Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
November 23, 2011

The Problems with Antibiotics: Possible Alternatives and Damage Control

By Mark Sisson
177 Comments

Are there any viable alternatives to antibiotics? I just spent the last few posts talking about all the bad things that stem from taking too many antibiotics, and you’re likely wondering if there’s anything you can do when an infection comes around. Although I wouldn’t suggest ignoring your doctor’s antibiotic prescriptions for some herb you found on some site online, there are potential alternatives. Not every alternative I list is going to work for you. To be honest, we have yet to confirm many viable alternatives that pack the punch of modern antibiotics. And in many cases, the wallop of conventional pharmaceuticals is exactly what the doctor ordered (in, um, every way). Sure, it could be said that every dose of antibiotics given out is exerting a selection pressure on billions of microbes that will ultimately lead to greater resistance, but when it comes down to it, you don’t want to be sick in the here and now.

So, once again, are there any viable alternatives to antibiotics, and if we have to take one, what can we do to mitigate the potential fallout?

First, the alternatives.

Fecal Transplants

Feces is mostly made up of living bacteria. That’s why poop-covered greens are often at the heart of these E. coli outbreaks you hear about – the bacteria lives on. Bad for those who like unwashed commercial spinach, but good for fecal transplants. Yes, fecal bacteriotherapy – the transplantation of fecal matter from a healthy human with healthy gut flora into an unhealthy human with unhealthy gut flora via enema or nasogastric tubing (through the nose directly to the gut) – is a promising new procedure. It’s particularly effective against recurring C. diff infections, showing “complete resolution” in 92% of 317 patients across 27 studies. C. diff is notoriously antibiotic-resistant (many C. diff infections happen because of antibiotics, in fact); only three antibiotics are currently even remotely effective at combating the nasty infection, but the fecal transplants displace the C. diff and replace the missing good stuff.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, fecal transplants are a bit of a hard sell. It clearly works, but since it smells of the dreaded “alternative medicine” and there is as yet no randomized controlled trial testing it, few physicians are even aware of or prepared to handle the procedure. Furthermore, most insurance won’t cover it. That they often blend the “fecal probiotics” with milk to form a “lactofecal slurry” (my choice of words) probably doesn’t help, either. Everyone loves a chocolate milkshake, but c’mon.

All hope is not lost. At-home fecal transplantation using a basic drug store enema kit has been shown to work just as well. (Of course it’s imperative that you work with your doctor if this is a route you think you might want to take.) And although most fecal transplant research centers on C. diff, it’s been shown to resolve antibiotic-related changes in short chain fatty acid production and increased diarrhea. I imagine we’ll see a lot more in coming years. Overall, I think fecal transplantation is the most promising antibiotic alternative.

“Natural” Antibacterials

To deal with pathogenic or competing microbes without pharmaceutical intervention, organisms have developed natural antibiotics. So it should come as no surprise that certain naturally-occurring substances have antibacterial properties. Modern and ancient medicine have identified many of these and isolated them, purified them, extracted them, and as I said in the first post, modern antibiotics like penicillin originally stem from naturally-occurring antibiotics that bacteria have been using against each other for millions of years. The problem with recommending natural antibiotics as a replacement is that there exists very little evidence in the literature supporting their efficacy. Plenty of antibacterial compounds exist, often in herbs and spices with long histories of medicinal uses, but that doesn’t mean that taking a pill of an extract of that herb or spice will kill whatever’s infected you. It might, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did – heck, go through all my Smart Spice posts and you’ll see that just about every one has some sort of antimicrobial function – but I can’t recommend it because I simply don’t know.

One argument (to which I’m somewhat partial) in favor of natural, whole food/herb antibiotics is that they have a long track record of dealing with real-world infections and microbial attacks. That even though modern pharmaceuticals have isolated the compounds with the most powerful effects, whole foods contain a wider range of compounds working in concert and “attacking” the problem from different angles. Anyway, here’s the list of some (but not all) foods/herbs with natural antibacterial action, along with some relevant links. I tried to limit the list to only those substances showing efficacy in vivo:

Garlic

Using doses between 1-3 mg/ml, garlic extract was effective against antibiotic-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In another study, garlic extract reduced the viability of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in mice, and lowered inflammation associated with the infection. It’s worth noting, however, that a 2003 review (submitted before the other two studies were run) found garlic and other herbs/foods to be mostly ineffective as an in vivo antibiotic. It also concluded that while solid evidence for using herbal replacements is scarce, there’s enough in vitro evidence to demand further investigation.

Honey

As a topical antibacterial agent, honey has been used for thousands of years, a role which plenty of clinical studies have confirmed (PDF). Some studies have even found that topical honey works better than systemic/oral antibiotics in treating infected wounds. So, next time you’re infected with E. coli, do I recommend taking a tablespoon of raw honey? No, not quite. But you can certainly benefit from applying a dollop to a cut or open wound instead of reaching for the antibiotic ointment. That last link has guidance on how to apply honey to wounds.

Forsythia Suspensa

Forsythia suspensa is one of the 50 “traditional herbs” used in Chinese medicine, and a few studies indicate that it has antibiotic capabilities. In the only in vivo one I could find, oral extracts taken from the dried forsythia fruit proved effective in killing antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus suis, both alone and when combined with amoxicillin in a 4:1 forsythia:amoxicillin ratio. Of course, seeing as how most Chinese medicine sources I could find refer to forsythia suspensa as a broad spectrum antibiotic compound, it’s possible that it has systemic effects as well.

Coconut Oil

Coconut fat contains lots of lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride. In the body, lauric acid turns into monolaurin, a monoglyceride with antibacterial properties also found in human breastmilk. Makes sense, huh? A baby’s immune system is pretty undeveloped, especially early on, and some delicious milky antibiotics from Mom are just the ticket. Hmm, I wonder if it works in adults…

Oregano

Speaking of monolaurin, an in vivo study showed that a combination of monolaurin and oil of oregano was effective against staph infections in mice (60% survival rate), even slightly more so than vancomycin (50% survival rate), a type of antibiotic. An in vitro study showed that oregano oil makes conventional antibiotics more effective against E. coli, perhaps lowering the effective dose and subsequent side effects.

Cranberry Juice

It has proven effective at preventing urinary tract infections, but whether or not it can be an effective treatment remains to be shown.

Just be wary. Natural does not mean safe, nor does it mean “less powerful.” Think of red yeast rice, which is an over-the-counter statin analog (statin drugs came from it, actually), with all the potentially negative effects of Lipitor and Crestor. Go ahead and eat your garlic, add oregano to soups and stews, use coconut oil like normal – basically, treat food like food – but be careful when treating them like medicines (not that garlic is going to hurt you, of course). I’ve given you a list of foods with antibiotic properties, so now do your research or find someone who’s done theirs to decide if these are right for you. Don’t mess around with serious infections; instead, try these alternatives out when it’s a minor one, at least at first.

Vitamin D

A thought provoking article by the Vitamin D Council hints at the antibiotic potential of vitamin D megadoses. We already know that vitamin D is crucial for immune support, and numerous testimonials (in this forum and others) of folks taking large doses of vitamin D at the onset of a cold or infection and beating it abound, but the D Council article discusses a little-known role for vitamin D: the expression of the gene involved in producing endogenous antimicrobial peptides, or our body’s own antibiotics.

In the short term, megadoses of around 30-40,000 IUs are perfectly safe. Just don’t maintain that dosage for longer than a week.

Waiting It Out

For relatively minor conditions, like a middle ear infection, some doctors are recommending that patients simply “watch and wait.” A 2005 study put this to the test. Two groups of kids, each with ear infections. One group gets amoxicillin, the other goes home empty handed. The antibiotic group’s symptoms resolve quicker than the “watch and wait” group, but not by much. Both groups’ infections resolved. Plus, as time goes on, more members of the antibiotic group get sick again, this time with antibiotic-resistant bugs. After 30 days, both groups had essentially identical cure rates. Both were equally effective, but the “watch and wait” group got to keep their gut flora intact.

If it’s not life-threatening and it’s not impeding your ability to enjoy life, wait a little while. See how your body sorts it out. Check with your health provider first, though.

Maintaining Good Gut Health

Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary. Sometimes, alternatives simply won’t suffice and you (or someone you care about) just gotta take the stuff. When that happens (and even when it hasn’t happened yet), maintaining good gut health is paramount.

You should already be eating a variety of fermented foods, but the need for dietary probiotics grows more pressing when antibiotics enter the picture. And yes, take probiotics and eat fermented food during your course of antibiotics. Sure, some of them won’t make it out, but some will, and most studies show that concurrent probiotic/antibiotic schedules are helpful in avoiding antibiotics-related complications:

So, eat yogurt, kefir (real kefir, make your own, make coconut kefir (combo of monolaurin and probiotics?), search for “kefir grains” on Craigslist), sauerkraut, kimchi, and real pickles when you take antibiotics. Focus on variety. Continue to eat them after the antibiotics are done. Don’t stop.

Don’t always wash your produce (if it’s from a farm you trust, like your backyard) and eat some of it raw, because there’s a lot of interesting bacteria out there, and most of it – contrary to popular belief – will not kill you. This is a good way to introduce gut flora to your system.

Eat foods that contain soluble prebiotic fiber. You gotta feed the flora, keep it happy.

Go outside. Roll in the mud. Play in the dirt. Pet your pets. Don’t stress over washing your hands so much.

Speaking of stress, try to work on that. Chronic stress, whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, professional, or traffic-related, can negatively impact your gut flora.

Don’t despair.

I know I spent this post series talking about the negative ramifications of antibiotics on one’s gut flora. I know there have been some scary articles claiming that your gut flora may never return to normalcy. But really? It’s not always so bad. If you’ve taken antibiotics and are asymptomatic – that is, your digestion is normal, you’re not falling ill out of the blue – you probably have nothing to worry about. Continue to eat and live well.

But what if you’re one of those who took heaps of antibiotics? What if you’ve tried the probiotics, the prebiotics, you spend time outdoors, you get dirty from time to time, but you can’t shake the poor gut health? Talk to your doctor about the possibility of fecal transplants. Other than that, we could all wait around for small interfering RNA-wielding nanomachines, crafted by DARPA, and cold plasma jets to supplant antibiotics entirely, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Now I want to hear from you. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Would you consider a fecal transplant?

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

176 Comments on "The Problems with Antibiotics: Possible Alternatives and Damage Control"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Graham
4 years 10 months ago

I can attest that the chronic stress of finishing this stupid master’s degree is affecting my gut/digestion. Probiotics seem to be helping, but only the healing process of being done will make the pain go away! I’ve been taking vitamin d to prevent getting sick during this, and so far so good! My prof is pretty sick, and I’m A-OK (other than being pretty burned out).

Monika
4 years 10 months ago
Hi, I haven’t taken any type of antibiotic for about 20 years (if I recall correctly. Combination work-outs (cardio/weights) and yoga, ballet, walking, not to mention cycling as my main source of transportation, keeps me in shape and in health. When I sense any type of bodily sickness, I usually add a few hours of sleep to my daily intake, take regular sweats in the sauna, and imbibe lots of herbal tea (with ginger, lemon, and honey). I’ve been following a relatively primal diet for about the past 10 years or so (only heard about Mark’s writing a few months… Read more »
jakey
jakey
4 years 10 months ago

not for all the riches in the world, sir…

“Yes, fecal bacteriotherapy – the transplantation of fecal matter from a healthy human with healthy gut flora into an unhealthy human with unhealthy gut flora via enema or nasogastric tubing (through the nose directly to the gut) – is a promising new procedure.”

Graham
4 years 10 months ago

My favourite part of that:

“That they often blend the “fecal probiotics” with milk to form a “lactofecal slurry” (my choice of words) probably doesn’t help, either. Everyone loves a chocolate milkshake, but c’mon.”

TokyoJarrett
TokyoJarrett
4 years 10 months ago

That last line cracked me up pretty good.

paul halliday
paul halliday
4 years 10 months ago

Just a quick one, I am amazed you haven’t mentioned colloidal Silver which kills most things

Hailey
Hailey
4 years 10 months ago

Are you kidding me?! DO NOT USE COLLOIDAL SILVER! It is incredibly dangerous! I understand concerns regarding antibiotics and healthy gut flora being damaged,, but the solution is NOT to resort to quackery. If you have an infection that can only be managed through antibiotics, request that your doctor take a sample of your infection and do a graham stain and sensitivity. That way you can be prescribed a specific antibiotic that only targets the bacteria that is making your sick and not the other healthy flora. This is the recommendation of laboratory microbiologists that work in hospitals.

Ghost
4 years 10 months ago

Not to mention Colloidal Silver turns you blue. Like a Smurf. It’s kind of disturbing…

Alex
Alex
4 years 10 months ago
There’s nothing quackish about colloidal silver, as the antimicrobial action of silver is well understood and even used in modern medicine. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are poorly educated about colloidal silver and don’t distinguish between highly concentrated silver preparations and properly made Electrically Isolated Silver at 20 PPM. At 20 PPM, you would die of hyponatremia from excess water consumption before enough silver could be ingested to cause argyria, which is, by the way, a purely cosmetic condition where the skin turns grayish blue. There’s nothing dangerous about argyria. All the scare stories in the news about CS/EIS… Read more »
Deannacat
Deannacat
4 years 10 months ago

Anytime anyone shouts “it’s incredibly dangerous!” I automatically shut down especially when followed up with accusations of “quackery” and a recommendation to go see “my doctor.” Puleez. Talk about quackery!

brian
brian
2 years 10 months ago

Collodial Silver is not dangerous at all! If you over do it for a long period of time you may turn blue. But the above comment is ignorant as this was used as an antibiotic for thousands of years and not one person has ever died from it. As an example, it how they kept milk fresh in the 1800’s

donkey
donkey
4 years 10 months ago

oh i could NOT agree more with this comment. DIY @ home, yet? oh god.

Grokitmus Primal
4 years 10 months ago

If find olive leaf an effective antibiotic I’ve used for years. Also I’ve seen IBS partially relieved by the Primal Flora.

Lisa
Lisa
4 years 10 months ago

I’ve been thinking about trying olive leaf. I’ve read it can lower blood pressure, though, and I already have low blood pressure. I forgot to ask my doctor the last time I saw him (he’s great when it comes to natural supplements), thanks for the reminder.

Diane Jarecki
4 years 10 months ago
Dear Mark, While I appreciate some of what you’ve said regarding not enough evidence for alternatives to antibiotics, I disagree with it completely. One thing that’s been tested and proven, in many studies, to have antibacterial and ANTIVIRAL properties, and to even kill MRSA and C-Diff, is Doterra’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. Let me point out an essential difference to anything else on the market: ours are authenticated for their purity by an independent lab to contain absolutely no chemical residues, herbicides, or pesticides. They’re the first to be standardized, and are thereby being tested now by the… Read more »
Lottie
Lottie
3 years 10 months ago

Anything you would recommend for a chest infection.. I dont want antibiotics .. Thanks

markoshea
3 years 6 months ago

love forsaken to protect from others now miss you my true family sisters and mother hope well mark

Smudger
Smudger
2 years 2 months ago

The best thing I made up was with muka honey,one clove of garlic, lemon juice.and warm water.> one table spoon of muka honey, one crushed garlic,and table spoon of lemon juice and mixed in a glass of hot water let it cool down give it a stir and drink it all in one go. Do this one a day for three days.

Brian Cormack Carr
4 years 10 months ago

Definitely probiotics – and I’ve also used St John’s Wort and Echinacia tinctures with success in treating bacterial and/or viral infections.

By the way, Mark – though you might like to know – I’ve featured you in this article:

http://paleodietnews.com/3443/who-are-your-paleo-diet-heroes/

Enjoy!

Ian
Ian
4 years 10 months ago
Brewer’s yeast resolved what I believe as a food poisoning (so bacterial?) condition while I was vacationing in Cuba (I’m Canadian). My conditions were stomach cramping, gas / bloating and diarrhea. I visited the on-site infirmary and the person attending (I don’t know her medical qualifications) sold me a bottle of Brewer’s Yeast tablets. I didn’t know what they were at the time. Regardless, the effect was almost instantaneous. It’s a curious cure for me – a fungus interacting with bacteria. While I haven’t looked too hard, I haven’t found anything supporting my experience (i.e., brewer’s yeast as an antibacterial).… Read more »
Lauren
4 years 10 months ago

Without trying to start a war here, I can vouch that Cuban healthcare can be accessible, effective and inventive. Neccessity and all that.

Oly
Oly
4 years 1 month ago
When the state is too poor to afford to regulate people towards more expensive options, some surprisingly free-market-esque alternatives are eventually allowed to thrive. Free access to buy drugs without paying $$$$$ to see a doctor to tell you what you already know, for example. My 63 yo mother hasn’t had healthcare in 25 years. She hasn’t mooched off of hospitals either…broke her leg and it cost us about 2300.00 to take care of it. To say she’s come out ahead is an understatement. Especially considering no doctors upselling her on dangerous gateway drugs, like statins! Here’s a national healthcare… Read more »
catherine p.
catherine p.
4 years 9 months ago

Well it makes sense because when you are treated for a fungal infection like candida, you must use probiotics. Fungus and bacteria must remain in good balance in the body so if one takes over, then you should supplement with the other. I’ll keep that in mind… a couple beers for a bacterial infection.. hahaha!

Tree
Tree
4 years 10 months ago
I’ll vouch for Coconut Oil! While everyone around me was getting sick for weeks with the seasonal virus that was going around, I had it for a whopping 3 days. Just increased the amount of coconut oil I was ingesting and only had mild symptoms compared to everyone else. My hubby, who is not a huge fan of coconut oil, had the nasty bug for 3 weeks. Since I work in various schools, mostly with young or disabled kids, I get exposed to a lot of stuff. I think I’ll keep my coconut oil consumption up for a while and… Read more »
Dave, RN
Dave, RN
4 years 10 months ago

You missed a big one: 23ppm silver gel. Proven to work, and work well. I keep some at the house and it played a very large part in healing a serious infection on my arm (cellulitis). Healed in 3 days, with a 50% reduction in the borders of the redness and edema in just 12 hours. I heard of someone else locally that had a similar experience.

I just read a study on how coconut oil healed wounds that could not healed by antibiotics.

sara
sara
4 years 10 months ago

Love this post! Thanks!

Another reminder to take my Vitamin D drops in these cold, dark winter months.

rob
rob
4 years 10 months ago

If you have an infected wound I would skip the snake oil and go straight to the most powerful antibiotics you can get, a limb is a terrible thing to lose.

David
David
4 years 10 months ago

This is the kind of reactionary, fear-driven mindset that leads to the overuse of antibiotics. Yes, if you have a festering gash in your abdomen, go for the pharmaceuticals. But if you scrape yourself with a rake in the garden, for —‘s sake, try something milder. Sheesh.

Jed Harrison
Jed Harrison
4 years 10 months ago

I’m surprised there was no specific mention of Phage Therapy – used in the Soviet union in particular in the first half of the last century, and largely abandoned in favour of antibiotics since.

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 10 months ago

I wrote a comment about phage therapy in the other post on antibiotics. It’s fascinating!

The documentary I watched was called, “Phages: The Virus that Cures” and is available on-line for free if you Google it.

Basically, it is one of the key ways that the country of Georgia deals with bacterial outbreaks. While more time consuming to create than antibiotics, they are specific to the outbreak rather than broad spectrum.

A quick internet search shows that some bio-tech companies are looking to start manufacturing phages on a larger scale.

Laura
Laura
4 years 10 months ago

The very thought of having someone send fecal matter into my stomach makes me want to gag. To me, the cure would be worse than the disease. But all the other methods sound well worth trying.

ValerieH
ValerieH
4 years 9 months ago

The fecal matter is through an enema. It only goes into the colon – which is exactly where you want it. I read about this treatment earlier this year. It sounds promising. I have a friend who runs a colon hydrotherapy business. I think people don’t realize how important healthy gut bacteria is to our health.

Niki
Niki
2 years 30 days ago

believe me, if you spent half of your adult life pussy-footing around foods and what is and isn’t safe for you to consume, and the other half sh*ting like there was tomorrow, you’d want a fecal transplant, nay you’d do pretty much anything for one!

Evan
Evan
4 years 10 months ago

Mark,

Given how last week you stated, “lean human guts contain more flora from the bacterial phylum of Bacteroidetes and less from the Firmicutes phylum, whereas obese human guts contain flora more heavily weighted toward Firmicutes.”

I was hoping this article would offer ways/examples/food to help cultivate one bacteria (bacteroidetes) over another (firmicutes).

Is there any information how one would go about doing that?

helen
helen
4 years 10 months ago

ditto Evan’s comment above. thanks

Vanessa
Vanessa
10 months 15 days ago

I just read the Gut Balance Revolution by Dr. Gerard Mullin. So far so awesome. It’s primal-friendly and I’ve definitely experienced the firmicutes die-off based on symptoms and weight loss. Nothing else has worked so well.

Glockin Grok
Glockin Grok
4 years 10 months ago

The fecal transplant is thinking outside the box…

Great link… I hope for great things from this.

Joshua Rogers
2 years 8 months ago

Its also disturbing. I’ve heard of it plenty of times before, and while its pretty clever and is known to work…its just so gross, haha. I’ll stick to my tried and true herbal methods, but hey to each their own. As long as it works, and works well, after all.

Carrie S.
Carrie S.
4 years 10 months ago

Just a note on the “wait it out” example. Most doctors do not wait and see with ear infections anymore. The wait and see approach, which was instituted after the 2005 study, resulted in kids with hearing damage. The general approach for ear infections is back to treating with antibiotics and or tubes for those with recurring infections.

emily
4 years 10 months ago

when my kids get ear infections i grate an onion and put 5 drops of onion juice in the ear. the pain is usually gone within an hour and the infection within 24 hours. i have only ever had to do 2 applications of the juice once — if i don’t have an onion i use garlic in warm olive oil. no antibiotics used in my house. also, we use homemade kefir as a wash for mild infections and redness on genitalia.

Lauren
4 years 10 months ago

You can also/afterwards pack warmed, chopped onion in muslin and lay it over the ear, then put a hat on to keep it there. That seems to somehow draw out the infection. Just do it on a bath night!

Diane
Diane
4 years 10 months ago

I have successfully used chopped red onion in cheesecloth tied around my toe with an ingrown toenail. If you can keep it on all day, it really helps with the pain as the nail grows out. Does smell very onion-y though.

Paul Verizzo
Paul Verizzo
4 years 10 months ago

Que up the Twilight Zone music……

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 10 months ago
A Swiss friend of mine uses a warm cabbage leaf and puts that over her ear. She says that it “draws out the infection”. She swears by it! We started to raise the cribs and beds of our kids with a wooden “riser” that we built so that they are sleeping on an incline. (The riser is about 4 inches or 10 cms high and fits under the frame of their beds.) This seems to help the ear drain when they have a cold much like adults prop themselves up with pillows. Since we started doing this we have not… Read more »
Deannacat
Deannacat
4 years 10 months ago

I use warmed tea tree oil for ears. Works perfectly overnight every time. It’s also great on just about any cut or scrape and when my husband gets bronchitis, which he seems to be prone to, I rub it on his back and chest before bed. It really helps break up the mucus.

pixiedon
pixiedon
4 years 10 months ago

Definitely agree – waiting it out for a day or so would be ok to see if it goes, but waiting it out for too long with a serious ear infection could lead to permananet damage. If your balance has gone in addition to being in pain then get to the doctor’s pronto!

bbuddha
bbuddha
4 years 10 months ago

that is the “see” part of wait and see. If you give it some time and it doesn’t resolve itself then you take the anti biotics. Because the side effects can be serious make sure you need it.

lynexx
lynexx
4 years 12 days ago
I know this is an old post, but I just have to reply… ear infections don’t cause “hearing damage.” They can cause a temporary conductive hearing loss, meaning sound vibrations can’t reach the nerves of the inner ear, because of fluid, etc in the middle ear. A peanut in your ear can also cause a conductive hearing loss. Also temporary (hopefully). Also not “hearing damage.” The problem for children with recurring ear infections that cause conductive hearing loss is that they may miss a lot of time hearing while they are developing language, so they may have speech and language… Read more »
Laura Blacksin
Laura Blacksin
4 years 10 months ago
You’ve listed a lot of good information here, Mark. Though I will strongly emphasize this point: If you are at the point of HAVING an infection, GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET THE ANTIBIOTICS ASAP. I work in the medical profession, and you do NOT want to screw around with alternative medicines if you are already suffering from infection. Untreated UTI’s for example can lead to bladder and urethral scarring. That is much, much worse than taking a round of antibiotics. The best way to avoid over-taking antibiotics is with what Mark has written here…Good habits of eating well, keeping… Read more »
PJ
PJ
4 years 10 months ago

I think making the blanket statement of going to the doctor and getting antibiotics ASAP because you have an infection is way too general. Are you saying any and all infections need an antibiotic? This is exactly the type of advice that has gotten us where we are today. Using natural alternatives takes practice and common sense. Instead of just going to a doctor and opting for antibiotics, try going to a naturopath instead.

PJ
PJ
4 years 10 months ago
Additionally, just because you take an antibiotic doesn’t mean it can even reach that infection in your big toe, or wherever it happens to be. The body is so loaded with bacterias that the antibiotic may be used up before it can even deal with the targeted infection. This results in multiple rounds of different antibiotics. Many naturopaths are experienced in dealing with infections. A huge advantage to using natural treatments is that it not only takes care of the infection that you know about, it can help build your immune system to deal with infections you didn’t even know… Read more »
Martin
Martin
4 years 10 months ago
I am also in the medical profession and I think part of what this article was saying was that you DON’T “need to go to the doctor and get the antibiotics asap” thus the name of the article being Are There Antibiotic Alternatives and Mark saying “if there’s anything you can do when an infection comes around.” Your example of “Untreated UTI can lead to bladder and urethral scarring” yes, is some cases. Is that much worse than taking antibiotics? If we are looking at worst case scenarios antibiotics could kill you…that sounds worse. A paper cut can also lead… Read more »
Erik
Erik
4 years 10 months ago
I’ve been avoiding antibiotics ever since a reaction to erythromycin left me unable to walk for a week. I’ve been experiencing a lot of success learning the medicinal properties of local herbs (when based on a plants actual tannins and phenols rather than “it looks like a liver, so it must heal the liver”) for mild ailments and poulticing on wounds. But this summer, a rash showed up surrounding an ingrown hair on my leg… and spread rapidly and painfully. In a day it went from dime-size to a 4-inch diameter. I freaked out about it. I went to the… Read more »
star
star
3 years 1 month ago

common plantain and wood strawberrycommon plantain and wood strawberry
I find no reference no resource for your claim that they contain chemicals for immune “?
plantain has soothing properties anti inflammatory which is a close cousin to immune ,wood strawberry ????

Rainessa
Rainessa
4 years 10 months ago
I am a garlic lover and eat it raw daily. I rarely get sick.(Once every few YEARS!) I also make a tincture called Usnea which is an antibacterial, antiviral and it works great. Echinacea is a good one as well as Goldenseal though I rarely use them. A persons diet is a huge factor. You have to be diligent with alternatives so many people prefer the quick fix and if you are in a critical situation (you have let things go too long before treating) then antibiotics might be best choice. followed by good probiotics. However if one investigates and… Read more »
Lisa
Lisa
4 years 10 months ago

High five, raw garlic lover! I also like to throw it in for a minute just to soften it a tiny bit and mix it with spices at the end of cooking. Mmmm.

Outis
Outis
4 years 10 months ago
Don’t forget elderberry syrup. It’s one of the only things that works against a virus–antibiotics do not. Keep some in your cupboard for the next time you get the flu. Here’s some info: “A new, Norwegian study involved 60 patients who had been suffering with flu symptoms for 48 hours or less; 90% were infected with the A strain of the virus, 10% were infected with type B. Half the group took 15 milliliters of Elderberry syrup and the other group took a placebo four times a day for five days. Patients in the Elderberry group had “pronounced improvements” in… Read more »
JohnDoe
JohnDoe
4 years 10 months ago

Edible epsom salts (and other forms of magnesium) taken daily can completely eliminate seizures in many epileptics. This spares them the lifelong side effects of pyschotropic antiepileptic medications. The salts have magnesium, something fantastic for neural functioning.

julie
4 years 10 months ago

Garlic capsules by the handful for me. That consistently knocks out respiratory infections for me, as well as other infections (such as the time I decided to get my ears pierced and ended up with a swollen pussy mess!) Garlic has never failed me, I haven’t taken antibiotics in years. I have also successfully treated my pets with coconut oil when they’ve had injuries/infections. I applied it topically as well as added it along with cod liver oil to their food.

oxide
oxide
4 years 10 months ago

“Would you consider a fecal transplant? If you do try it out, let me know how that goes.”

You first, Mark.

Jon
Jon
4 years 10 months ago

I’ll even send you some for free! 😉

This is Sparta Strength
4 years 10 months ago

Anitbiotics are definitely a cause of a lot of infrections. I haven’t been sick in 2 and a half years and I think a large part of that is because I have stopped worrying about washing my hands and dishes so thoroughly. Probiotics have done great things for me too.

DRK
DRK
4 years 10 months ago

For infected cuts, punctures, or skin infections epsom salt works better than any antibiotic.

deb
4 years 10 months ago

For topical use we’ve done well with coconut oil with a couple drops of tea tree (melaleuca) oil mixed in. I keep it in a small bottle in the bathroom and it gets applied to cuts and scrapes and rashes as needed, even to athlete’s foot. When the commercial antibiotic ointment didn’t help heal an infected scrape on my husband’s leg, even after a week’s use, this mix did the trick in two days.

azsundevil
azsundevil
4 years 10 months ago

What about sulfa drugs? How do they fit? This is what I usually get for ear infections. The “wait and see” method has never worked for me.

RMTC
4 years 10 months ago
I would like to know who is going to pay for the 500 person RCT double-blind study on garlic? Correct me if I am wrong, but garlic isn’t a big money maker. Hence why many natural products do not have a lot of large studies behind them. Please keep this in mind when purporting only evidenced-based care. Furthermore, while antibiotics certainly are important in many cases, as a student of naturopathic medicine studying, the antimicrobial actions of herbs and whole foods cannot be discounted. At all! There is no issue with taking herbs over antibiotics especially in a world where… Read more »
PJ
PJ
4 years 10 months ago

BINGO! Well said. I also wonder how many children got hearing damage from an untreated ear infection as opposed to tubes being placed in their ears and continuous rounds of antibiotics for recurrent infections. I believe if anyone is getting recurrent infections, you need to find out WHY AND WHAT IS CAUSING THEM and eliminate the cause. Isn’t that what natural medicine is all about, after all?

deb
4 years 10 months ago
Actually, it’s not bad to be prudent with herbs either. As with pretty much any substance, allergic reactions can and do occur; my youngest child seems to be over her reactions to rosemary, but we still do our best to avoid it. (I wish the people who included it in “Natural Flavors” when selling turkey would do the same, because sometimes that’s the only way we can get it. :-() We have also had a couple of infections get downright dangerous despite following a darned good eating regimen and good supplementing practices even before we went Paleo; even though we… Read more »
Adrienne
Adrienne
4 years 10 months ago
Hi Mark… as someone who’s research touches on both immunology and the human microbiome field, I am appalled and terrified by your advice about trying fecal transplants at home. While you put in a cursory warning – at least your legal department got you to do that – you neglect to clearly spell out the incredible risk involved. Feces is full of a lot more than beneficial bacteria. The potential for transmission of pathogenic bacteria, parasites and serious, life threatening viruses (Hep, HIV, etc) is very very real. There are things most people would never think to test for because… Read more »
Dan Lombardi
Dan Lombardi
4 years 10 months ago
I learned my lesson with antibiotics. I was a super healthy and active 35 year old that was into running/biking/triathlons, etc. I rarely got sick, but with a 3 year old, it happened. I got a sinus infection in April 2011, and went to the Dr. I was prescribed AVELOX, 10 pills, 1 a day… the side effect listed “May Rupture Tendons”, typically in 60+ year olds.. So i figured while i was on these meds, I would take it easy in the gym. Soon after, my knees ached while running or biking. Then it got worse, and worse, to… Read more »
drk
drk
4 years 10 months ago

My story is the same as yours. The ENT That was treating my sinus infection insisted my rapid decline wasn’t caused by the antibiotics, or prednisone. Now I’m a non compliant patient, but doing much better eating homemade sour kraut, and drinking homemade mead.

Geoff
Geoff
4 years 10 months ago

Hi drk – prednisone is a corticosteroid that is contra-indicated with fluroquinolones. FQ’s alone have a high serious adverse reaction (wide spread damage) profile. With steroids or nsaids or caffeine that risk is heightened.

Geoff
Geoff
4 years 10 months ago
Dan – same experience for me from crossfit to crippled due to fluroquinolones. One year on most of the ADR’s are passed but I’m not able to get back to the kind of strength and speed training I was doing before. I wouldn’t bother with further tests – they most probably wont show anything. Join the FB groups and put yr story up on the fluroquinolone wall of pain. And check out http://www.saferpills.org the advocacy group on FQ’s – covers the private university studies on Levaquin. They are looking to have an advocate representative in every US state. If youve… Read more »
Dan Lombardi
Dan Lombardi
4 years 10 months ago
Thanks Geoff… I looked up Dr. Cohen’s website and there’s a whole link specifically for issues due to fluoroquinolones. I may call him up to make a phone-appointment to see what suggestions he has. http://www.jaycohenmd.com/fluoroquinolone.html I am on Facebook’s “Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Toxicity (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin)” group… I also heard good thinks about Ozone-Therapy, so I’m looking into trying that. I just cannot believe this has happened to me, and how the FDA has not put a stop to this already. If I get any worse, I worry about not being able to work, since it hurts to type and… Read more »
Geoff
Geoff
4 years 10 months ago

Hi Dan

You can contact me or any of the QVF rep’s from the saferpills site, I’m in UK – but there may be one in yr state. I know some are organising meet-ups. I dont think Dr J C has any further info than what you can gather from these guys or the fqtoxicity site/yahoo forum. Theres a bunch of folks you can talk to. Drop me a line if you like.

Be great to see Mark do something on FQ’s at some point, they really are a serious health hazard.

Geoff

tlc
tlc
4 years 9 months ago

you might want to consider homeopathy. they have good results clearing up iatrogenic disease caused by pharmaceutical side effects. they can make a homeopathic remedy from the pharmaceutical in question and use it to help your body eliminate its cellular memory as long as there has not been irreversible structural damage.

Rene R
Rene R
4 years 10 months ago
Just about the same thing happened to me. I was prescribed Cipro for a kidney infection. The infection cleared up within a day or two, but I started having pain in my left achilles tendon. For that I was prescribed a powerful anti arthritis drug- with many scary warnings- which had me doubled over with stomach pain. It was after almost a year that I discovered, browsing on the net, the connection between tendon problems and these drugs. My Dr did not believe it even after I brought the package insert to him, with a great big warning about it.… Read more »
Brenda
Brenda
4 years 10 months ago
I have never, ever posted a comment in my life, but I have to comment on Cipro. I have noticed that because my husband and I are attorneys, we tend to be “over-treated” (damn lawyers are always suing, you know). Starting at age 30, I began my antibiotic allergic reactions, including epi-pen shot at around 34. Even with these known allergies, my drug-happy doc prescribed Cipro for I don’t even remember what. I couldn’t walk! My knees and joints, my headache worse than my past migraines…finally, FINALLY after a wireless ER visit, we determined it was the Cipro that was… Read more »
Brenda
Brenda
4 years 10 months ago

…oops, my inexperience at commenting is showing. To cut to the chase, I skipped the squatting equipment and cured my lifelong bowel issues after a week. I only recently admitted to my skeptical hubby that I now always squat. My point is, I have slowly learned that the things that sound the most unconventional or even crazy may be exactly what the doctor didn’t order–and that alone is worth a second look.

freddie-set-go
4 years 10 months ago

Have you seen a Lyme Literate doctor?

KathyS
KathyS
8 months 27 days ago
I wish I’d found your message sooner. about a month ago I was given an RX of Levofloxican, a fluoroquinolone, for a resistant bacterial infection in a surgical wound on my foot. After taking a couple pills the tendons in my shoulders started hurting, my right knee became painful, and my RA became painful for the first time in over two yrs (I’d been taking turmeric to control the RA pain). Even after stopping the pills I am very sore all over, have a hard time getting dressed and am worried I could be like many others who have permanent… Read more »
knifegill
knifegill
4 years 10 months ago

You forgot dandelion root tea! Taking fresh dandelion root and chopping it up to make a long-steeping tea will pretty much destroy all inflammation in your body and stop infections like boils and infected cuts. Works every single time. For the bacterial sniffles (green mucus), drink it twice a day for about ten days. Symptoms go away on the first day, but you want to really clean house, so ten days to two weeks is recommended.

*disclaimer – If it’s not working, get to a doctor!

Shelli
Shelli
4 years 10 months ago

There’s an herb I only know as “mountain tea” that is absolutely wonderful for colds and congestion of any kind. I began using it 20 years ago while living in Greece, and it’s available in Greek/Middle Eastern groceries in the States, and in a lot of fruit and veg shops and ethnic delis here in AU. I think it’s a sage. Anyway, I brew it one stalk broken up per cup of tea and drink it with honey or just straight. Seems to help break up congestion and definitely eases the symptoms of colds.

David
David
4 years 10 months ago

I cure sinus infections with fresh garlic crushed into juice and 1-2 drops applied to my nostrils (using the tip of a well-washed pinkie finger). Works every time in a few days, and has replaced the several-times-a-year antibiotics I used to get. There may not be clinical studies to support this yet, but three straight years of this versus the previous 10 of antibiotic therapy and I’m a believer!

Amyamm
Amyamm
4 years 10 months ago

I’m a big fan of the “wait and see” method, unfortunately my antibiotic-hungry patients aren’t. Everyone wants instant results and falsely think that’s what antibiotics do. Also want to put my plug in for the Neti pot as an awesome cure for many problems with sinus and allergic disease!

martha
martha
4 years 10 months ago

For whatever this is worth… (besides, or in addition to, colloidal silver) this is a concoction I made up in a large quantity….Seems very effective.
Equal parts of:
Fresh chopped garlic
Fresh chopped onion
Fresh grated ginger root
fresh horseradish root
fresh cayenne (or hotter) peppers
raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Mix in glass jar, shake at least once a day for minimum of two weeks.
Filter.
Dose: one or two ounces two or more times daily.

cj
cj
4 years 10 months ago

That’s an old remedy that’s been around a long time and it works great for prevention as well.

Sally
Sally
4 years 10 months ago

I get chronic sinus/strep infections and my naturopath suggested putting xylitol in my neti pot and rinsing twice a day. It takes a while (a week or more) but it works for me. Whenever I feel one coming on I supplement with garlic and extra vitamin c, plus the xylitol in the neti pot, and I can now fight them off naturally.

I dissolve 2 teaspoons of powdered xylitol in 2 cups of warm water.

Tam
Tam
4 years 10 months ago
A very timely post. I would like to ask about how best to deal with the ‘Mystery bacterial infections’. I currently have a red swollen head and face, with puffy eyelids. Extremely disfiguring. Along with it has been fever and chills and a day of diarrhoea. Tests reveal it is a skin bacterial infection of some kind, but the petri dish is yet to grow the spores to tell us what. No one I know has this. I don’t usually take antibiotics, but, I have succumbed, given how frightening this is. I suspect I picked up the germs from my… Read more »
Caroline
Caroline
4 years 9 months ago

Histoplasmosis maybe?

From Google:

Histoplasma fungus grows in soil. When particles become airborne, they can be breathed into the lungs, causing infection. Soil contaminated with bird or bat droppings may have a higher concentration of the fungus.

After infecting the lungs, the fungus travels to distant areas of the body, including the skin. This is a sign of widespread (disseminated) infection. Skin lesions can be caused by an immune response to the infection (usually a rash called erythema nodosum or erythema multiforme), or by the fungus itself when it spreads to the skin.

Jacqui
Jacqui
4 years 10 months ago

What about Apple Cider Vinegar for infections? Like sinus related infections?

Susan Alexander
4 years 10 months ago
Mark: THANK YOU for the much-needed short list of what to do when taking a round of antibiotics, which I am now. I asked for the list in the comments yesterday, and boom, here’s the list today. Can’t get much speedier help than that. I am very grateful. Much is written on this blog about stress. So I know better than to stress over taking this round, notwithstanding the all the scary information that abounds. I’ve taken antibiotics before, never habitually, always with improvement that would not likely have resulted without them, and with my other systems (including my gut)… Read more »
Michal
Michal
4 years 10 months ago

Susan, just a quick note that dashing out for some sauerkraut isnt the solution you are after, most that come in a can is not kraut at all but cooked sterelised cabage with vineger. The web is filled with advice on how to make it, and its great ! Or finding a speciality shop that has real kraut is the only other solution.

Susan Alexander
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks so much. There’s a great specialty shop near me here in NYC. I’d never opt for the canned. 🙂

esochiro60
esochiro60
4 years 10 months ago

Neem ( azadirachta Indica) has potent antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

Also called the “village pharmacy”…

Lauren
4 years 10 months ago

and stinks to high heaven 😀

Jacqui
Jacqui
4 years 10 months ago

I have had this thing where when I stand my ears start pounding from the inside and the only way I can stop it is to swallow hard quite a few times. Then there is major crackling in my ears when I swallow. I feel really tired and weak also. This has been happening for a few months now. So I have just recently started apple cider vinegar. It is really annoying. Any suggestions???

Lila
Lila
4 years 10 months ago
Hey- I am sure that someone has already answered your question already but in case they haven’t you are probably experiencing orthostatic hypotension (hope I spelled that correctly) which is simply low blood pressure upon standing. I have always had it and the primal life has only increased it. Certainly make sure that you get checked out and don’t just take my suggestion. However, it can be ameliorated by standing up slowly. I personally have to monitor my sea salt intake as well. A lot of people go crazy on this site about salt- but they are mostly men and… Read more »
diane
diane
4 years 10 months ago
I can also report health problems that started with a round of antibiotics for strep throat. I ended up with a systemic yeast infection that caused outbreaks of hives for three years. I finally conquered it using a supplement called SF722 and eliminating all grains and refined carbs from my diet. And by the way, taking large doses of garlic in late pregnancy may cause hemorrhage after birth. It thins the blood. I frequently use oregano oil at the first sign of illness. It has worked very well to stave off whatever I felt was trying to make me ill.
Sheena
Sheena
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for your timely post, Mark! For the most part, I find that oil of oregano will kill most infections if you catch them at the very beginning. I couldn’t stand the taste, so I put the drops in a gelatine capsule, along with some crushed dried parsley. The parsley helps with the return visits from the oregano. Five drops in a capsule, and two capsules every few hours staves off most viruses. Cheers.

Ash
Ash
4 years 10 months ago
A good chiropractor all the way! I’m a vegetarian and prior to three years ago I used to get a cold of some sort every season change (4x a year), which I put down to being vegetarian (everyone tells you you’re unhealthy). Then I started seeing a corrective chiropractor after discovering via xray I have some messed up scoliosis which was inhibiting my central nervous system to operate effectively. I see my chiro twice a week now and not a lie I havn’t been sick in three years now. My xrays have improved DRAMATICALLY! Twice I’ve started to develop symptoms… Read more »
Ed
4 years 10 months ago

I would have to agree with you about chiropractors. I was a huge skeptic for the longest time…but finally gave them a try when I couldn’t take my sore back anymore. I felt instantly 100% better and pain free.

Now mind you I am currently trying to correct my posture and focus on preventing back injury when I exercise and work. I do dream of the day when i don’t need to seek the assistance of a chiropractor, but for now I have to say they have been of help…

Jo Hayes
Jo Hayes
4 years 10 months ago
Chiropractic has been a part of my life from age 15. My understanding is that having an optimal functioning nervous system is foundational and therefore essential to optimal health potential. I know my body is self healing and self regulating. I recognise that with stress (physical, chemical or emotional) comes compromise and therefore being in a state of vulnerability. I see the key to optimal health is managing your stress load. Know how to offset the effects of stress with good nutrition, exercise, positive mental attitude (everything you promote on this site) and of course regular chiropractic care. Preventing the… Read more »
Ash
Ash
4 years 10 months ago

Couldn’t of said it better myself! Great to hear when people are letting their body heal without antibiotics 🙂

Elenor
Elenor
4 years 10 months ago

Twice a week?! For three years?! My word, but that chiro must be making a LOT of money off you!!

How is that continual “treatment” not just treating the symptoms? What is your prognosis, what program does s/he have to weaning you OFF continual “treatments”?

I love chiro — I use it whenever I *need* — but twice a week for years?!?! Hmmmm… Maybe you need a second opinion from a chiro who does NOT want to keep you comin’ back!

Betsy T
Betsy T
4 years 10 months ago

Antibiotics can be life savers if used correctly. Should never be the the first course of action unless the person is not healthy and does not have an immune system capable of healing itself. All of the alternatives in the comments are worthy of mention. I am way more afraid of antibiotics and resultant side effects than I am of any of the alternatives (this does not include fecal use which is NOT necessary with so many other safe alternatives). Silver (not homemade) and tea tree oil are my first line of defense.

ladycopper5
ladycopper5
4 years 10 months ago
Animal lover here and my vet regularly prescribes honey for wounds – including a really deep bite wound on one of my horse’s back legs. It healed quicker than I expected, from a neighbor dog given her history of injuries, and with almost no scarring. He also advises alum powder to stop bleeding quickly. Cattle people have always known that when you have a sick cow it’s a good idea to steal some cud from another cow and give it to the sick one. Foals also regularly eat manure and horse people are told not to try to prevent them… Read more »
Renata
Renata
4 years 10 months ago
My doctor prescribed antibiotics for H. Pylori. She admitted that my symptoms might or might not be caused by H. Pylori. She thought it was a good first step. She also said that most likely my whole family has this, but since they have no symptoms, they don’t need to be treated. I thought that if I took the antibiotics I would just get reinfected from my family members later and I didn’t like the idea of two different antibiotics for 2 weeks. So I did some reading and found opposing opinions about H. Pylori. One researcher even claims that… Read more »
Helen K
Helen K
4 years 10 months ago

I may be in the minority here but I got pseudomembranous colitis as a result of taking an antibiotic. Talk about sick!!! I thought I was going to croak. I would have taken a fecal transplant then, no question!
I imagine if you polled people with antibiotic associated illnesses such as C. Diff or pseudomembranous colitis, you would probably get a higher percentage.

Isabella
Isabella
4 years 10 months ago

Love your “chocolate milkshake” comment, Mark. I do enjoy your sense of humour! I’m a big fan of honey, garlic, and essential oils, especially Ti Tree & Eucalyptus. We’re probably not going to see double-blind/placebo/etc tests anytime soon: hard to patent natural products, so where’s the impetus to spend research dollars? And fecal transplants just need a good spin doctor to find a new name!

BT
BT
4 years 10 months ago

I am just looking up the properties of diluted hydrogen peroxide as a possible replacement for antibiotics…I have read somewhere there are staff infections that respond to treatment with H2O2 where antibiotics have failed

dasbutch
dasbutch
4 years 10 months ago

Just believe!

Paul Verizzo
Paul Verizzo
4 years 10 months ago
My hat is off to you! Yes, so many health opinions are more of “belief” than “objectivity.” Just like religion. Science doesn’t have all of the answers, but it has many. There is a reason that so many people died of infections before antibiotics. Jeeeeeez……. Antibiotics are one tool among many. I don’t select a screwdriver when I need a hammer. As an example, my rosacea. No OTC or Metrogel would fix it. But low dose Doxycycline acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it works great. More science, less religion. Dietary or spiritual. Mark walks a good middle path in this… Read more »
Xenia
Xenia
4 years 10 months ago
To all the “members of the medical profession”, we do not need any scaremongering, thank you. Humans and their ancestors have lived for several millions of years without doctors and antibiotics. I have cured many different types of infections, including ear infection and UTI, with the wonderful natural substances, described here by Mark and the readers. I have done it in my dogs as well, so nobody can say it was placebo effect. On top of that, I have also cured an autoimmune disease in my dog with natural cures because I would never ever let my dog be messed… Read more »
Erik
Erik
4 years 10 months ago
On that note, in referring to mentions of “how many people died of infection before antibiotics etc…” isolated antibiotics (starting with penicillin) were invented in an environment where proper healing through herbs had been marginalized by the stigma of their association with witchcraft not too long before that. For a good while, prayer was supposed to be your only antibiotic, if you didn’t want to be burned at the stake. Fast forward to the invention of antibiotics- herbs were the witchcraft of the past, and faith in “nature-conquering”-minded science was replacing faith in prayer. With the rise to dominance of… Read more »
Paul Verizzo
Paul Verizzo
4 years 10 months ago
Oh, puh-leez. The herbs were not marginalized due to affiliation with witchcraft, they were marginalized due to lack of effectiveness in most cases. I’m not saying that herbal remedies are never effective, but that they are a lot less so than the herbal religionists would like to believe. I’m sure the military would have been huge users of herbs, but no, it took the invention of sulfa drugs to significantly decrease mortality of the infected. As some have pointed out, there have been problems with antibiotics. Overuse, in our food chain, individual reactions. But don’t throw the baby out with… Read more »
Erik
Erik
4 years 10 months ago

Any direct experience on the matter?

wpDiscuz