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Registered Medical Herbalist
Luzia Barclay
Tel: 01722 330663

Antibiotic 'apocalypse' warning

Now is the time to research natural remedies with anti-microbial and immunity-boosting effects

On the 24th January 2013, the BBC drew attention to the very serious issue of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Anyone who was listening to this programme will have no doubt that our world health situation is at risk from our over-dependence on, and mis-use of antibiotics.
Source: bbc.co.uk/news/health-21178718

The Chief Medical Officer for England, the professional head of all medical staff in England and Director General of Research and Development in the NHS, Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

"It is clear that we might not ever see global warming, the apocalyptic scenario is that when I need a new hip in 20 years I'll die from a routine infection because we've run out of antibiotics."

(Click here for search results for "Dame Sally Davies on drug resistant infections" )

Prof Hugh Pennington, a microbiologist from the University of Aberdeen said:

"We have to be aware that we aren't going to have any new wonder drugs coming along because there just aren't any."

Bacterial resistance is nothing new

Bacterial resistance to attack is nothing new. Bacteria have always been adapting and changing and are very good at it. Now, they adapt faster and faster because of the misuse and over-use of antibiotics in humans and in animal husbandry.

The more we use antibiotics the faster the bacteria can change and adapt, aiming to survive the antibiotic onslaught. We need to change the way we view infections.

Louis Pasteur, the ‘Father’ of medical microbiology, realised that it is not ‘the bug’, which creates an infection, it is the ‘soil’ the bugs fall on: in particular, a depleted immune system that has to rely on antibiotics will be unable to deal with infections when affective antibiotics are no longer available.

In another way, the Imperial College in London made the following press release in September 2009 stating:

“Natural Killer cells – a type of white blood cell - are a major component of the human body's innate, quick- response immune system. They provide a fast frontline defence against tumours, viruses and bacterial infections, by scanning the human body for cells that are cancerous or infected with a virus or a bacterial pathogen, and killing them.”

Can Nature help us strengthen our own defence and help us to deal with infections?

These are all clarion calls for us to realise that it is as important as it ever has been for us to strengthen our personal defences against infections.

Increasingly, patients in hospitals, and normally healthy people in the community, are exposed to bacteria that have evolved a resistance to antibiotics.

Fortunately, nature provides us with many foods and medicines which strengthen our own defences and help us to deal with infections.

For example:

The bee product Propolis is a well researched and tested remedy (food)

Garlic has anti-microbial properties

Echinacea is used world-wide

These are just three examples from a wide spectrum of natural remedies that can come to our aid when we want to look to our day to day defences against disease, or particular maladies that we may suffer from.

A healthy life style and an intelligent attention to our diet is an obvious precaution.

The good news is that bacteria are usually unable to develop resistance against many of these natural remedies because they are complex and subtle compounds with slightly varying compositions, depending on when and where they are harvested and processed.

For example, Propolis resin harvested in Dorset or Lancashire will be subtly different to Propolis resin harvested in Kent or in the Dordogne, and it will change with time from each of these sources.

It is this subtle and complex diversity that changes with time which is the essence of the efficacy of these natural remedies.
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