Today’s world is fraught with all kinds of possible emergency situations where a person might not have access to prompt medical care. Between natural disasters, superbugs and the delay of treatment that implementation of Obamacare might cause, it would behoove us to learn of and have access to natural emergency medicine.
CBS Sunday Morning, Jan 27, 2013 aired a segment on Superbugs that should have us all concerned. Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Robert Moellering of Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has devoted more than 40 years to studying Superbugs. When asked about the threat posed by superbugs, (antibiotic resistant bacteria) he said, “We are very, very close to the edge of having totally non-treatable bacteria, putting us back to the pre-antibiotic era, where the mortality rates were very grim. It’s a ticking time bomb because the bacteria are developing resistance mechanisms more rapidly than we can find new antibiotics. It is, in a very real sense, an emergency. A few of the superbugs are already resistant to everything, and we’re sure to see more of these as time goes on.”
According to a landmark “Antibiotic Resistance Threat Report” published by the CDC2 earlier this year, 2 million American adults and children become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and at least 23,000 of them die as a direct result of those infections. Even more die from complications.
According to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), just one organism—methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA—kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide.3
This death toll is really just an estimate, and the real number is likely much higher. The true extent of superbug infections remains unknown because no one is tracking them—at least not in the US.
Between the years of 1993 and 2005, the number of Americans hospitalized due to the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) skyrocketed from about 2,000 to 370,000.
Currently, MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant infections kill about 60,000 Americans annually, and account for billions of dollars in health care costs.2 Antibiotic-resistant disease is not the only danger associated with the misuse of these drugs. Excessive exposure to antibiotics also takes a heavy toll on your gastrointestinal health, which can predispose you to virtually any disease.
The bottom line is, if ALL antibiotics fail, it will in effect mark an end to modern medicine as we know it—and we are quickly heading in that direction.
Common illnesses such as bronchitis or strep throat may turn into deadly sepsis. Surgeries previously considered low risk or “routine,” such as hip replacements, might suddenly be too risky without antibiotics. And complex surgeries like organ transplants would essentially not be survivable.
What can we do?
The impending superbug crisis has a three-prong solution:
- Better infection prevention, with a focus on strengthening your immune system naturally
- More responsible use of antibiotics for people and animals, with a return to biodynamic farming and a complete overhaul of our food system
- Innovative new approaches to the treatment of infections from all branches of science, natural as well as allopathic
There are some promising new avenues of study that may result in fresh ways to fight superbugs. For example, Dutch scientists have discovered a way to deactivate antibiotics with a blast of ultraviolet light before bacteria have a chance to adapt, and before the antibiotics can damage your good bacteria.13
But for now, we must use what is available to us and thankfully, there are a number of alternative ways to treat infection.
In nature’s infinite wisdom, several highly effective substances exist with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, all able to protect the human body safely and with deep healing powers. You don’t have to go much farther than the refrigerator or your pantry cupboard to find safe, delicious foods and herbs to eradicate the most virulent bacteria and viruses.
The following foods and herbs are in my Top 5 Ultimate Preparedness Natural Antibiotics that everyone should have in their Medicine Chest at all times!
One of the most powerful antiseptics known to man is raw, ie unpasteurized, unfiltered honey. Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin.
Now the use of honey in wound care is regaining popularity again, as researchers are determining exactly how honey can help fight serious skin infections.
Five years ago, the FDA authorized the first honey-based medical product for use in the US. Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.
When considering using honey for the treatment of wounds, it’s extremely important to understand that there’s a major difference between raw honey—and especially Manuka honey, which is in a class of its own—and the highly processed “Grade A” type honey you find in most grocery stores. The latter is more akin to high fructose corn syrup, which is more likely to increase infection, and should never be used to treat topical wounds! (It also will not offer you the same health benefits as raw honey when consumed.)
Manuka honey, on the other hand, is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), and clinical trials have found this type of honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:
- MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- MSSA (methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
- VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
Russian surgeons, prior to the advent of antibiotics, applied raw honey to wounds after surgery, finding that infection was curbed and the rate of healing increased. They used honey to draw pus out of wounds and applied it to infected tissues, such as boils and cysts, successfully destroying these infections. Currently, British doctors are using honey on open surgical wounds, as they too, have found that it prevents infection and speeds the healing of wounds. Experiments using honey on boils, dog bites, cuts, bed sores and abrasions produced positive results. It is useful for even the most severe burns, again for preventing infection, speeding healing and prevent scar formation. Scientists were pleased by the fact that the treated bacteria didn’t build up any resistance, rendering the honey ineffective.
Not to mention how wonderful honey is for coughs when combined with cinnamon, or in making a hot toddy with lemon juice and hot water or tea.
(How to Survive Disasters with Natural Medicine. Cass Ingram, D.O.)
Garlic has the broadest spectrum of any anti-microbial substance that we know of. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral. Some researchers say that one medium sized garlic clove has as much antibacterial power as 100,000 units of penicillin. Because it was used so commonly as an antibiotic by Russian army medics during WW II, it became known throughout all Europe as the “Russian penicillin”. 500 tons of garlic was trucked into Moscow to combat one influenza epidemic in the 1950s. The National Library of Science now lists nearly 150 papers published on garlic’s ability to maintain good health. In various studies, garlic has had positive effects in preventing cancer in animals, improving diabetes; lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing deadly blood clots. In hundreds of experiments, garlic has destroyed the germs that spread such diseases as botulism, tuberculosis, diarrhea, staph, dysentery and typhoid. This wonder plant treats everything from a simple earache to pneumonia, MRSA, Helicobacter pylori, the flu and even the black plague. (Healing Foods from the Bible p 38)
Garlic, in fact, has several hundred therapeutic properties, confirmed by a growing body of scientific research, which you can view directly on GreenMedInfo.com.[i]
The newest research comes from Italy’s University of Pisa. The researchers tested garlic against the infective bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. The research found that all three bacteria species were inhibited by the Garlic extract, which was taken from fresh Garlic bulbs.
This research confirmed another recent study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, and conducted by researchers from King Saud University and India’s Rangasamy College.
This study focused on seven of the most dangerous superbugs – called MDRs or multidrug resistant bacteria. These included E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus cloacae and Bacillus subtilis.
The particular strains used in the study were some of the most multi-drug resistant strains known. Some of the bacteria strains tested against the Garlic and Ginger were resistant to more than 10 different antibiotics. These antibiotics included ampicillin, amoxicillin, amikacin, cephalothin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, clindamycin, co-trimoxazole, erythromycin, gentamycin, kanamycin, methicillin, novobiocin, nalidixic acid, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, penicillin, rifampicin, streptomycin, tetracyclin and vancomycin.
Last year an article was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal showing that garlic was capable of inhibiting a wide range of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis strains.[ii] The authors concluded “The use of garlic against MDR-TB may be of great importance regarding public health.” Garlic’s anti-infective properties do not end with MDR-TB, as it has been demonstrated to inhibit the following pathogens as well:
- Amoeba Entamoeba histolytica (parasite)
- Dermatophytoses (a type of topical fungal infection)
- Haemophilus Influenzae
- Helicobacter Pylori
- Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
- Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus A. (MRSA)
- Parainfluenza Virus
- Peridontal Infection
- Pneumococcal Infections
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Streptococcus Mutans
- Streptococcus Infections: Group A
- Streptococcus Infections: Group B
- Streptococcus pyrogenes
- Thrush (oral fungal infection)
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
100% effective at killing dozens of bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeast and other harmful organisms, including Candida, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Streptococcus, and E. coli. It is a non-toxic, broad spectrum antimicrobial that does not suppress the immune system like antibiotics can, nor does it destroy good bacteria. Tests show that GSE is even more effective than colloidal silver, iodine, tea tree oil and Chlorox bleach when tested against E. coli. Many gram negative and gram positive bacteria will be affected by this product.
A recent study done by Microbiologists from the University of Georgia found that GSE was more effective than alcohol and surgical soap when used as a skin disinfectant. The same study found that GSE demonstrates a “wide spectrum of activity,” including antiviral, antimycotic, and antiprotozoan capacities against many bacteria and viruses, including E.Coli.
Another recent study from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grapefruit-seed extract was effective in killing over “800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multi-celled parasites.”² No other naturally-occurring anti-microbial can come close to these results.
Because of it’s unique ability to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites, this powerful product is perfect for first aid as well as keeping clean. It has been found effective for acne, candida, colds, flu, cold sores, cuts and wounds, dandruff, diaper rash, diarrhea, earache, gingivitis, impetigo, poison oak and poison ivy, sinusitis, sore throat, food poisoning and ulcers. GSE is also excellent as a fruit and vegetable wash or meat and poultry wash. Just a few drops even controls mold in humidifiers, vaporizers and water pik units. Add it to laundry or the dishwasher, and it will disinfect clothing, linens, and eating utensils. It even removes warts. (Passport to Survival, Rita Bingham and Natural Defenses againt Bioterrorism by Skye Weintraub, N.D.))
Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years to strengthen the immune system and fight a variety of infections. It increases antibodies and stimulates white blood cells to engulf bacteria and viruses. Traditionally, echinacea was used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, cellulitis, blood poisoning, syphilitic lesions and other bacterial-related diseases. Although it’s mostly used today for fighting colds and flu, this potent herb possesses the ability to destroy the most virulent bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus which causes deadly MRSA.
It is also valuable as an anti-viral-disabling the reverse transcriptase enzyme that is responsible for penetrating the cell membrane and re-writing the dna of that cell to that of the virus, thus replicating itself. Echinacea stops this process as well as stimulates the immune system to attack the virus.
Colloidal silver is the ultimate preparedness first aid product. Colloidal silver is a powerful antibiotic for both internal and topical use. It can treat drug-resistant staph, tuberculosis and the bird flu. In Africa, it is used to treat just about everything, including AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, cholera, and pneumonia. It can be used topically to treat burns, wounds, thrush and other skin infections.
The germicidal and antibacterial properties of colloidal silver were discovered almost a century ago. Numerous clinical cases and anecdotal evidence provides us with the knowledge of the power of colloidal silver to kill bacteria, fungal infections and viruses. In fact, Colloidal Silver kills 650 disease causing organisms. Even though the FDA has tried to discredit the efficacy of this important healing substance, the effects of colloidal silver in the treatment of bacterial diseases such as MRSA, topical wounds, sores and infections speaks for itself.
Use a 5-partspermillion concentration, at a dose of one teaspoon three to four times per day. There have been rare instances of silver overdose resulting in skin and nail discoloration. However, this is from ingesting silver salts, not colloidal silver. Carefully research the product you are buying for is strength and purity and follow the directions for usage to the letter.
Oregano Oil. Wild oregano and oregano oil both fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections, along with boosting your immune system.
Microbiotest Labs conducted an experiment using Oregano oil against the human coronavirus, a category which causes both SARS and the common cold. Using the P73 spice oil blend called Oreganol, viral levels were reduced from 5 million per milliliter to about 100: all in a mere 20 minutes.
Use oregano to help fight acne, allergies, athlete’s foot, insect stings, bronchitis, colds, diarrhea, gum disease, parasites, sinusitis and skin infections. Oregano oil killed 96% of all pneumococcus bacteria. Oregano oil was also shown to eliminate 83% of streptococcus, which is linked with strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, toxic shock syndrome, cystitis, and wound infections. Apply the oil topically as needed. Wild oregano is also available in capsules to take orally as directed.
There are many more natural products available to fight infections of all types. Time and space does not allow me to talk of Tea Tree Oil, Probiotics, Olive Leaf and Bee Propolis which are also very powerful natural medicines to fight infection.
By taking control of your own health and building a strong immune system, you’ll minimize your risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. We have covered the more common ones here. It’s astonishing how readily available these treatments are — and they are inexpensive! You can avoid germ resistance, antibiotic side effects, and long waits at your doctor’s office by allowing Mother Nature to heal you.
Sources for this article available upon request, as well as tips on dosing.
Sara Bumgarner is owner of Sara’s Health Foods in Borger.
…owths(This is not a true infection as everyone has E.coli-always). Iodine and volatile oils such as oregano are great for respiratory overgrowths. Oregabiotic has kept many a patient out of the hospital for pneumonia. Garlic oil will take care of most ear infections. Use Germa Cleanz for
cuts and scrapes. Germa Cleanz kills MRSA,so should be in every athlete’s locker. MRSA can kill a seemingly healthy college athlete in 24 hours. Several documented cases. MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria are the result of the overuse of antibiotics in livestock and by prescription. Colloidal silver can be used for minor eye infections.
[i] GreenMedInfo.com, Garlic Research Page: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/garlic
[ii] Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan;24(1):81-5. PMID: 21190924
[iii] Contemp Clin Dent. 2010 Oct ;1(4):214-7. PMID: 22114423
Propolis – Defends the City, Stops Invaders
There’s little doubt that most people have heard about the health benefits of honey – immune and DNA protection are just two of them – but I think fewer people are probably familiar with propolis.
Propolis is made from the resins gathered from trees and other plants and then modified by the bees’ own enzymes as they process the material, mix it with beeswax, and make it into a protective antibacterial glue and sealant. It’s not surprising that the word “propolis” means “defender of the city” in Greek.
Propolis was used as a medicinal ingredient in the ancient world, and continues to be intensively studied and recommended today.
Propolis Provides Powerful Nutrients
The color and natural properties of propolis vary depending on geography. While many bees tend to use resins from trees (poplars and conifers are a favorite) as a source, other flowers and plants are often part of the mix, too. That’s why you’ll hear propolis referred to as “green”, “red”, “yellow”, or any variety of names. Interestingly, even though the plant sources of propolis can differ around the world, they all supply some benefits though many experts prefer the European variety to provide maximum benefits for fighting pathogens.
Bees seek out the best resins they need to protect their hives. They instinctively know what works. Tree resins and plant saps perform the same protective functions across species lines. The main compounds in propolis include typically include polyphenols, vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium), enzymes and antifungal and antibacterial flavonoids, plus pinene and other essential oils inherent in tree and plant resins.
Polyphenols, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, are the prime movers of antioxidant activity in propolis. In many areas of the world, Eastern Europe among them, propolis has been extensively researched for antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties as a natural offshoot of both beekeeping and traditional medicine. As antioxidants, the bioflavonoids in propolis work in two ways: they stop the formation of free radicals to begin with, and reduce the potency of existing free radicals. Other propolis research has found that propolis has liver-protecting effects as well.
Strong Antibacterial Power to Fight “Superbugs”
The over-prescription of antibiotics has led to dangerous bacterial resistance, creating a class of “superbugs” that synthetic antibiotics can’t stop, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is especially troublesome following surgery or anytime the immune system is weakened. Fortunately, propolis can stop it.
A study at the University of Heidelberg tested a propolis extract (GH2002) against a variety of disease-causing bacteria, including MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), Candida albicans, and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Within six hours, propolis stopped the activity of S. pyogenes, the cause of strep throat and hard-to-stop skin infections. The study also found that it had a high degree of antibacterial activity against all tested MRSA strains, and inhibited Candida as well. While this test did not show an ability to kill off VRE as it did with other dangerous bacteria, it was able to stop it from further growth. Because of these dramatic results, the researchers concluded that propolis extract might be used in the development of alternative products for therapy of microbial infections.”
Other studies have found similar results. British research also discovered that propolis shows antibacterial activity, and other work has shown that propolis has strong antifungal abilities, reducing the activity of Candida albicans, and inhibiting dangerous Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacteria. The researchers found that it was propolis from Northern and temperate zones (like Europe), that provided the phenolic acids and flavonoids that fight bacteria and fungus.
Laboratory work in Bulgaria found that propolis is a strong inhibitor of many strains of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, known for causing ulcers and gastric cancer. In fact, the National Institutes of Health report that H. pylori is the leading cause of peptic ulcers worldwide, and that about two-thirds of the world population is infected with the bacteria. Even though H. pylori doesn’t always develop into an illness, the fact that propolis can defend against it is just one more point in its favor.
Research at the University of Heidelberg pitted a propolis extract (GH2002), against herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and found that it reduced the formation of viral plaques (the areas of cell destruction) by 98%. Interestingly, the researchers stated that while only two of the analyzed compounds in propolis, galagin and chrysin showed antiviral activity separately, other components of the whole extract, (caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, benzoic acid, and pinocembrin) showed stronger effects than single constituents.
Other research using this same propolis extract as a topical found that it also suppressed herpes simplex virus 2, reducing the strength of the virus by 99%. The researchers also discovered that pretreatment prior to an infection was significantly effective at stopping the herpes virus. They concluded that the propolis extract could be an effective topical for stopping recurring infections as well.
Propolis is more than an antibacterial and antiviral. It has been shown to stop tumor growth as well. Remember when I mentioned that H. pylori is the cause of gastric cancer? Well, aside from that, a study from Thailand that found that propolis shrank cancer cells after 24, 48, and 72 hours of treatment. Scientists reporting in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that the polyphenols in propolis were mainly responsible for cancer cell inhibition, and consider it a possible treatment option for different types of leukemia.
What to Look for in Propolis:
Even though many propolis extracts from around the world have shown similar abilities, some are simply more effective than others, so be selective when you look for your propolis extract.
Found raw in the hive, propolis is often mixed with wax (which doesn’t break down in the body or provide any benefits), dirt, bee’s wings, and other debris. It needs to be purified and clear of beeswax before it can be truly useful. It should also be a clinically-validated variety, so you can start off with a propolis extract that has already shown results. Additionally, the best extracts will be from sources with a more “controlled” environment – that is, from hives that are strategically placed near a stand of specific trees that produce beneficial resins that bees use naturally. That way you’re getting a propolis that has been standardized and provides consistent benefits.
Terry recommends taking 100 mg of concentrated bee propolis extract daily. If additional support is needed, increase to 100 mg twice daily.