Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics

Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics

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by Christina Grant

Though negative information about antibiotics is widespread, many people continue to think they’re necessary for colds, flu, and respiratory infections. Antibiotics don’t work on viral or fungal infections, they destroy beneficial flora, weaken immunity, and add toxins to your body. Their overuse causes the formation of resistant strains of bacteria. As a rule they should be the last resort, not the first.

Nonetheless, doctors prescribe them. Either you ask, it’s common practice, it makes them more money, or they just don’t want to say, “Go home and rest.”

Beware of taking treatments you don’t need. There are both short-term and long-term side effects. For example, a 2008 study published in the International Journal of Cancer shows that rates of cancer are higher in people who take more antibiotics. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the incidence of breast cancer doubled among women who took antibiotics regularly over a 17-year period.

All infections should be taken seriously and treated immediately at their onset. You can do this at home with natural antibiotics that will support your immune system and encourage your body to heal.

I’ve used this combination successfully for almost two decades. I give this “recipe” to teachers dealing with sneezing, germ-laden kids and they rave about it. It works, but you must be persistent and take them on schedule for at least one solid week. A little here and there won’t work.

I recommend keeping these at home so you can begin taking them at the first symptom. Natural foods stores will give you advice on the best manufacturers. Skip grocery store supplements which are typically lesser quality.

1.      Echinacea/golden seal tincture in an alcohol base. Also in a glycerin base, but the alcohol base works faster. Take as directed on the label, 7-10 days nonstop, usually a full dropper in a little water 3-5 times per day. Take a break from Echinacea/goldenseal for a week, then if necessary, take for another 7-10 days.

2.      Bee propolis. Find in capsule form and take as directed, at least once in the morning and again at night. With antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral activity, bee propolis stimulates the immune system and helps heal respiratory infections.

3.      Garlic. With antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, garlic is an inexpensive way to treat illness. Eat raw in your food, make a tea, and take in capsule form as directed, three times per day.

4.      A good probiotic. This will help balance out the good flora in your digestive tract and help with fungus – a culprit in many respiratory infections. Take three times per day anytime you are taking Echinacea and goldenseal. Continue for several weeks after your infection is gone.

5.      Vitamin C. Take up to 10 grams a day, preferably in powdered form. If you get loose stools, take less. Studies indicate it lessens the severity of symptoms and shortens the duration. In my experience, it does both.

6.      Cod liver oil for Vitamin D. In the best case scenario, you would know your Vitamin D levels from a blood test. Research shows low levels of this vitamin are associated with infections. I am not a proponent of getting Vitamin D from tablet supplements, but prefer cod liver oil. It needs to be the highest quality, not overly processed.

Finally, what nobody wants to hear but must do to heal, avoid sugar, dairy, and wheat. Eat fresh foods, which never come from a can, box, or drive-thru. And take a break. Rest more.

Christina Grant, PhD, is a holistic healer, counselor, and writer living on the California Coast. Learn more or contact her at www.christinagrant.com.

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