All too often when you go to the doctor with an illness such as a cold or the flu or even a minor infection, you are written a prescription for an antibiotic.
It’s almost become common practice.
While there are definitely times when an antibiotic is necessary, overuse of these medications is becoming a major issue.
Did you know that every time you take an antibiotic, not only does your body build a resistance to it but the many bacteria that survive the drug also build a resistance?
In the face of an attack by an antibiotic, bacteria change (mutate) in some way to either protect themselves from the drug or neutralize it.
Any surviving bacteria then multiply and can even pass on their resistant properties to other bacteria.
While it is completely natural for bacteria to develop a resistance to a drug (that’s how they survive), the overuse of antibiotics are drastically affecting the rate in which they do and to what degree this resistance occurs.
Antibiotics Kills Good and Bad Bacteria In Your Gut
The other issue for you is that every time you take an antibiotic, you essentially also kill the good bacteria in your system.
Your body requires healthy bacteria to function properly and remove toxins.
Without these good bacteria, you ironically become susceptible to all kinds of health issues.
Many doctors will actually tell you now that if you take an antibiotic, you should also take a probiotic after to counter the damage caused by the antibiotic. But it isn’t that simple.
In short, long-term use of antibiotics will lower your immune system and put you at risk for some very serious diseases.
An Added Problem
What you may not be aware of is that even if you do not take antibiotics regularly, you are being subjected to them in the meat (beef, poultry and pork) you eat and even in the milk and other dairy products you eat.
The beef industry currently represents a whopping 70% of all antibiotic use in the United States! That means that only 30% of the antibiotic used is for medical reasons.
The major drug companies that sell antibiotics to the farmers say they are necessary to keep the animals healthy but the truth is, the only ones benefitting are the drug companies themselves—it’s certainly not the animals who are pumped full of these drugs, nor is it the farmer who has to pay for them or you, who is forced to digest these drugs through the meat and other foods you eat that are contaminated with them.
The Reality of Antibiotic Overuse
The ultimate consequence of antibiotic use is terrifying.
As the bacteria grow stronger and are no longer resistant to antibiotics, these once life-saving drugs will no longer be of any help.
Minor infections will run rampant with no way to stop them. It will be like living in the middle ages when even a small cut could end up killing you.
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can actual do to help improve your own health and mitigate the overuse of antibiotics that will benefit everyone in the long run:
- Buy organic meat and dairy as much as possible
- Only take an antibiotic when it is absolutely necessary (many doctors are aware of this issue—find a doctor who will only prescribe antibiotics when needed.)
- Improve and build you immune system naturally
- Look to natural alternatives to antibiotics (obviously if the infection is not improving, see your doctor)
Essential Oils As An Antibiotic Alternative
Nature can provide everything you need to live and stay healthy. Almost every traditional drug was originally manufactured with a natural ingredient that was then modified chemically to create the drug.
While pharmacology now uses many more chemicals, today, at least 120 well-known drugs still contain chemical substances that are derived from plants, including: codeine, digitalis (for heart patients), ephedrine (Sudafed), Aspirin, and even morphine just to name a few.
And essential oils are made from plants that have these healing properties as well as other uses such as natural, chemical-free cleaners and pest deterrents and natural cosmetics and other beauty products.
Many studies have been done on essential oils and in many cases, they are found to be as effective, if not more, than antibiotics.
Here are just some of the oils known to be antibacterial:
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil expedites the healing process of wounds, while protecting it from exposure to air and offers antimicrobial activity.
Peppermint: Peppermint is widely used in many dental product because of its antibacterial activity and antiviral properties.
Lavender: Lavender’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties make this essential oil effective for treating various skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions. It also helps to speed the healing of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns while preventing the formation of scar tissue.
Lemon Grass: The antimicrobial properties of lemon grass inhibit the growth of bacteria both internally and externally. It is helpful for bacterial infections including urinary tract infections, malaria, typhoid, as well as food poisoning, body odor, and other bacterial skin conditions.
Oregano: This essential oil is known to protect against many strains of bacteria like E. coli, staphylococcus, and salmonella.
Thyme: Thyme essential oil is known to be effective against a host of bacteria including MRSA and Staph (staphylococcus).
Tee Tree Oil: This essential oil is one of the few antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial oils you can apply directly to your skin without first diluting it with a carrier oil.
Bergamot: Italians recognized bergamot essential oil for having powerful antibacterial properties, using it to eliminate intestinal worms. It is also known to speed the healing of mouth ulcers, cold sores, and even herpes and help fight shingles and chicken pox.
Often essential oils are used in combination with other oils to make a specific treatment. For instance, a 2011 study found that a combination of oregano, cinnamon, and chili peppers essential oils can make most poultry resistant to infections without the need of drugs.
When using essential oils, it’s often required to use a carrier oil such a jojoba or coconut oil because they are very potent. You should also never take them internally without the supervision of a naturopath.
When in doubt, consult an aromatherapist who can provide you with more information and exact oils for your specific condition.