The Bad News: Antibiotics Are Not Working
Since the accidental discovery of penicillin in 1929 by Alexander Fleming, antibiotic use has saved countless lives. Unfortunately, antibiotics are losing their effectiveness. Today, modern medicine faces the challenge of antibiotic resistance, thanks to the overuse of antibiotic medication. One example is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which now accounts for approximately 20% of serious infections in some areas of the United States. MRSA is also now becoming resistant to vancomycin, the choice medication for this serious problem.
Interestingly though, back in the 1930s, Fleming lectured throughout the world, warning that less than judicious use of these drugs could lead to problems. He cautioned us not to give penicillin unless there was a clear need for it. Fleming noted in his early experimentation clear evidence of bacteria’s ability to get around antibiotic exposure. This is because bacteria can quickly change its machinery to avoid the killing effects of the antibiotics.
Besides overuse, the addition of low-dose antibiotics in our animal feed is also to blame. Antibiotics are employed not so much to stop infection, but to make the animal grow faster artificially. Way back in 1977, the FDA concluded that adding low-dose antibiotics to animal feed raised the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Despite this knowledge, we still continue this practice today.
The Good News: There Are Antibiotic Herbal Alternatives
We can help the situation and avoid antibiotic drugs by harvesting the powerful substances nature has given to us. Both animals and man have harnessed the medicinal power of herbs for at least as long as history has been recorded. Plant alternatives use different mechanisms of action. As such, herbal antibiotic choices can help without further contributing to resistance issues.
Many common ailments such as sinus problems, sore throats, simple urinary tract infections and superficial wounds do not necessitate drugs in most cases. Many times, these can be effectively treated with the right lifestyle changes and botanical medicine care.