David Christopher, M.H.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 17 million people per year become infected in hospitals and 100,000 of those die annually from an infection they didn’t have but acquired from the hospital. It isn’t that hospitals are negligent in cleanliness; the danger is that bacteria is becoming resistant to antibiotics and thus are uncontrollable. MRSA (Methicillin resistant staph) invoked terror in the medical community because Methicillin was the go to antibiotic when bacteria became resistant to penicillin. Now certain bacteria have become resistant to Methicillin and all antibiotics including vancomycin and teicoplanin; earning the title of super bugs.  If you acquire a super bug then essentially you die.  The scientific community should have seen this coming. They had warning signs from the beginning. Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in September 1928 and as early as 1929 in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, he noted bacterial resistance to his new discovery.  He received the Nobel Prize in 1945 and in an interview with the New York Times warned that improper use of penicillin would inevitably lead to the development of resistant bacteria. In that year 14% of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were resistant to penicillin by 1953 that climbed to 64% resistance and by 1995, 95% of Staph was resistant to penicillin. The indiscriminant use of life saving antibiotics has greatly contributed to this present day crisis. Big Pharma and Big Agra are both to blame.

We need to change our mindset and realize that we are not at war with bacteria, the major inhabitant of the world.  We should strive to stay healthy and maintain balance with the friendly bacteria that inhabits and protects our cellular systems. These friendly and neutral bacteria that reside on us (skin and GI tract) keep invasive “bad” bacteria in check, crowding them out and not letting them enter our bodies.

Antibiotics work at destroying bad bacteria but they also destroy beneficial and neutral bacteria, leaving us defenseless.  These should only be used to save lives.

Like humans, plants use good bacteria to protect themselves from bad bacteria. What protects the plants can also be used to protect us. Humans have been using plants successfully for thousands of years. In my estimation the number one antibiotic plant is garlic and its cousin onion; like bacteria they’re ubiquitous. Second is honey- not a plant but a collection of antibiotic plant parts, processed by bees.  Next in importance is Goldenseal and its cousins Barberry, Oregon grape and Coptis. Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua) is fantastic.  Almost all spices and most herbs have some antibiotic qualities. Non herbal antibiotics (not as safe but effective) would include essential oils, H2O2, colloidal silver, Vitamin C and UV light.  And of course the most ubiquitous antibiotics of all would be water and sunshine.

David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.