usage dating back to ancient Rome. There is a long list of beneficial medicinal properties which include: relieves pain, useful as an anti-inflammatory, increases circulation, alleviates angina, relieves persistent coughs associated with colds and flu.  So the next time you are feeling a little under-the-weather, add a few onions to your menu - spring onions and purple onions seem to have the most beneficial attributes, but only by a nose . . . (yes that pun was intended)

This lovely purple prairie flower has been used for centuries to strengthen the immune system and fight a variety of infections.  Native Americans, as well as TCM doctors used  echinacea to treat open wounds, diptheria, cellulitis, blood poisoning, syphilitic lesions and other bacterial-related diseases. Today you can find it in many over-the-counter teas, tinctures and remedies for fighting colds and flu.  Echinacea is a very potent herb and has proven to effectively treat MRSA.  Echinacea is best used for a 2 week possesses the ability to destroy the most virulentbacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus which causes deadly MRSA.

Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is produced from flowering trees in Australia and New Zealand. While it is delicious, this honey should be a staple in your medicine cabinet. Researchers have discovered that Manuka honey applied topically can kill a wide range of pathogens, including MRSA and flesh-eating bacteria. Using a stick or a swab, spread 1 TBS on the cut, scrape or wound and cover with a gauze pad. Change the dressing 3 times per day.

Andrographis has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Extracts from the leaves of the plant have been demonstrated to be effective in a wide variety of ways: it has been used as an antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-typhoid, anti-malarial, anti-hepatitic, anti-thrombogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-snake venom, and an immuno-stimulator. In fact a study conducted at Bastyr University showed a significant rise in the CD4 Lymphocyte level of HIV subjects who were taking 10 mg of the extract daily. It is particularly useful for colds that have settled in the lungs.

Golden Seal 
Golden Seal has a special property that keeps bacteria from adhering to cell walls. This botanical is actually able to prevent strep from colinizing, so it is an excellent treatment for strep throat, and sore throats in general.

Pau D'Arco 
Pau d'Arco is an herb native to South America whose active ingredient lapachol, has been found to be an effective anti-microbial because it relieves a wide range of infections including bacterial, viral and fungal.  It was widely used by the Indians of South America as a way to both strengthen the immune system and fight diseases.  It's best consumed as a tea or tincture.  I highly recommend the tincture for acute situations and the tea to treat chronic conditions.  Combined with honey it becomes almost pleasant as a tea.

Homeopathic Remedies
Notatum - This is a homeopathic preparation of Penicillin Notatum. It's useful for colds and flu associated with both staph and strep, as well as UTI's, herpes zoster, otitis, tonsillitis, respiratory infections and acne.  This is a great one that I use in my private practice often.  It does require that you find a Naturopath or MD that uses SanPharma products.

Aconitum (monkshood) is sometimes called "homeopathic vitamin C" because it is commonly used at the first symptoms of infection (respiratory infection, influenza, sore throat, ear infection, bladder infection). It is indicated when symptoms start rapidly and are intense. Usually, there is a high fever (not higher than 103 degrees), strong thirst, restlessness, and may begin after being chilled or after a sudden fright, anger, or shock.

Belladonna (deadly nightshade) is useful for various types of infections, especially when the person is feverish with flushed, reddened skin and mucous membranes, with palatable feelings of heat radiating off the body. It is indicated when the person's senses are hyperacute, and the person is aggravated by noise, touch, light, or jarring motion. The sick person may be delirious and will tend to experience vivid dreams (children will say that they see ghosts or scary things).

Pulsatilla (windflower) tends to be much more commonly given to women and children for various infections. It is particularly useful for people who are very emotional, moody, and desire sympathy. These people do not tend to have much thirst, even if they have a fever. They feel worse in a warm room and desire open air. If they have a cold or cough, their mucus tends to be thick and yellow or yellow-greenish, and their symptoms are usually worse at night.

Grapefruit Seeds
Be sure to check out one of my blog on  on the use of grapefruit seeds as an antibiotic.

Common Herbs
Here are a few of my earlier blog posts on herbs and common garden flowers that have amazing healing properties.  Simply click and the link will take you to the blog post.

pH 2.5 Ionized Water

This stuff is practically miraculous!  In fact, it has been proven to kill all known microbes within 30 seconds of contact.  It is so effective that I have included it in a booklet I've written entitled, Water Protocols, that will be available on in just a few weeks.    When dealing with cuts, scrapes or wounds, wash them with this water then rinse with pH 11.5 water and spray with pH 5.5 water for unbelievably quick healing times.  The booklet contains specific protocols for sore throats, sinus infections, toenail fungus, colds, acne, eczema, oral care, digestion and so much more!  I'll let you know when it's printed and ready for purchase!

So take time to stock up your natural medicine chest today and you'll be prepared should you need one of these items, because the sooner you begin the treatment of your symptoms the faster your body will spring into action!

Remember the best alternative to all of these is a healthy diet, stress busting activities like meditation and exercise, 7-8 hours of sleep, lots of laughter and proper hydration (preferably with high quality ionized water).

I do hope you found this post helpful,

Dr. P

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