No matter how healthy of a lifestyle we may lead, little virus', insect bites and flus come around and alter the balance within the body. Antibiotics are one of the most used and prescribed medicines in Western culture. Why? - because they treat a broad array of infections relating to bacteria. In the United States (2010) more than 52.6 million prescriptions of the antibiotic Azithromycin were issued alone - showing once again the huge use of these medicines.
However these medicines do take a toll on the body - they kill all bacteria, this means the bad as well as the good. Therefore while they serve their purpose and are sometimes highly necessary, protecting the brain-gut microbiome is just as important. But what can you do in the case where you need to treat these infections with a little more punch than the regular immune boosting supplements?
We'd like to formally introduce you to our Antibiotic tincture - but first let's understand the science and logic behind these medicines.
all about pharmaceutical antibiotics
In times before antibiotics when it came to treating infection the only two options available were to wait it out or to cut the infection off - amputations. Needless to say at this time the mortality rate for people with infections was significantly high and it wasn't until around 1928 that Alexander Fleming accidentally came across a mold (yes, again fungi are the best) called Penicillium notatum, which halted the growth of a bacteria called Staphylococcus which caused various infections - once tested against various other bacteria he came to the the conclusion that once refined it could be mass produced and prescribed.
so how do they work?
As said above, antibiotics are a category of medicine which are used to fight and kill infections caused by bacteria - they come in an array of forms to treat internal and topical issues.
In order to inhibit and/ or slow the growth of the bacteria they work in a multitude of ways to ensure that it is not nourished by its environment - rather weakening and disrupting its action. The drugs specifically prevent the bacteria from producing peptidoglycan - a molecule which strengthens it in order to survive in the human body. It does not stop there though, some other branches of antibiotics prevent the bacteria from successfully replicating their DNA, reduce protein synthesis to take place - therefore starving it, as well as inhibiting their production of folic acid in order to disrupt their cell walls.
To put simply, they kill the pathogens in a myriad of different ways which are most effective to destroying that specific branch of bacteria - ensuring that there is as little room left for survival within the body.
Although it is very clear that antibiotics are important in many ways, there is a side which we believe people need to be aware of. However, in reading the following please remember that when it is necessary taking antibiotics is a good thing and aids the healing process, so please complete your course, take some good probiotics to help heal the gut and supplement your body through the process.
I am sure that you have heard from more than one source that taking antibiotics should be avoided where possible, and we agree, sometimes your regular virus just needs to run its course and will do so with or without antibiotic treatment. But why? Why is it just as important to not take them where possible as it is to take them when necessary?
The gut microbiome in general is one of the most important systems in the body, not only does it allow for the correct digestion and therefore utilisation of nutrients, but it also plays a huge part in hormone balance, and the health of various organs in our bodies. When taking antibiotics the trade in for killing the bad bacteria is that a lot of the good bacterial goes too, sometimes resulting in diarrhoea and bloating. It takes some time for the gut to bounce back from something like this, due to the fact that it entirely disrupts the natural processes that the intestines have worked under for the time beforehand. This can result in heightened risk of developing different Irritable bowel diseases which are hard to remedy. Further, 70-80% of the immune tissue is located in your digestive tract, therefore when ingesting these drugs we eradicate our first line of defence to other harmful microbes (blog on gut microbe health coming soon). To counteract this risk remember to eat as alkaline as possible (eat your greens), as well as incorporate as many fermented foods and probiotics into the diet.
The gut-brain connection is a highly complex and intricate system - keep an eye out for a more in-depth exploration of this in a future blog. In essence the brain relies on the gut (and visa versa) for various chemicals to be created and controlled in order to ensure levels of homeostasis throughout the body. According to a study done between 1995-2013, it showed that a single course of antibiotics was associated with higher risk for depression and the risk increased with each subsequent course. They have also shown some risks to the functioning of the hippocampus - controls nervous system and memory.
There are various other side effects which have been explored, including how it can impact the immune system, endocrine system as well as the kidneys and liver. All in all I think the most important thing to remember when it comes to these medicines is to make an informed decision, take them only when necessary and to supplement the body through it to decrease risk of any negative side effects.
Our Natural solution
In order to address the need for a powerful medicine which can act as an antibiotic without the list of side effects, we created our antibiotic tincture. Not only is it anti-bacterial, but it is also anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal, therefore it will aid in the treatment of conditions beyond the realm of bacteria.
What it's made of:
1. UMCKALOABO (Pelargonium Sidoides)
Also known as Black Geranium or Cape Pelargonium. In our preparation this root serves as the primary treatment for protecting the body's defence against bacterial and viral infections. This herb has shown specific and significant results for antimycobacterial activity. Best known for its ability to neutralise certain bacteria and viruses in the body, without having the adverse effects of eradicating the good bacterias in the gut. It is additionally anti-infective meaning that it prevents bacteria from merging into cells. In vitro studies have shown that the antibacterial properties may be attributed to its immune stimulating effects as well as its ability to accelerate the natural killer cell activity. Clinical trials have shown its effectivity in the treatment of bronchitis and throat issues - having 40-60% of patients fully recover of their illness' within a week using only this root as supplementation.
- Coumarins (mainly 7-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxycoumarin also known as umckalin)
- Gallic Acid
- Oligomeric proanthocyanidins
"The Gallic Acid derivatives and other phenolic compounds in the roots have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity combined with coumarins provide proven immuno modulatory activity" (Wyk and Wink, 2012, p. 231).
2. SWEET ANNIE (Artemisia annua)
Most commonly used in the treatment of malaria - it has been synthesised and used as a prescription drug for this ailment in Asia, Africa and Europe. As well as being known for treating bacterial infections, it is additionally anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It therefore forms the basis of treatment for most diseases and formations of illness. Containing a chemical called artemisinin (ARS) which is the main component of study and use when it comes to combatting and treating parasitic infections. ARS is additionally being studied for its multi-specific action against cancer cells.
- Artemisinin ( a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge )
- Artemisinic acid
"Artemisinin has significant anti-malaria and antibiotic activity. Numerous clinical studies all suggest effective and safe treatment for malaria" (Wyk and Wink, 2012, p. 56).
3. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
One of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world - having a broad history for its various uses in the treatment of influenza, infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain, heart and nerve pain. It is a nutrient dense medicine, being high in vitamin C, phenolic acid (antioxidants) and is a great anti-inflammatory. It has also been used to relieve all symptoms associated with colds and flu as well as boosting immunity to prevent further infections.
- α-amyrin and β-amyrin
- several anthocyanins
"There is evidence that this plant processes diuretic, laxative, mild anti-inflammatory and (most importantly) anti-viral activity. Anti-oxidant effects have been ascribed to the fruits due to their anthrocyanin content." (Wyk and Wink, 2012, p. 285).
4. Olive Leaf (Olea europaea)
Olive leaf is one of those medicines which is often taken for granted, when looked at it's health benefits are seemingly endless - catering for lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, regulating diabetes, improving brain function, having anti-cancer properties, aiding digestion, being an analgesic (including joint pain), as well as treating herpes. Needless to say it proves itself as a powerful medicine - however where it shines in this remedy is within its immune boosting qualities as well as it's activity in preventing bacterial and fungal infections. The high level of antioxidants in Olive leaves aid in reducing levels of oxidative stress, thereby relieving the immune system of pressure. It has further shown to aid in the restoration of the microflora within the gut by strengthening the intestinal epithelial barrier - supporting healthy immunity. It's antimicrobial properties additionally inhibit the growth of certain food born pathogens which could result in virus', fungal and bacterial infections.
"Oleuropein has significant anti-spasmodic, antioxidant and lipid lowering activity." (Wyk and Wink, 2012, p. 219).
5. Pepperbark (Warburgia salutaris)
"salutaris" in itself means health giving - quite literally its recognition as a potent healer is in the name. The bark of the tree has been used throughout traditional medicine as a remedy for malaria, stomach ulcers, colds, treating coughs as well as skin irritations. It has been further used and studied in South Africa as a natural anti-biotic, showing prevalent signs of healing and the reduction of the illness within the first 3/4 days of treatment. The use of this medicine has been well documented in this paper, and shows it's vast array of healing benefits.
- Numerous drimane sesquiterpenoids
"The activity of Warburgia seems to be due to the drimane's, which are biologically active ; as aldehydes they easily form covalent bonds with amino groups of proteins and thus alter their activities. They have potent antibacterial and anti-ulcer activity." (Wyk and Wink, 2012, p. 345).
As you can see with the combined papers and studies, all of these herbal medicines combined provide a fully comprehensive remedy for the treatment of many different forms of disease. It can be used in both treatment and preventative measures to ensure that the body returns/ remains in a state of health and balance.
In these crazy times we hope that you are all staying healthy of mind, body and spirit
Sending blessings of radiant health
Pelargonium sidoides: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sigridfrensen/5406016240
Pepper bark: https://www.delta-intkey.com/angio/www/canellac.htm
Wyk, B. and Wink, M., 2012.Medicinal Plants Of The World. 5th ed. South Africa, Pretoria: BRIZA.