The rise in antibiotic resistance has now reached the point where the World Health Organization feels the need to announce that the planet is running out of antibiotics. Not enough new antibiotics are being developed, according to their report, particularly when it comes to treating antibiotic-resistant infections.
This is indeed concerning. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sums up just how dangerous the situation is when he says that we could be “forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery.” After all, our modern medical system is essentially built on the foundation of antibiotics. Many common treatments, operations and even the care of premature babies simply cannot be carried out without dependable antibiotics.
When bacteria mutate and become immune to a particular antibiotic, it is known as antibiotic resistance, and it’s been a growing problem fueled by the overuse of antibiotics as well as the use of antibiotics in animals that are later consumed by people. Making matters worse is poor education on the matter, with a WHO survey finding that 64 percent of those questioned thought antibiotics could be used to treat the flu or cold even though they are caused by viruses. Meanwhile, two thirds of respondents thought that people who take antibiotics as prescribed won’t develop antibiotic resistance, and nearly half believed that only those who take antibiotics on a regular basis were susceptible to superbugs.
One of the many infections that is growing resistant to currently available antibiotics is gonorrhea, which affects 78 million new people every year. The U.N. health agency recently updated its guidelines for sexually transmitted infection treatment, warning that only three antibiotics are currently being developed for the treatment of gonorrhea, and there is no guarantee that the drugs under development will even make it to the market.
For pharmaceutical companies, there isn’t much profit in antibiotics because they are quite costly to develop and are typically only taken in short courses, unlike medications for cholesterol or blood pressure that must be taken long-term. In fact, most of the new antibiotics development is being funded by philanthropic or public research grants, according to the WHO report.
However, there is one important distinction that needs to be made: The lack of antibiotics the WHO is lamenting is only referring to synthetic antibiotics. There are actually quite a few potent natural herbal antibiotics out there, but they don’t get nearly as much attention as their Big Pharma-funded counterparts.
Nature provides us with antibiotics
One of the best natural antibiotics is raw honey, which fights infections on multiple levels. This approach makes it difficult for bacteria to become resistant to it. Garlic is another powerful antibiotic, and it also boasts antifungal and antiviral properties. This is why it was used back in the 1700s to help ward off the plague.
Oil of oregano is also known for its ability to kill bacteria, making it suitable for controlling MRSA and other common infections. A 2001 Georgetown University study found that is just as effective at killing germs as most antibiotics, and it also boasts antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pain relief, and anti-parasitic properties, making it a great all-around essential oil. Another essential oil that has been shown to kill antibiotic-resistant MRSA on skin is tea tree oil.
Olive leaf extract possesses the ability to fight bacterial infections, and it’s so effective that some European hospitals are using it in the battle against MRSA infections. While fighting antibiotic-resistant infections, it also supports the immune system.
Nature has provided us with the solutions to many of the health issues our world is facing, and overlooking its power is costing us lives every day.
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