Herbal Antibiotics: Fighting Infections Naturally

Herbal Antibiotics: Fighting Infections Naturally

Author -  Good Health

Antibiotics are medicines that fight off bacterial infections. Penicillin was the first antibiotic developed that harmed the pathogen cell but not the human cell. That was in 1928, and since then more and more antibiotics have been developed. Although antibiotics are only available with a prescription from the doctor, their misuse and overuse has allowed some bacteria to genetically mutate and form resistant bacteria strains.

While New Zealand’s rate of antibiotic resistance is relatively low, our average use of antibiotics is high. Antibiotics affect people differently. Some side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and increased infection. However at large, one of the biggest side effects of antibiotics is their effect on the gut microbiome – our colonies of good bacteria.

After antibiotic use it can take several months for good bacteria to recolonise and as a result the immune system becomes compromised. Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system is in the gut? Prior to the development of antibiotics, herbs were used to support the immune system, and unlike antibiotics which fight against bacterial infections only, herbs can protect you against a range of microbes as well as providing many other benefits that support the body to recover. Help to fight infections naturally with these five herbal antibiotics.

Health benefits of Echinacea.jpg

1. Echinacea

First used by Native Americans as treatment for snakebites, colic, wounds and infections; Echinacea has been used for a variety of infections for hundreds of years. Introduced into standard medical practice in the United States in the 1800s, Echinacea was a popular anti-infective medicine. That was until the development of antibiotics, where its use fell out of favour. 

Echinacea however is becoming popular once again as research confirms that it is effective for treating many strains of microorganisms, as well as being an anti-inflammatory agent. Functioning primarily as an immune modulator, Echinacea modulates immune function against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Research suggests it is particularly effective against upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, the common cold, influenza-like viral infections, staphylococcus, streptococcal, candida and herpes viruses. 

Echinacea works best at the first sign of infection, helping to reduce symptoms and the duration of the infection. If you are susceptible to any of the above infections, Echinacea can be used as a preventative treatment, to reduce the development of infection before it starts. As Echinacea regulates the immune system, it is important to note that patients being treated with auto-immune conditions should avoid it unless they have been told otherwise by a health professional. 

Health benefits of Manuka.jpg

2. Manuka

In New Zealand we have all heard of the benefits of Manuka Honey, but do you know what makes the honey so special? It is the Native Manuka. Bees pollinate the Manuka bush and the product provides stronger antibiotic properties than any other types of honey. Traditionally Manuka was used to reduce fever, as a sedative, pain killer and to aid urinary conditions. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory in nature, Manuka is an effective treatment against bacterial, fungal and helminth infections, fevers and colds. Manuka may be effective against the growth of streptococcal bacteria that causes a sore throat, aid asthma, bronchitis and sinus problems and clear infections by boosting the immune system. Manuka’s anti-ulcer and astringent properties means that it is also a great topical preparation for healing wounds, or fungal infections. 

Thyme can be used to treat whooping cough and shortness of breath.jpg

3. Thyme

Used as an aromatic cooking herb for centuries, Thyme’s use as an antimicrobial, dates back to the 17th century where herbalists used Thyme to treat whooping cough and shortness of breath. Traditional western medical herbalists still use Thyme today for conditions of the respiratory tract. Due to its antibacterial, antiviral and anthelmintic properties, largely attributed to the essential oil, Thyme has been classified as a natural antibiotic. Thyme is an effective treatment for both dry and chesty coughs. With its relaxing effect on the bronchial tubes, Thyme helps to reduce spastic bronchitis and asthma; where the expectorant action helps to thin and expel phlegm. Thyme may also be gargled to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with tonsillitis and laryngitis. Used topically when diluted, it may also be used for skin infections or minor wounds. Great when used as an inhalant via steam in hot water, the essential oil is potent, 1-2 drops may be sufficient.

Olive leaf boosts the natural immune response.jpg

4. Olive Leaf

Olive has historically been valued for its fruit and oil, however it is the leaves that are used medicinally. Credited with providing resistance against insects and damage, olive leaf provides broad spectrum anti-bacterial activity, and has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the broad protection olive leaf provides, that boosts our natural immune response, helping it also to fight against candida and staphylococcus infections. It is also effective for the prevention or treatment of respiratory tract infections, as a natural bronchodilator and general immune tonic.

Astralagus is often used for long term immune conditions and ongoing poor health.jpg

5. Astralagus

 First recorded in the Materia Medica around 2000 years ago, astralagus was used as an antioxidant to stimulate immune function and for the treatment of viral infections. Contemporary research has confirmed what was always known, that astralagus helps to enhance the immune system, and as an antioxidant, protects cells against damage. Astralagus protects and provides support to the immune system, and can aid the prevention and treatment of viral infections as well as reducing the duration of common colds and flus. 

Popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astralagus is used for invigorating vital energy, and to strengthen and tonify Qi. Astralagus also functions as an adaptogen, helping to protect the body against physical, mental and emotional stressors, which may be why it is commonly used to enhance recuperation and reduce fatigue. Astralagus is often used for long term immune conditions and ongoing poor health.

Maintain your body with natural antibiotic herbs that can help support your immune system against infections.jpg

The body has an innate ability to heal itself when nurtured correctly. As natural medicine gains popularity and we learn about the harm that long term antibiotic use can cause, many people are turning to herbs to aid their health and wellbeing. Certain herbs contain potent substances that act medicinally and not only help support the immune system, but other body systems simultaneously. 

Herbal medicine can work well alongside orthodox medicine however it is crucial to know that interactions may occur, so always talk to your health professional before use. With winter upon us, this is the time to put your health and wellbeing first. Maintain your body with natural antibiotic herbs that can help support your immune system against infections, should they occur.

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Herbal Antibiotics: Fighting Infections Naturally

Antibiotics are medicines that fight off bacterial infections. Penicillin was the first antibiotic developed that harmed the pathogen cell but not the human cell. That was in 1928, and since then more and more antibiotics have been developed. Although antibiotics are only available with a prescription from the doctor, their misuse and overuse has allowed some bacteria to genetically mutate and form resistant bacteria strains. While New Zealand’s rate of antibiotic resistance is relatively low, our average use of antibiotics is high. Antibiotics affect people differently. Some side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and increased infection. However at large, one of the biggest side effects of antibiotics is their effect on the gut microbiome – our colonies of good bacteria. After antibiotic use it can take several months for good bacteria to recolonise and as a result the immune system becomes compromised. Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system is in the gut? Prior to the development of antibiotics, herbs were used to support the immune system, and unlike antibiotics which fight against bacterial infections only, herbs can protect you against a range of microbes as well as providing many other benefits that support the body to recover. Help to fight infections naturally with these five herbal antibiotics.

Health benefits of Echinacea.jpg

1. Echinacea

First used by Native Americans as treatment for snakebites, colic, wounds and infections; Echinacea has been used for a variety of infections for hundreds of years. Introduced into standard medical practice in the United States in the 1800s, Echinacea was a popular anti-infective medicine. That was until the development of antibiotics, where its use fell out of favour. 

Echinacea however is becoming popular once again as research confirms that it is effective for treating many strains of microorganisms, as well as being an anti-inflammatory agent. Functioning primarily as an immune modulator, Echinacea modulates immune function against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Research suggests it is particularly effective against upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, the common cold, influenza-like viral infections, staphylococcus, streptococcal, candida and herpes viruses. 

Echinacea works best at the first sign of infection, helping to reduce symptoms and the duration of the infection. If you are susceptible to any of the above infections, Echinacea can be used as a preventative treatment, to reduce the development of infection before it starts. As Echinacea regulates the immune system, it is important to note that patients being treated with auto-immune conditions should avoid it unless they have been told otherwise by a health professional. 

Health benefits of Manuka.jpg

2. Manuka

In New Zealand we have all heard of the benefits of Manuka Honey, but do you know what makes the honey so special? It is the Native Manuka. Bees pollinate the Manuka bush and the product provides stronger antibiotic properties than any other types of honey. Traditionally Manuka was used to reduce fever, as a sedative, pain killer and to aid urinary conditions. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory in nature, Manuka is an effective treatment against bacterial, fungal and helminth infections, fevers and colds. Manuka may be effective against the growth of streptococcal bacteria that causes a sore throat, aid asthma, bronchitis and sinus problems and clear infections by boosting the immune system. Manuka’s anti-ulcer and astringent properties means that it is also a great topical preparation for healing wounds, or fungal infections. 

Thyme can be used to treat whooping cough and shortness of breath.jpg

3. Thyme

Used as an aromatic cooking herb for centuries, Thyme’s use as an antimicrobial, dates back to the 17th century where herbalists used Thyme to treat whooping cough and shortness of breath. Traditional western medical herbalists still use Thyme today for conditions of the respiratory tract. Due to its antibacterial, antiviral and anthelmintic properties, largely attributed to the essential oil, Thyme has been classified as a natural antibiotic. Thyme is an effective treatment for both dry and chesty coughs. With its relaxing effect on the bronchial tubes, Thyme helps to reduce spastic bronchitis and asthma; where the expectorant action helps to thin and expel phlegm. Thyme may also be gargled to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with tonsillitis and laryngitis. Used topically when diluted, it may also be used for skin infections or minor wounds. Great when used as an inhalant via steam in hot water, the essential oil is potent, 1-2 drops may be sufficient.

Olive leaf boosts the natural immune response.jpg

4. Olive Leaf

Olive has historically been valued for its fruit and oil, however it is the leaves that are used medicinally. Credited with providing resistance against insects and damage, olive leaf provides broad spectrum anti-bacterial activity, and has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the broad protection olive leaf provides, that boosts our natural immune response, helping it also to fight against candida and staphylococcus infections. It is also effective for the prevention or treatment of respiratory tract infections, as a natural bronchodilator and general immune tonic.

Astralagus is often used for long term immune conditions and ongoing poor health.jpg

5. Astralagus

 First recorded in the Materia Medica around 2000 years ago, astralagus was used as an antioxidant to stimulate immune function and for the treatment of viral infections. Contemporary research has confirmed what was always known, that astralagus helps to enhance the immune system, and as an antioxidant, protects cells against damage. Astralagus protects and provides support to the immune system, and can aid the prevention and treatment of viral infections as well as reducing the duration of common colds and flus. 

Popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astralagus is used for invigorating vital energy, and to strengthen and tonify Qi. Astralagus also functions as an adaptogen, helping to protect the body against physical, mental and emotional stressors, which may be why it is commonly used to enhance recuperation and reduce fatigue. Astralagus is often used for long term immune conditions and ongoing poor health.

Maintain your body with natural antibiotic herbs that can help support your immune system against infections.jpg

The body has an innate ability to heal itself when nurtured correctly. As natural medicine gains popularity and we learn about the harm that long term antibiotic use can cause, many people are turning to herbs to aid their health and wellbeing. Certain herbs contain potent substances that act medicinally and not only help support the immune system, but other body systems simultaneously. 

Herbal medicine can work well alongside orthodox medicine however it is crucial to know that interactions may occur, so always talk to your health professional before use. With winter upon us, this is the time to put your health and wellbeing first. Maintain your body with natural antibiotic herbs that can help support your immune system against infections, should they occur.

Herbal Antibiotics: Fighting Infections Naturally
 
 
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