After World War II there was a steep rise in certain diseases. They included asthma, allergies, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, acid reflux, and eczema.
Although it’s not technically a disease, one other condition also skyrocketed: Obesity.
Some doctors call these conditions “modern plagues.” That’s because they were relatively rare before the 20th century. It’s long been a mystery why they suddenly took hold.1
But Dr. Martin Blaser thinks he knows why.
He is director of New York University’s Human Microbiome Project.2 And he’s author of the widely acclaimed book Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues.
Dr. Blaser notes that there was a monumental change in medical care starting in the mid-1940s. At the same time these “modern plagues” began to strike, penicillin came into wide use. And other antibiotics soon followed.
Doctors began prescribing them for just about any kind of infection. Soon, farmers were using them on their livestock.
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Antibiotics Are Fueling Modern Plagues
We didn’t know it at the time, but antibiotics were dramatically changing the inside of our bodies. Along with curing our infections, the drugs were killing our “good” gut bacteria. By destroying our beneficial microbes, they left us open to a wide range of autoimmune illnesses, Dr. Blaser says.3
Every time someone takes an antibiotic “it’s going to increase their chance of getting diabetes or Crohn’s disease or obesity or asthma,” Dr. Blaser says.
How do antibiotics cause obesity? Experts don’t know the exact mechanism. But they do know that children put on multiple antibiotics are more likely to be overweight.4
The overuse of antibiotics has also given rise to resistant “superbugs.” There are now some bacterial illnesses, such as gonorrhea and MRSA, that are all but untreatable with antibiotics.5
Antibiotics can save your life. But it’s crucial you don’t take them unless you absolutely have to. For minor infections, you can rely on natural antibiotics.
Use These Natural Antibiotics Instead of Drugs
These five foods and supplements naturally fight bacterial illness:
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis): This plant is native to the American Northwest. Supplements help treat sore throats and digestive infections.6
- Manuka honey: This honey is made by bees in New Zealand and Australia. It comes from the nectar of the Manuka tree. Place a dab of it on cuts to stop them from getting infected.7
- Oregon grape (Berberis Aquifolium): When used as a tea, it is effective against urinary tract and digestive infections.
- Garlic: The pungent bulb has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Modern research confirms it works against common earaches, pneumonia, MRSA, the flu, and candida. Take garlic supplements to help fight these infections or as a preventive measure.8
- Echinacea: Traditionally, Echinacea was used to treat diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial diseases. Today it’s mostly used to fight viral infections such as colds and flu. It is effective against MRSA.9
Your gut flora is crucial to your health. That’s why you should stay away from pharmaceutical antibiotics unless your illness is potentially life threatening. These natural antibiotics will kill the bad stuff while making sure that your good bacteria thrives.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch