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General Health Channel
Reported October 13, 2011

Home Remedies: Natural Antibiotics

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- When taken properly, antibiotics save lives, but overuse is giving rise to superbugs around the country like MRSA that kill thousands of people a year. So what can you do? There may be some natural answers.

Dinner at the Binkley house always includes fresh veggies. The family believes in a healthy, natural lifestyle. So, when the kids get sick or hurt, Amy Binkley turns to natural antibiotics.

"Those old home remedies I remember just sort of my grandma and my mom using, so that’s just sort of followed me into adulthood," Amy told Ivanhoe. "I just like them as a sort of first line of defense and prevention."

That’s the philosophy used by Dr. Loch S. Chandler.

"So what we’re trying to do with these natural antibacterial products is to minimize the use of antibiotics and to save it for when the person really needs it," Chandler, ND, from Providence Integrative Medicine Program, told Ivanhoe.

Oregon Grape and Goldenseal both have the active ingredient "berberine" and can be taken as drops or tablets. Native Americans used it to prevent illness. It fights upper respiratory infections and sore throats.

Another infection fighter and anti-inflammatory? Turmeric. Try cooking with it or use it as a supplement.

"Typically, it’s going to be good against any infection of the lung or the digestive system or even the urinary tract or bladder," Dr. Chandler said.

Honey also packs a powerful punch. Used as a wound dressing during World War I, honey can also be used on your wounds.

"So, it can keep the bacteria from adhering to the wound but also provide an antibiotic effect," Dr. Chandler said.

A special type of honey known as Manuka has even been found to fight the superbug MRSA.

"We’re having large problems with it in the United States because it’s methicillin-resistant or antibiotic-resistant, and honey has actually been found effective against it," Dr. Chandler said.

Make sure you learn about any side effects associated with natural antibiotics before using them. Natural remedies can cost about the same as your co-pay for a prescription, without the risk of becoming resistant to bacteria. For example, a 12-ounce jar of Manuka honey can run about $15.

For additional research on this article, click here.

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at mhitchcock@ivanhoe.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Paula Negele
Media Relations
paula.negele@providence.org

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