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Antibiotics (alternatives to)
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND

See also Infection (bacterial)
See Also Antibiotics Side Effects

There is no question about it. Antibiotics are one of the wonders of modern medicine and they have saved countless lives through their appropriate use. Unfortunately, these valuable drugs are also commonly prescribed for conditions where they have little or no effect. For starters, antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, so they are worthless on viral or fungal infections. This means that there is absolutely no reason to take an antibiotic for the common cold or flu.
Antibiotics are also ineffective in many, if not most, cases of sore throats, sinus infections, bronchitis, respiratory congestion and earaches (otitis media).

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In spite of these facts, many people run to their doctor and practically insist on getting a prescription for an antibibiotic for these types of health problems. What these people don't realize is that using antibiotics in this inappropriate manner will actually harm their health in the long run.

This is partly because antibiotics kill friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. When these friendly bacteria are destroyed, yeast and infectious bacteria proliferate causing intestinal inflammation, Leaky Gut Syndrome and a weakened immune system. It makes the person even more susceptible to future infections.

An even more serious problem created by antibiotic overuse is the development of antibiotic resistance bacteria, sometimes called "superbugs." Here's how this happens. Antibiotics never kill all the bacteria and the ones that survive are the ones that are most resistant to the drug. Over lime, the process of natural selection gradually creates strains of bacteria which can't be killed by that particular antibiotic.

Antibiotic resistance can develop very quickly. For instance, penicillin became widely used after World War II; it only took four years for microbes to start becoming resistant to penicillin. This is why new antibiotics have to be introduced regularly, but it's becoming a losing battle. Antibiotic resistance is now a worldwide problem, especially in hospitals and medical clinics. It has made diseases such as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, and childhood ear infections more difficult to treat than they were a few decades ago.

Prescribing antibiotics for colds and other viral infections and feeding livestock antibiotics for "prevention" has hastened the development of antibiotic resistance, which is why we need to put a halt to this abuse of antibiotics, especially when there are natural ways to treat most infections. Many of these natural remedies are not only effective against bacterial infections, they also work on viral and fungal infections. More importantly, bacteria do not seem to develop resistance to natural substances.

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