With the call to reduce the number of antibiotics used both in farming and via prescription, how can we reduce our personal dependence on antibiotics?
We can take a three pronged approach:
Promote natural immunity
- Eat a diet abundant in organic vegetables, fruit and raw unsalted nuts to ensure that levels of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin A and zinc are at optimal levels for immune function.
- Remove white flour and added sugar from your diet to further boost immunity.
- Eat plenty of onions, garlic, turmeric and spices to provide extra immune boosting, virus and bacteria fighting phytonutrients (beneficial plant chemicals) into your meals.
- Avoid eating non-organic animal products as they will most likely have been treated with antibiotics.
- Don’t smoke. Smokers are at a much increased risk of infection and illness.
- Get enough sleep to make you feel revitalised and ready for your day, as we need sleep to repair.
- Avoid stress, find ways to relax and feel fulfilled.
- Put regular exercise and daylight high on your agenda.
Reduce exposure to infection
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Do not put your fingers in your eyes, mouth or nose, or in any open sore or cuts if you haven’t washed your hands first (and wash again afterwards). Most bacteria enters through these points of contact.
- Reduce your contact with any allergens or triggers; these could be true allergies such as allergy to cats (determined by a skin prick test), or something not so easily identified, such as sick-building syndrome whereby mould or a contaminated air conditioning unit is contributing to ill-health and infection.
- Repeated or low grade chronic infection needs to be investigated for environmental or intolerance related causes, as continued stress on the body can undermine health.
Consider natural remedies
- Severe infections and infections unresponsive to natural treatment must be referred to your medical doctor.
- In some cases your herbalist, or naturopathic practitioner can help you on the road to health by choosing natural remedies that are appropriate, and in the correct dosage for you.
- For example: Oregano oil, echinacea, golden seal, astragalus, andrographis, elderberry, cranberry and various other herbs can be chosen to suit the site and type of infection.
- Manuka honey, tea tree and lavender oils are all useful in combating skin infection.
- Acne and other skin infections can respond well to baking soda, salicylic acid and apple cider vinegar topical applications.
- Belladonna, Ferrum Phos and Pulsatilla are all useful homeopathic remedies which can support a return to health from issues such as fever, sore throat and styes.
If you are worried about overuse and over dependence on antibiotics and feel like you haven’t got to the root cause of your health problems, see a naturopathic practitioner. They can offer a range of natural therapies appropriate for your needs, and can guide you towards dietary and lifestyle choices which promote healing and wellness.
By Gemma Hurditch, CNM lecturer.