I think that most of us will agree that Doctor's over prescribe antibiotics! Don't get me wrong, there are times that antibiotics are very much needed. They save lives everyday, however, according the CDC, at least 50% of the antibiotics prescribed for children for ear infections, bronchitis and other very common childhood illnesses are unnecessary. By the time a child reaches the age of 18, most will have had close to 20 courses of antibiotics. At least 140,000 annual E.R. visits are related to adverse reactions to antibiotics and everyday we hear about antibiotic resistance as a Global Threat! Adding to this problem, most of our commercially produced meats, poultry, farmed raised fish and non-organic milk all have significant amounts of antibiotics in them as well. Who knows how much exposure we have had to antibiotics by the time we are 30, 40 and older?? This is one of the main reasons that we only eat grass-fed meats, poultry and wild caught fish and seafood. We also only consume organic or raw local dairy products and honey. Our eggs are from free range chickens from farmers that we personally know. This is another reason why Farmers Markets are so important for our communities today!
With all of this scary information in mind, I want to offer you some all natural alternatives to prescribed antibiotics for you and your family. Always use common sense and check with your Doctor if needed. As a disclaimer, I am not a Doctor nor do I have any medical training this is just information that I have gathered over the years and have been helpful in my family.
The following herbs are generally safe for most adults and children but I advise you do to some of your own research.
1. Elderberry - has been found to be effective in treating colds, and the flu. You need to start it within 2 days of symptom onset. You can find recipes to make your own Elderberry Syrup online and a great place to Elderberries is Mountain Rose Herbs.
2. Garlic is both antimicrobial and immune boosting. Press a clove and mix with a teaspoon of honey to boost your immune system.
3. Ginger, brew a tea of 2 freshly grated teaspoons of ginger root in 1 cup of water (steep at least 10 minutes) sweetened with some honey to break up congestions, sooth stomach upset, dizziness. It can also help with aches, pains, fever, colds and the flu.
4. 1 to 2 cups of green tea daily have shown to prevent sinus infections.
5. Maitake mushrooms in pills, capsules or extracts have been shown to prevent upper respiratory infections, colds, coughs, ear infections and sinus infections.
Try a few of these and see if they can help in reducing your dependence on antibiotics. Hope this helps!