Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs for people and animals. Typically, when suffering from colds, the flu or viral pneumonias, many doctors will prescribe antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vehemently states that this is an inappropriate use of antibiotics, which has led to the Urgent health threat known as Antibiotic Resistance.
Unfortunately, many antibiotics prescribed to people and to animals are unnecessary. And the overuse and misuse of antibiotics helps to create drug-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Over time, bacteria adapt to the drugs that are designed to kill them, making them (bacteria) resistant to the antibiotics to ensure their survival.
Here’s how that might happen. When used properly, antibiotics can help destroy disease-causing bacteria. But if you take an antibiotic when you have a viral infection like the flu, the drug won’t affect the viruses making you sick. Instead, it’ll destroy a wide variety of bacteria in your body, including some of the “good” bacteria (probiotics) that help you digest food, fight infection, and stay healthy. Bacteria that are tough enough to survive the drug will have a chance to grow and quickly multiply. These drug-resistant strains can even spread to other people.
Over time, if more and more people take antibiotics when not necessary, drug-resistant bacteria can continue to thrive and spread. They may even share their drug-resistant traits with other bacteria. Drugs may become less effective or not work at all against certain disease-causing bacteria.
“Bacterial infections that were treatable for decades are no longer responding to antibiotics, even the newer ones,” says Dr. Dennis Dixon, an NIH (National Institutes of Health) expert in bacterial and fungal diseases. Scientists have been trying to keep ahead of newly emerging drug-resistant bacteria by developing new drugs, but it’s a tough task.
Since, cold, flu and certain pneumonia infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics are incapable of treating them.
Invasion of ‘Superbugs’
Although, antibiotics have helped save millions of lives through the years, overuse and improper use of antibiotics has created a very dangerous strain of ‘Superbugs’.
‘Superbugs’ is a term used to describe strains of bacteria that are completely resistant to most antibiotics commonly used today. The consequences of bacterial resistance and the rise of ‘Superbugs’ have very serious repercussions on your health.
The CDC along with other medical researchers have stated, “Improper use of antibiotics and over use are the main culprits is the onslaught of antibiotic resistance.” Many doctors will prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection, which is an improper use of antibiotics. We know that antibiotics are completely ineffective against viruses, however, some doctors will prescribe antibiotics, prophylactically, to try to thwart an infection before it sets in. This is also deemed an improper use of antibiotics. These actions are setting the stage for ‘Superbugs’ to dominate.
Infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria or ‘Superbugs’ tend to last longer, increasing the risk for complications, and may even cause death. It is essential, then, we use antibiotics prudently.
CDC: SUPERBUG THREAT!
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. In 2013, CDC published a comprehensive analysis outlining the top 18 antibiotic-resistant threats in the U.S., titled Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 (AR Threats Report). The report sounded the alarm to the danger of antibiotic resistance, stating that each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.
The report ranked the 18 threats (bacteria and fungi) into three categories based on level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning. In this newsletter, I will cover a small portion of the most urgent. (to view the full list-visit: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest_threats.html)
Urgent and Serious Threats
Clostridioides difficile (C. diff)
Also known as: C. difficile or C. diff, previously Clostridium difficile
About: C. difficile causes life-threatening diarrhea and colitis (an inflammation of the colon), mostly in people who have had both recent medical care and antibiotics
Infections per year: 500,000*
Deaths per year: 15,000*
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
Also known as: VRE
About: Enterococci cause a range of illnesses from wound infections, bloodstream infections, UTI’s, brain infections and heart valve infections
Drug-resistant Enterococcus infections per year: 20,000
Deaths per year: 1,300
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Also known as: MRSA, resistant staph (short for Staphylococcus), resistant S. aureus
About: MRSA is S. aureus that has become resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams, including methicillin. Patients in healthcare settings frequently get severe or potentially life-threatening infections. It can also be transmitted, in your community
Severe MRSA infections per year: 80,461
Deaths per year: 11,285
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
Also known as: P. aeruginosa
About: Serious Pseudomonas infections usually occur in people with weakened immune systems, making it a common cause of pneumonia, ear infections, wound infections, blood stream infections
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas infections per year: 6,700
Deaths per year: 440
Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
Also known as: S. pneumonia, pneumococcus
About: S. pneumoniae causes pneumococcal disease, which can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections
Drug-resistant infections per year: 1.2 million
Hospitalizations per year: over 19,000
Deaths per year: 7,000
47 Million Antibiotic Prescriptions prescribed unnecessarily each year in Doctors’ Offices and the Emergency Room ~ CDC
When should we take antibiotics?
The CDC and NIH tell us that antibiotics should only be prescribed for bacterial infections– NOT VIRUSES. Remember, antibiotics are totally ineffective against viruses.
The CDC states that each year, 47 million prescriptions for antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily in doctors’ offices and the ER.
CDC: Antibiotics should be prescribed only in the following circumstances:
- Treating bacterial infections
- Treating bacterial Pneumonias (not viral Pneumonias)
- Patients at high risk for infections
- Patients undergoing surgery
- Patients with end-stage kidney disease
- Patients receiving chemotherapy
CDC: Antibiotics should not be prescribed in the following situations:
- Do not take antibiotics for viral infections (cold, flu, certain pneumonias)
- Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections
- Antibiotics are not needed for many ear infections
Always make sure your doctor has performed a culture. This will enable him/her to accurately identify the antibiotic and prescribe correctly.
Natural Antibiotics That Don’t Require A Prescription
Hospital antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed "medicines" today. As a result, people have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections and, ruined their digestive systems at the same time. There are many natural alternatives to antibiotics that are safe, effective and without side effects.
Safely combat infections without the digestive destruction, with these powerful natural antibiotics.
Garlic has been used medicinally by cultures around the world for thousands of years. In fact, it was used in the 1700s to ward off the plague.
Garlic possesses potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and can help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which also supports a strong immune system.
The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is the key component to eradicating and warding off harmful bacteria. Benefits of taking an allicin based supplement are as follows:
- Strengthens Immune System
- Combats Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)
- Combats the Common cold
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Decreases High Blood Pressure
- Supports Cardiovascular function
- Improves Circulation
- Reduces Risk of cardiac arrhythmias
Although eating garlic is beneficial for the immune system, it may be next to impossible to consume enough to fight off infections. If you were to manage consuming enough, one guarantee would be… no one would want to get near you.
In order to avoid being vampire repellant, you can take Allicin supplements as an anti-infective. Allicin based supplements are great for sinus, lung, blood vessel, gut and fungal infections.
How to take:
- For active infections, take 3 capsules 3 times per day for 2 weeks.
- To nip an infection that is just starting, take 3 capsules 2 times per day for 1 weeks
Recommended Brands - * indicates Dr. M’s favorite
- Premier Research Lab – Allicidin* (contains both garlic and bear garlic)
- Oregon’s Wild Harvest – Garlic
- SOLARAY – Garlic or Cayenne & Garlic
- Mercola – Fermented Black Garlic
Nucleotides are tiny building blocks of RNA and DNA, which are the blueprints for every cell in your body. Each of your trillion plus cells contains 6 billion nucleotides. These building blocks are stored in a very limited quantity in your liver.
Trauma, surgery, immune challenges and other stresses can rapidly deplete the body’s stores of nucleotides. Nucleotides are fundamental nutrients like minerals which must be supplied from outside the body. Therefore, nucleotides in supplement form can provide an excellent solution.
Winning the Battle During the Cold & Winter Season
Research shows that nucleotides can provide significant support during the cold season. In research trials, nearly all patients reported positive benefits while taking nucleotides. These included preventing colds and flus from taking hold early on (during initial symptoms), decreased sinus and ear infections. Nucleotides have even been reported as reducing the severity of cold, flu, sinus and other upper respiratory infections (URI).
During immune challenges, if an extra source of nucleotides is available, billions of sturdy, fresh nucleotides can be absorbed by the cell to help fight back and put an end to immune stress.
How to take:
- Initial signs of cold, flu, sinus or URI: take 3 capsules twice per day for 1 week (or longer)
- Onset of infection: take 3 capsules 3 times per day for 2 weeks (or longer).
Recommended Brands - * indicates Dr. M’s favorite
- Nucleo-Immune by Premier Research Labs
(Note: to date, I have not found a brand that I like equally as much as this one for effectiveness)
3. Colloidal silver
Colloidal silver has been known as an effective antibiotic for centuries. In the early 1900s, Alfred Searle, founder of the Searle pharmaceutical company, discovered that it could kill the most-deadly pathogens. Colloidal silver is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
Searle stated that applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishing results. The main advantage was that colloidal silver was rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host.
According to research by Larry C. Ford, MD, at the UCLA School of Medicine, viral, fungal and bacterial microbes were killed within minutes of exposure to colloidal silver.
Recent research has also stated that colloidal silver can destroy antibiotic resistant microbes like MRSA, the bird flu, and SARS.
You can use 10 ppm on a daily basis a few times per day. When taking higher concentrations (20 ppm or more), use colloidal silver intermittently -do not exceed 14 days in a row.
Here’s how to use Colloidal Silver:
- Take 1 tsp. before and after a flight to avoid getting sick and enhance overall immune system.
- Place colloidal silver in nasal spray bottle (can be purchased from Amazon) and spray into nasal passage ways or use in neti pot to ease sinus infections and allergies.
- Aid recovery from respiratory infections, pink eye and ear infections by placing 2-3 drops in each ear, 3 times per day. For pink eye, place 2-3 drops in each eye 2-3 times per day.
- Use hydrosol and spray directly onto skin for fungal infections. Especially good for treating ring worm.
Recommended Brands: * indicates Dr. M’s favorite
- Trace Minerals Colloidal Silver*
- Sovereign Silver Bio-Active Silver*
- Source Naturals Wellness Colloidal Silver
- Purest Colloids MesoSilver
- Innovative Natural Products Colloidal Silver
3. Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano takes care of pathogenic bacteria without disrupting beneficial bacteria. It is also antiviral and antifungal which makes it a powerful, natural antibiotic with a three-in-one combination that rivals pharmaceuticals while not encouraging antibiotic resistance.
The key antimicrobial ingredient in oil of oregano is carvacrol. You should ensure that your source is at least 70 percent carvacrol content and 100% therapeutic grade oil in order to be effective.
Oregano oil can help manage the following conditions:
- Common Colds & Flu
- Strep Throat
- Bronchitis and Croup
- Sinus Infections
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Toenail fungus
- Candida, Yeast infections and UTI’s
- Ringworm & Athletes Foot
How to use Oregano Oil:
- Skin – always mix with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. 3 drops of undiluted oregano oil with 1 oz of carrier oil (jojoba, almond, apricot, grapeseed, coconut, etc.) Apply to fungus. (Note: always perform a small patch test on skin to test for irritation)
- Respiratory Infections, strep, sinus infection – take 10 drops of pure oregano oil diluted in 1 oz of water or non-acidic organic juice (apple) twice daily. (Note: oregano oil is spicy and hot in the mouth. If you find it to be too hot mixed with juice, you can mix it with olive oil or coconut oil to prevent stinging in your mouth or throat.)
Recommended brands of Oregano Oil: * indicates Dr. M’s favorite
- Oregano Oil (by Premier Research Labs)*
- Oregano Oil (by Young Living Oils)
- Oregano Oil (by Vitacost – vitacost.com)
- Oil of Oregano Oil (by Planetary Herbals)
Echinacea has been used to treat a wide variety of infections for hundreds of years. Traditionally, it was used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial related illnesses.
Today, this potent herb is used mostly for colds and flu, due to its ability to destroy the most dangerous forms of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes deadly MRSA.
Relieves the Following Upper Respiratory Symptoms:
- Acute sinusitis
- All flu’s
- Common Cold
- Strep throat
- Whooping cough
Liquid forms of echinacea are more effective than capsules.
How to take:
- At the first sign of symptoms take 2-3 tsp of liquid echinacea daily for 14 days
- To boost immune system, take 1 tsp of echinacea daily during winter months.
Recommended Brands: * indicates Dr. M’s favorite
- Echinacea Premium 1:2 (by Mediherb/Standard Process) *
- Echinacea Purpurea 1:3 Glycetract (by Mediherb/Standard Process)- best for children*
- Echinacea or Super Echinacea (by Herb Pharm)*
- Echinacea purpurea, Premium Echinacea, Echinacea Goldenseal, KIDS Echinacea (by Oregon’s Wild Harvest)*
Precautions: Echinacea should not be used for allergies.
5. Manuka Honey
Historically, honey has been used for medicinal purposes dating back thousands of years. Unarguably, it is the most palatable antibiotic a person can take.
The most therapeutic honey is Manuka honey. This honey, produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the Manuka bush, is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world.
Applied topically, it can kill a wide range of pathogens including MRSA and flesh-eating bacteria. It was also found that the treated bacteria did not build up any resistance, which would eventually render manuka honey ineffective.
Benefits of Manuka Honey:
- Helps combat SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Combats Acid Reflux
- Combats MRSA and other Staph infections
- Aids IBS and IBD treatments
- Increases Immunity
- Soothes Sore Throats
- Helps alleviate allergy symptoms
- Treats Burns, Wounds and Ulcers (especially diabetic ulcers)
- Manuka Health – MGO*
- Kiva Manuka Honey
- Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey*
- Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Manuka Honey
- Comvita Manuka Honey*
- Happy Valley Manuka Honey
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of natural antibiotics, but it is a great start for an all-natural pharmacy. Remedies from nucleotides, herbs and essential oils can safely and effectively help you minimize symptoms and recover faster.
Here are some tips to avoid a “Superbug” infection:
- Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands frequently but, DO NOT USE ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP. The use of antibacterial soaps and antibacterial hand sanitizers has increased antibiotic resistance and added to the ‘Superbug’ problem. Scientific studies have revealed that washing hands with ordinary soap for 20 seconds effectively eliminates microbes from your hands.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth: We carry around an enormous number of bacteria and viruses on our hands. These bugs can easily get into our systems when we come in contact with our eyes, nose and mouth. Keep unwashed hands off your face.
- Wash your hands after each diaper change or visit to the bathroom: Germs are easily passed through fecal matter. Wash your hands immediately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper…even if you think your hands have not come in contact with any ‘Poop’.
- Eat organic animal-based foods: A lot of antibiotic resistance has been driven by the agricultural use of antibiotics as growth enhancers in livestock. Use USDA Certified Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
- Avoid Hospitals: Unless you’re having a health emergency, stay away from hospitals. They are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. If you must spend a significant time in a hospital (medical personnel, ill family member), bolster up your immune system by taking Nucleotides, colloidal silver (nasally) and oregano oil, preventatively. This will provide great barrier protection for you.
- Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels: Optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL KINDS. This is the single most important action and least expensive one to take. Have your vitamin D levels checked through a reliable lab (Lab Corp, Quest). Optimum levels of vitamin D should be between 50 – 70 ng/ml.
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