Antibiotics can be found not only in pharmacies, but also in nature. How can we use them and for which diseases?
The discovery of antibiotics has been a major breakthrough in medicine, curing many diseases that had previously killed many people. The first of these was penicillin, discovered in the 1940s, and was soon followed by several other products (cephalosporins, tetracyclines, carbapenems). However, antibiotics are not only found on the shelves of pharmacies, but also in nature. Of course, these plants can’t replace what the doctor prescribes, but they can be effective in fighting certain infections – a selection from Medical News Today.
Garlic is recognised for its medicinal properties in many countries around the world. Its antibacterial properties have been scientifically proven, and it has been shown to be effective in treating infections such as salmonella and E. coli, as well as in fighting tuberculosis, which is resistant to some antibiotics.
Honey was used by the ancient Greeks to disinfect and speed up wound healing. Honey-containing preparations are still used today to treat burns and ulcers, for example, mainly because of the hydrogen peroxide they contain. A study published in 2016 also showed that honey dressings help wounds heal faster.
A 2017 study showed that ginger is a natural antibiotic that fights many bacterial strains. It can also treat stomach problems, nausea and motion sickness.
The birch blossom was considered a medicinal plant by the Indians centuries ago. There are two species used for medicinal purposes: the purple-leaved and the narrow-leaved birch. The roots and above-ground parts of the plants are also used and are good germicides, effective for example against Streptococcus pyogenes, known as the ‘flesh-eating bacteria’.
Golden root owes its antibiotic action mainly to an active substance called berberine. It is mainly used to treat respiratory and digestive problems and can be taken as a tea or in capsule form. It can also be used to treat bacterial diarrhoea and urinary tract infections.
Cloves are traditionally used to treat dental problems. But research has also shown that it can be effective against certain bacteria, such as E.coli.
The consumption of oregano stimulates the immune system and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Its effects need further research, but it seems certain that regular consumption is good for your health.