Antibiotic resistance is real
World wide public health authorities including Singapore Ministry of Health is raising awareness on antibiotic or broadly antimicrobial/antibiotic drug resistance (AMR). There are also increasing cases of secondary infection such as deadly pneumonia following viral infection, particularly in children and the elderly.
The situation is worsened with the use of immunosuppressant drugs (used in all kinds of autoimmune diseases and inflammation), poor diet, lack of rest, air pollution, and toxins in our food chain and environment. AMR is compounded by antibiotic use in livestock (I knew this first hand in China) and other pharmaceuticals and pesticides in our food chain. Therefore, you may wonder why you got lots of ‘bad’ bacteria in your stool test result, often fall sick, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. In fact, certain cancers such as the deadly pancreatic cancer are associated with some bacterial or viral attack.
Antimicrobial drug resistance (AMR) is real – 700,000 deaths worldwide each year, expected to rise to 10 million by 2050 make this a top research priority. The World Health Organisation has called for innovation and testing natural products to address the problem of AMR (1). Scientists have been researching plants to find a solution. Unfortunately, drug companies are only interested to invest money into a product that is patentable. This is why you don’t hear much about herbal solutions in the media, even though there are numerous empirical evidence, human and animal research studies.
Our present environment, lifestyle, and drug culture have significantly limited your ability to fight any disease and massively raising the levels of risk of surgery and chemotherapy. People can die from the infection rather than the disease itself.
Nowadays, doctors prescribed probiotics (naturopaths have been doing this years ago) to counter antibiotic side effects. The equation is not so simple. The damage done is much more.
Unlike Louis Pasteur’s (the inventor of the germ theory) theory that disease is caused by some outside organisms (the approach most associated with conventional medicine), the naturopathic view is that the “devil” is not the microorganisms but our “terrain” – the state of our blood and cells. Microorganisms are like mosquitoes that seek stagnant water; the mosquitoes do not cause the water to be stagnant. When our terrain is stagnant, we provide an environment conducive to diseases. The role of the herbalist is to help restore a healthy terrain in you. You have to take personal responsibility for your lifestyle.
The fundamental problem is that bacteria and viruses can adapt to become resistant to antibiotics or pharmaceuticals – which cannot respond in the same way.
Plants, however, have co-evolved with pathogens and have therefore developed effective chemical responses. They contain multiple antibacterial ingredients that work in synergy with each other. They are complex, adaptive, synergistic systems. In fact, herbs are also effective to fight viruses including H1N1 – reducing risk, symptom reduction, and quicker recovery (1).
Countless case histories from naturopaths and herbalists including my own practice have shown that herbs enhance your defense against infectious diseases, reducing or minimizing the need for strong antibiotics.
When taking herbs for infections and in most circumstances, I would recommend you to seek the advice of a qualified medical herbalist. Please do not self-medicate and take it as if it is a supplement. There are also many unproven and potentially toxic plants promoted in the media.
- Arora, R., Chawla, R., Marwah, R., Arora, P., Sharma, R. K., Kaushik, V., … Bhardwaj, J. R. (2011). Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011, 586506. doi:10.1155/2011/586506
2. WHO, 2012. Evolving Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance: Options for Action