Antibiotics May Not be the Best First Line of Defense!

Antibiotics May Not be the Best First Line of Defense!
by Laurie S. Roth-Donnell/ Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner

Do you consider antibiotics as your last resort when feeling ill and fighting a flu bug or infection? For over 50 years, antibiotics were the front line defense offered up by your family physician. Studies have shown that 98% of those infections (many being viruses that do not respond at all to antibiotics) would have also likely responded to alternative therapy in conjunction with basic self care that includes plenty of rest, healthy diet and lots of fluids. Today bacteria and viruses have evolved into super bugs where mainstream antibiotics no longer kill the germ, it just mutates.

For centuries, the following natural cures have been used to stimulate the human healing system or assist in fighting these germs.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is documented to lower LDL cholesterol, but may also reduce blood pressure, kills fungi, protects against blood clots, heart disease and cancer, has antimicrobial properties, helps with chest infections, and is an excellent source of manganese. It is also a very good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. In addition, garlic is a good source of protein and thiamin (vitamin B1), as well as the minerals phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, iron and copper. Garlic offers anti-oxidant protection with vitamin C, which also aids against cardio vascular disease, prevention of heart disease and lower levels of homocysteine. It protects against cancer and heavy metal toxicity from exposure to selenium. Its general properties are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral and may lower the risk of colon cancer. Garlic is also excellent in fighting Candida yeast. Simply eat one clove of raw garlic each morning for 10 days to kick out a bug! Also, try chasing the garlic with a jigger of raw vinegar and then a glass of fresh water.

Grapefruit Seed Extract:
A grapefruit bioflavonoid concentrate works well to help knock out a cold. Grapefruit seed extract is a bioflavonoid concentrate; taken at the first symptom of an infection, it will help knock it out. Take one 100 mg tablet every four to five hours or a few drops of the liquid. Women have reported that grapefruit seed extract therapy will effectively cure urinary tract infections.

The herb Echinacea, sometimes combined with goldenseal in formulas, is an effective immune stimulant, but works best when used early on in an infection. It may trigger allergic reactions, so if you take a dose and feel worse, stop taking it!

Olive Leaves

Olive leaves have been used medicinally for centuries to treat fever, malaria, colds, and fungal infections. Modern research shows that a bitter constituent of olive leaves called oleuropein has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal effects. The best way to take olive leaf as a supplement is as an extract in capsule or liquid form.

American Indians have a long history of using Elderberries, primarily for the treatment of infections. Elderberries contain anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids that have been shown in test tube studies to inhibit viral growth. Specifically, elderberry flavonoids can stifle the activity of a protein needed by the flu virus to multiply and spread. It is no surprise that elderberry is especially effective against viral infections such as the flu and the common cold.

As always, check these ideas out with your primary care physician and have a Healthy New Year!

Prescription Alternatives, Earl L. Mindell
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray, ND.