Most of us have taken an antibiotic at some point in our lives. I personally had to take too many antibiotics as a child from sinus infections and allergies. Antibiotics can be lifesavers for serious infections, but unfortunately, the infectious bacteria creates resistance to the antibiotics. Creating resistance means it becomes stronger.
What’s happening now, is there is an overuse of antibiotics to control infections, which is in turn building stronger bacteria. Great, we kill the bacteria and feel better, then we get hit again with an even stronger strain. How are these little guys becoming so resistant to our antibiotics? It is a frustrating dilemma in the medical world.
It is not really the antibiotics fault, it is the amazing adaptability and survival of the fittest mechanism within bacteria. The process is actually quite amazing. The bacteria start by creating mutations of their DNA, to establish a wide range of genetics. According to health.mo.gov, “some bacteria have developed biochemical “pumps” that can remove an antibiotic before it reaches its target, while others have evolved to produce enzymes to inactivate the antibiotic.” The article explains more on the mutation process and how antibiotics, “These miracle drugs” held at bay such devastating diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, which had previously been untreatable. But the steady evolution of resistant bacteria has resulted in a situation in which, for some illnesses, doctors now have only one or two drugs “of last resort” to use against infections by superbugs resistant to all other drugs.”
What are we supposed to do instead of using antibiotics? Well, it turns our there are a number of natural and herbal remedies out there, who can fight off these bacterias. I’ll list some of the big ones, and also go over how strong they are. My biggest concern is can I kill off a sinus infection with these methods? Can I survive an infection
I read and researched, and I found these options that not only seem to be super effective, but also realistic for people to use. What I mean by realistic is it doesn’t’ involve hunting through 20 holistic grocery stores, is easy to eat/drink or take, and reasonably affordable. One of the benefits of antibiotics is it is covered by most insurances, so a natural alternative that is extremely expensive isn’t’ very realistic for many to consider when they are feeling sick.
Okay, here’s the list of my top 3 alternatives to fight infection and avoid antibiotics all together!
1. Manuka Honey: Manuka honey comes specifically from the bees that pollinate the manuka plant, found in Australia. This honey has a more distinctive flavor, is darker and richer than other honey types. Manuka honey has antibacterial components that set it apart from other honey because the activity is stable, and it doesn’t lose potency when exposed to dilution, heat or light. It is also been proven to kill various bacteria strains including Helicobacter pylori (which causes most stomach ulcers); Escherichia coli (the most common cause of urinary tract infection) and Streptococcus pyogenes (which causes sore throats). Its also super easy to consume. You can take a spoonful to help with internal infections, or apply directly on a wound that might be infected. Natural Society mentions Manuka as a top natural antibiotic, Honey has been used for millennia to speed the process of healing of the skin as well as the mucous membranes of the GI tract. Manuka honey, in particular, appears to have very strong antibacterial qualities. Here is an in-depth post outlining the many other health benefits of honey. What I found most noteable in the article was, “…clinical trials have found that Manuka honey is effective against more than 250 strains of bacteria, including:
• MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
• MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
• VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
• Helicobacter Pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers)
There also aren’t a lot of side effects associated with Manuka honey. You really only have to worry if you are allergic to bees or have blood sugar issues. You can read more about the side effects here.
2. Probiotics + Neti Pot: This one I specifically mention because I know it works from personal experience, and I read a few other articles to validate my experience. The Neti Pot doesn’t fall under that category of herbal remedy, but the salt is a natural remedy that kills the bad bacteria in the sinuses. I haven’t needed antibiotics for about 2 years now because I am committed to using the neti pot every time I have allergy symptoms. Dr. Mercola has a great article on how to naturally cure a sinus infection without antibiotics, which includes “Irrigating your sinuses” as he calls it. The saline rinse thins the mucus, decreases inflammation and removes bacteria and debris from the nose. Mercola doesn’t specifically mention adding probiotics to the neti pot, but there is a great benefit to doing so. The probiotics add all the good bacteria back to your sinuses, allowing them to fight off the bad! Here is a great personal story I read of an individual who was able to cure their sinus infection using the neti pot and probiotic method.
3. Turmeric kills viruses and bacteria. Turmeric has been proven with over 4,000 years of treatment for a variety of conditions. You can find an extensive run down of everything wonderful about turmeric in one of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric benefits to date, which was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip. The Waking Times addresses whether turmeric can beat antibiotic resistant bacteria here. The article concludes: “Cleary, botanicals like turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin have massive advantage over toxic and increasingly impotent conventional drugs for combating infection. I believe that if ancient healing spices are introduced into the practice of modern medicine, the future may be far brighter than the fearsome picture the CDC and the mainstream media paints.” What I love about Turmuric is how easy it is to add to your daily diet. You can sprinkle it on your eggs, in your salad, create Turmuric Tonic found here, or take it as a supplement. I’ve even sprinkled it on popcorn and it was oh so good!
I’ve had a good experience thus far switching from antibiotic reliance, to a natural remedy and ability to help my body heal. The purpose of avoiding antibiotics is to give your body an opportunity to fight off the bacteria with the help of nature’s remedies. This is the naturally occurring process that keeps the bacteria from getting stronger. It’s a difficult decision and switch to make, especially when plagued with an infection that’s serious, and there are times when of course antibiotics are necessary and helpful. My personal goal is to gather as much help for my body as possible from what we’re given by nature as a first option, in hopes I can protect my body from the scary bacteria that is evolving and mutating to survive.