I don’t know about you, but it seems like everyone around us is sick, sick, sick. There seem to be a variety of viruses and other bugs going around taking their tool on young and old alike. It’s a little scary, as I’ve heard the word pneumonia more often than not this year.
We had a “small” bout last week – sore throats, congestion, a little achey and run down for about a week. Nothing like our friends who are seeing 104 temps and body aches that make you wish it was just all over.
When my kids were little, it seemed like we’d bring them to the doctor with every sniffle. Unfortunately, we’d end up walking out with a prescription for the little red liquid – antibiotics. In hindsight, I probably would have waited longer before going.
As most of you know, antibiotics were touted as a miracle shortly after their discovery in the 1940s. It seemed that a medical utopia had been achieved – infections were almost magically wiped out by these “miracle drugs.” Then antibiotics began to be prescribed for everything, even viral infections that are not subject to antibiotics.
Today, antibiotics are commonly prescribed as a precaution, even when no infection is present. They are added to soaps, cleaners, and hygienic wipes. So what’s the problem? Are there both pros and cons to synthetic antibiotics? Read on to find out more.
* Bacterial Resistance – Bacteria have amazing abilities to learn resistance to a simple antibiotic substance. Synthetic antibiotics consist of one “magic bullet” component that is supposed to target the particular germ or germs in question.
Bacteria that are exposed on a constant basis to the single antibiotic component begin to develop resistance, and they then pass this information on to subsequent generations of bacteria. This produces bacteria that are resistant to a particular antibiotic without ever having been exposed to that antibiotic – the “superbugs” that can cause incurable infections. The potential for a medical or biological disaster is very real in the face of such superbugs. If you think this is just some crazy talk, just spend a little time on google – it’s an eye opener.
* Intestinal Flora – Antibiotics, particularly “broad spectrum” ones, can and do kill off healthy intestinal bacteria. This can have a profound effect on digestive health and the immune system (much of the human immune response is in the gut). With an out-of-balance immune system, an individual is more prone to further infections, allergies, and chronic problems such as intestinal disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome. If you and your doctor decide you need to go on a round of antibiotics, please take steps and include pro-biotics in your regimen as well. Young Living Essential Oils (click here) offer a great product called Life Five that’s a wonderful probiotic.
* Emergencies – If there is an emergency, antibiotics can be a life-saver. For most of human history, people suffered terribly from chronic infections, and something simple like a toothache could prove fatal. In an emergency, when a life is at stake, antibiotics can be very effective…as long as there is no resistance that has developed.
* Natural Antibiotics – Antibiotics in their natural state are less likely to encourage bacterial resistance. Herbal sources of antibiotic substances have multiple – sometimes dozens or hundreds – of active compounds in comparison to the one or two in synthetic antibiotics. Visit this link for more on natural antibiotics and anti viral options.
These are definitely the bright side of antibiotics. They are affordable, especially compared to the extraordinary expense of prescription antibiotics. Some natural antibiotic substances, such as garlic, are very widely available and affordable.
All in all, synthetic antibiotics do indeed have the potential to divert biological disasters and to be life-savers. The key is to reserve them until they are really needed.