Antibiotics: The Risk of Overuse (and a possible solution)

26/04/2018
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Overuse of Antibiotics

Anitobiotics are specialized drugs that are designed to do just what their name implies, kill living things in your body that shouldn’t be there. The prefix “anti” means against or opposed, and the root “bio” means life. Therefore, these drugs are opposed to life. Fortunately, they are made to leave human cells alone, which is why they are so valuable as a medical tool. Antibiotics can be used to sterilize an area, as is common before surgery, and oral antibiotics are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in existence.


Nowadays, people are taking antibiotics in larger doses and have made their way into cleaning products and soaps in order to kill latent bacteria. The problem with such widespread bacterial elimination is that not all bacteria are naturally weak against antibiotics. When a wave of antibiotic drugs kills the majority of bacteria in an area, those that survive are immune to that antibiotic and start to multiply. Consequently, this process helps to reload the environment with a new form of the bacteria that cannot be killed by the original antibiotic. Scientists worry that this practice has already started a chain reaction that will lead to newly formed strains of bacteria that are completely resistant to all forms of antibiotics, which ultimately defeats the purpose of using antibiotics in the first place.

 

Many health care professionals advise against the regular use of antibiotics, claiming that they should be saved for emergencies only. In its place, health care professionals are encouraging people to add natural antiseptics found in food to their diets. Below is a brief outline of some of the most common foods that not only offer good nutrition, but provide antiseptic effects as well.

1. Raw Honey

Honey of any sort is going to have antiseptic properties. In particular, raw honey, as in honey that has not been processed at all, is one of the most natural antiseptics in existence. Used as an excellent lotion for burns and other skin abrasions, honey has many medicinal benefits.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a good addition to any diet, not only because of its antiseptic properties, but for a whole host of other reasons. Offering several nutritional benefits, apple cider vinegar has antiviral properties, aids in digestion, and even helps prevent diabetes.

3. Garlic

Garlic cloves contain a substance known as allicin, which serves to give garlic its distinct smell, but also has intense medicinal qualities. It is not only one of the most natural antiseptics you’ll find, but it also kills viruses, fungi, and certain protozoa. Allicin was first developed by garlic as a way to fend off insects and other predators, and it has since been studied and even artificially synthesized to offer a better understanding of the compound.

4. Onion

Onions are in the same family as garlic, and the active compound that functions as an antiseptic is the same for any plant in the Alliaceae family. Adding onions to your diet is both delicious and nutritious. They offer nutrition in other forms as well, namely Vitamin C and B-6.

5. Ginger

Ginger is an amazing root. It is commonly referred to as one of the best natural antiseptics and it has the ability to fight certain bacterial infections, including staph, with a higher efficacy than artificial antibiotics. It is difficult to define a singular compound in ginger that offers these benefits. Instead, the benefits seem to be based on a balancing effect between the numerous active compounds in the ginger plant.

6. Habanero Peppers

These spicy little vegetables contain high doses of the compound known as capsaicin, which is responsible for the high heat associated with hot peppers. Capsaicin is also believed to have powerful antibacterial properties, which makes it a great addition to any diet.

7. Turmeric

You’ve probably heard of this spice being used in cooking, but many might be surprised to learn that it does more than offer nutrition. Turmeric is a powerful antibacterial compound that can be taken orally or used directly on the site of an external infection. Many people combine the antiseptic properties of turmeric and raw honey to create a highly therapeutic substance.

8. Oregano Oil

This surprisingly potent substance contains two distinct antibacterial compounds called carvacrol and thymol. They not only kill a wide range of bacteria, but they also have anti-fungal properties as well.

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