Posted: Apr 01, 2012 7:00 AM
 
Before opting for another round of antibiotics, try these natural options that have proved to be as effective as or more effective than prescription drugs at killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Natural remedies have few, if any, side effects, and they won't damage the healthy bacteria that are essential to a strong immune system.

Garlic

Besides tasting delicious in just about any savory recipe, garlic is one of the most potent natural healers. Garlic is high in allicin which is similar to antibiotics such as penicillin. It can be taking internally or applied topically at the first sign of infections. Allicin has been proven to be effective against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), two infections that are difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics.

Garlic is particularly beneficial for ear infections. A study in the archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that garlic drops helped to relieve pain from acute ear infections. Luckily garlic is inexpensive and easy to find. A simple solution can be made by simmering garlic with olive oil on low heat for 5 minutes. Let the solution sit and then strain. The solution can then be dropped into the ear.

Apple cider vinegar

High quality apple cider vinegar with the "mother" still intact is known to contain several nutrients including Vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It is also effective at treating a variety of ailments from yeast infections to allergies. Preliminary studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can be effective for diabetics, weight loss, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of some cancers to name a few.

Adults can drink a few teaspoons diluted in water up to three times per day, or it can be added to bath water to help remedy fungal infections or vaginal yeast infections. Apple cider is very acidic, so it shouldn't be consumed over a long period of time or in mass quantities.

Matcha green tea

Green tea in general offers many benefits, but one in particular is that it can boost the effectiveness of antibiotics. However, you'd have to drink several cups a day to get results. Matcha green tea is a powder made from the entire tea leaf compared with regular green tea in which just the water seeped in leaves is consumed. High-quality matcha green tea has up to nine times the beta-carotene found in spinach and up to 17 times the antioxidants found in blueberries.

Raw honey

Raw honey is beneficial both topically and internally. It is a potent antiseptic, antibiotic and antibacterial. It may help with anything from allergies to insomnia to serious infections such as gangrene. In addition, raw honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Honey can reduce inflammation making it particularly helpful on burns. It can even be applied as a face mask to help treat acne and other facial breakouts.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil contains elenoic acid, a known antibiotic and antiviral compound. Much like garlic, it has shown to be effective at treating antibiotic-resistant infections such as staphylococcus. The oil can be mixed with water and gargled to help relieve sore throats or taken in pill form to help boost the immune system and rid the body of infection.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil shouldn't be consumed internally but is one of the best topical remedies for skin infections. It is a potent antibiotic and anti fungal that can be effective at treating bacterial skin infections such as CA-MRSA.

Probiotics

A daily dose of probiotics will help ensure that the good bacteria levels remain high whether you are sick or not.

The intestinal tract is where many of our immune system defenses live. Our bodies are filled with a multitude of bacteria both good and bad, and it is the good bacteria that helps keep our immune systems strong, helps keep bad bacteria from causing problems and aids in digestion. Traditional antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in our bodies which often results in residual issues such as yeast infections, rashes and a depressed immune system. The effects of antibiotics can last well after the treatment is over with some staying in the system for years. A daily dose of probiotics will help ensure that the good bacteria levels remain high whether you are sick or not. If you have recently taken antibiotics, an increased dose of probiotics may help you avoid issues resulting from lack of beneficial bacteria.

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