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By Stephen Harrod Buhner. The mission of Storey Publishing is to serve our customers by publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages or reproduce illustrations in a review with appropriate credits; nor may any part of this book be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other — without written permission from the publisher. The information in this book is true and complete to the best of our knowledge.

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For further information, please call When the drug vancomycin falls completely by the wayside, as it will, we may, just as Stephen predicts here and I have predicted elsewhere, fall back on the bimillennial biblical medicinal herbs such as garlic and onion. These herbs each contain dozens of mild antibiotic compounds some people object to using the term antibiotic to refer to higher plant phytochemicals, but I do not share their disdain for such terminology. It is easy for a rapidly reproducing bug or bacterial species to outwit out-evolve a single compound by learning to break it down or even to use it in its own metabolism, but not so easy for it to outwit the complex compounds found in herbs.

Scientists are recognizing this fact and developing more complex compounds such as the AIDS cocktail and multiple chemotherapies for cancer. It is certainly easier to demonstrate how two compounds can work synergistically than it is to figure out how or 2, different compounds and more, as are present in all herbs can work synergistically.

So the scientific community will be reluctant to consider the remarkable synergistic suites of compounds that have evolved naturally in plants. But we really cannot afford to ignore these. For nature favors synergies among beneficial, plant-protective compounds within a plant species with antibacterial, antifeedant, antifungal, antiviral, and insecticidal properties and selects against antagonisms.

When we borrow the antibiotic compounds from plants, we do better to borrow them all, not just the single solitary most powerful among them. We lose the synergy when we take out the solitary compound. But most important, we facilitate the enemy, the germ, in its ability to outwit the monochemical medicine. The polychemical synergistic mix, concentrating the powers already evolved in medicinal plants, may be our best hope for confronting drug-resistant bacteria.

Response: Here, chimp, eat these bitter herbs! Faith can heal. Eat these bitter herbs if faith should fail! Say a prayer when you take those bitters! Here, swallow this bitter pill! Here, take this bitter antibiotic! Here, eat these bitter herbs. And pray they will help you 95 percent of Americans, but only 33 percent of psychologists, are reported to pray.

In the years since I wrote the first edition of this book, my knowledge of plant medicines and their use in healing has increased tremendously.

Thus this new edition of Herbal Antibiotics is a great deal more comprehensive than that first, more simplistic effort. There are many more herbs included, and some of the old ones are gone or have been moved into another category of action — from an antibiotic to an immune herb, for instance echinacea is an example. And much of the original material on bacteria and bacterial resistance has been expanded considerably.

Over the years I have received a great many questions as to why this or that herb was included in the book while such and so herb was not. That is why olive leaf, for example, is not described in any depth in this book. It is not that olive leaf is not antibacterial — it is; all plants contain antibacterial compounds — but rather, both clinical practice and in-depth research have not convinced me that olive leaf is as good as the rather ecstatic reports that circulate on the Internet say it is.

For some people and some circumstances, it is a valuable herb to use in the treatment of disease. However, in this book I am interested in herbs that are more potent and effective in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms — and more reliable. In other words, if someone came to me for help and they were in serious danger of dying, the herbs in this book are the ones I would use. If I myself were at risk of death from an antibiotic-resistant disease, these are the herbs that I personally would use and have used.

Without hesitation. Olive leaf has not, at least in my experience, shown that broad and reliable of an effect, even though in some circumstances and for some people it is highly effective. After observing garlic in clinical practice for over 20 years, I no longer feel it is very effective in the treatment of internal bacterial infections. For topical use, because of its broad antibacterial actions, I think garlic useful — though there are many other plants that are as good or better. And in certain, very limited situations, it can help with some systemic infections — if you use it properly.

Generally, though, its effectiveness lies elsewhere. Garlic is very useful for lowering blood pressure and for helping with high cholesterol, it is excellent as a regular food additive for raising immune function in a general, tonic sort of way , and it does help a bit in the prevention of colds and flu.

This is why the plant works to some extent for viral respiratory infections. If my life depended on it, which it may, garlic would not, even remotely, be my first choice for treatment. I can hardly then recommend it for you. If you are familiar with the first edition of this book, you will probably notice that I have removed grapefruit seed extract GSE from this new edition.

The grapefruit plant, Citrus paradisi , contains, as all citrus plants do, a great many antibacterial compounds that are effective against a wide variety of organisms see, for instance, Z. Cvetnic and S. Vladimir-Knezevic, Antimicrobial activity of grapefruit seed and pulp ethanolic extract, Acta Pharm 54 3 : — Its antibacterial potency is not in doubt, nor is its use for millennia in traditional medicine as an antibacterial, among other things.

However, intensive research has found that nearly all commercial GSE products contain synthetic disinfectants such as benzethonium or benzalkonium salts. The best article on this is N. Sugimoto et al. For those who have insisted that grapefruit is not antibacterial and that it is only the synthetic disinfectants that make GSE effective, you are, and always have been, incorrect. For those who have insisted that GSE is natural myself among them , you we are, and apparently always have been, wrong.

As with my earlier effort, this new edition of Herbal Antibiotics is focused on the treatment of antibiotic-resistant diseases. The data were clear then: we had a very limited time in which to alter our behavior if we wished antibiotics to remain part of our pharmaceutical options, and many people, including scores of bacterial researchers and epidemiologists, knew it.

But knowing something and intelligently acting on it are two different things; there is perhaps nothing more difficult for human beings than actually acting on what we know to be the sensible thing to do. In consequence the difficulties that face us are now dire; we cannot escape the emergence of pharmaceutically untreatable, and very serious, diseases in our countries or in our communities. These diseases will not be limited to isolated individuals here and there but will instead be widespread epidemics of tremendous virulence.

And those epidemics will not come only from the organisms we currently know about; more types of resistant bacteria and viruses are emerging yearly. The growth curve is inexorable, and the emergence of a resistant epidemic only a matter of time, and a very short time at that. When it comes, most, if not all, pharmaceutical antibiotics will be useless. There are alternatives, however, to the pharmaceuticals that once seemed our saviors and are now our bane, for bacteria do not develop resistance to plant medicines.

For plants have been dealing with bacteria a great deal longer than the human species has even existed, some million years. They always have been. They have been with us since we emerged out of the ecological matrix of this planet — and they still are. And as they always have done, they bring their healing to those in need, at least to those who know about them. And make no mistake: we are going to need them.

In the late s, the successes of Waksman and Schatz streptomycin and Duggar tetracycline led many to believe that bacterial infections were basically conquered. That conceit led to widespread misuse and outright abuse of antibacterial agents. Nonetheless, we still neither fully understand nor appreciate resistance to antibacterial agents…. Many important advances in the practice of medicine are actually at serious risk.

Multi-drug resistant bacteria are compromising our ability to perform what are now considered routine surgical procedures…. A ubiquitous phrase encountered in obituaries is died from complications following surgery, but what is not well understood is that these complications are quite frequently multi-drug resistant infections. We have let our profligate use of antibiotics reshape the evolution of the microbial world and wrest any hope of safe management from us….

Resistance to antibiotics has spread to so many different, and such unanticipated types of bacteria, that the only fair appraisal is that we have succeeded in upsetting the balance of nature. Twenty years ago, when my interest was first stimulated by it, there might have been a newspaper article on antibiotic resistance or a resistant disease outbreak perhaps once a month. I come across them almost daily now. The headlines often look like this:.

The first sort of article i. The second sort of piece, growing more common every year, presents the human face of the problem. This report, from an article by Sarah White, The empowered patient, is representative.

It recounts the story of Jeanine Thomas who later began a survivors of MRSA support group and the moment when all those headlines changed from the theoretical to the very personal:. In , she was in critical condition after contracting MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ] following ankle surgery.

And this is happening to individuals every day, Thomas said. The infection went to her blood stream and bone marrow and caused septic shock and organ failure.

After undergoing multiple surgeries including a bone-marrow transplant and a never-ending cycle of antibiotics, she survived the ordeal. Thomas survived relatively intact. Ex-docker Frank Collinson, 72, was admitted to hospital following a fall in May When he went home days later he had cracked ribs and a skin infection….

Four months later he was dead…. Astonishingly, no health professional told his son, Gary. It was only by Googling the name of the drug being administered through a drip that Gary discovered that it was a strong antibiotic and that his father had the potentially fatal infection.


Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug Resistant Bacteria

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Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner



Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria



Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition


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