A skillful homeopath, herbalist, or Ayurvedic practitioner can treat some bacterial infections with extracts of naturally occurring organic compounds. These antibacterial compounds have been recognized for centuries. In his book The Antibiotic Paradox, Stuart Levy, M.D., tells us:
Ancient writings report the application of cloths impregnated with natural substances and other forms of organic matter onto wounds in order to help them heal. We suspect that these old remedies worked because they contained microorganisms producing antibiotics or the drugs themselves. Anthropologists have unearthed traces of the antibiotic tetracycline in thousand-year-old Nubian mummies.
Learning to use these herbs and testing their effectiveness under modern laboratory conditions will greatly advance our understanding of both natural science and the nature of bacteria, a process that is already underway. For example, recent tests conducted at Viromed Labs of Minnesota demonstrated that Ayurvedic herbs stop the growth of bacteria known to cause the skin condition, acne vulgaris. The four herbs tested are used in the Bindi Problem Skin Kit developed by Pratima Raichur, N.D., a practitioner of Ayurveda for more than 20 years. According to Dr. Raichur, “It is very important for the modern world to see laboratory proof of the antibacterial properties of these ancient herbs. The herbs must be in the right combination and proportions to have therapeutic value. Furthermore, purity is important; preservatives and chemical additives can interfere with the healing properties of these herbs.”
Minimizing Antibiotic Exposure
As attractive as the idea may be, we are nowhere near the point where we can toss out antibiotics in favor of herbal remedies. But until we can, we need to minimize our exposure to antibiotics. By doing so, we will slow the spread of resistant bacteria, thus making it more likely antibiotics will be effective if we need them.
There are a number of steps we can take. One of the most far-reaching is to avoid ingesting antibiotics with our food. Flesh foods, milk, and eggs are often contaminated with antibiotic residue. True, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) permits each antibiotic only in trace amounts, but they add up. The controversial hormone rBGH is particularly hazardous in this regard because, as the FDA acknowledges, it may lead to increased amounts of pus and bacteria in the milk. In addition, cows injected with rBGH are more susceptible to disease, which increases the amount of antibiotic contamination in the milk.