Did you know that up to 50% of all pharmaceuticals are derived from the plant world? This is just one huge example of the potent healing power they possess.
Science is always hunting within the natural world for compounds that can fight against one of the world's greatest threats, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
Antimicrobial resistance is fuelled by the misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs. It occurs when our gut flora (microbiome) is altered and certain bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites become impervious to the antimicrobial drugs conventionally used to treat them. (1)
The reason it is so difficult to reproduce the effect nature has as an antimicrobial is because nature works holistically and synergistically. Unfortunately, Conventional Medicine (CM) does not. What is often called a reductionist approach, CM searches to isolate one specific compound in an effort to manufacture, market and sell a profitable drug.
A panel of experts found that 26% of infections are resistant to the drugs generally used to treat them. By 2050, resistance rates are likely to rise to 40%. It is estimated 1 in 16 Canadians admitted to hospital will develop an infection from a resistant superbug. (2)
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infections have increased by 60% since 2012. More than 50% of gonorrhoea infections are resistant to at least one antibiotic, and there has been a 5x increase in bacterial resistance to carbapenems, one of the world's most powerful antibiotics. (2)
Okay, so why am I scaring you?
Prevention is the key to avoiding most dis-ease. So, I want to share with you THREE natural Antimicrobial Agents, things you can put into your life right now!
1. Honey is an ancient remedy used for generations to fight infections and wounds.
Honey is the perfect example of a synergistic healing approach. It has broad-spectrum antibiotic properties that prevent bacterial biofilm formation.
AMR is unlikely to occur with honey because it contains probiotics, prebiotics, and zinc, and promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Honey is a complex, well-rounded natural food that makes it a perfect remedy for fighting burns, skin issues, wounds and even more traumatic injuries. (3)
2. Green Tea contains some serious power house antibacterial agents. They are named catechins and are not limited to bacteria. They also fight against fungi and viruses. These catechins disarm bacteria by causing damage to the cell membrane of the bacteria, which renders them useless. (4)
3. Probiotics have been used by ancient civilizations in the form of fermented foods.
If you look back back through history, all ancient cultures have some form of fermented food attached to their heritage. Probiotics are well-known to improve the quality of your gut flora, but they are also excellent sources of antibiotics. (5) Probiotics block bacterial communication and inhibit their ability to reduce nutrient availability.
Of course, if you have a serious infection, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Now more than ever, we need to become closer with nature and understand that complete healing can come from the synergistic complexities of the organic world. Health authorities from around the world have shared many concerns about the drying up of new antimicrobial agents.
Even in the most unlikely places, science is looking for more answers to the ever-increasing AMR strains. This remarkable RadioLab episode shares the story of a scientist who researched a 10th century Anglo-Saxon leech-book for a Staphylococcus aureus infection remedy! (6)
Enjoy your day.
Simon Brazier. Dip HN, NNCP
1. U.S. CDC, Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/index.html
2. About antibiotic resistance: Preserving antibiotics now and in the future, 2019.
3. Int J Microbiol. 2019; 2019:2464507. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589292/
4. Front Microbiol. 2014; 5: 434. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4138486/
5. Journal of Functional Foods. October 2020, Volume 73, 104080 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464620303042
6. A 1,000-Year-Old Antimicrobial Remedy with Antistaphylococcal Activity https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mBio.01129-15