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Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria (English Edition) Format Kindle
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The below is a view of this work from an energetic persepctive; that is, what can be tested with muscle testing of any kind, towards solutions for your self and for patrons.
General rules of thumb for dealing with resistant infections
Systemic infection ~ try: Cryptolepis
Severe diarrhea, dysentery ~ try berberine herbs, any
Urinary tract infection ~ try: Juniper berry combined with bidens
Infected surface or surgical wound ~ try: Honey has always worked
Menningitis ~ try: Add piperine, isatis and others are suggested
(abbreviated from p. 45)
Buhner reminds of the distinction between bacteria with one cell wall and two cell walls. Gram positive bacteria are stainable because they have only one cell wall. Gram negative bacteria are not stainable as they have two cells walls. This distinction is therefore a possible distinction to test for.
The main resistant Gram-positive (single cell wall) bacteria are:
- Clostridium difficile
- Enterococcus spp.
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Streptococcus spp.
(abbreviated from Chap. 2)
Extensive detail on how to deal herbally with each and its variats follows.
The main resistant Gram-negative (double cell wall) bacteria are:
salmonella spp. (including S. typhi...)
shigellia spp. (including dysentariae...)
(abbreviated from p. 54)
Extensive detail on how to deal herbally with each and its variats follows.
SYSTEMIC herbs ~ These herbs travel to all parts of the body when ingested:
Cryptolepis, Sida, Alchornea, Bidens, Artemisia.
LOCALIZED NON-SYSTEMICS ~ these herbs do not easily cross the GI tract membrane. They concentrate in the bloodstream. This limits them effectively to the GI tract, skin or certain organs (he explains more):
The berberines, Juniper, Honey, Usnea
SYNERGISTS ~ three he likes are: licorice, ginger and black pepper.
A wealth of thoro detail on all aspects follows.
While the topic of antibiotic-resistance can be alarming, I appreciated that this book didn't take a doomsday, fearful tone but instead presents the facts based on research and studies, and the author offers hope with valuable information on herbal remedies. Some of the information is rather scientific but is written in terms an average person can understand and the home remedy recipes are easy to follow. Although I haven't actually made any of the remedies yet, the herbs required are those I can find at my local health food store or online, or I could grow some of them myself. It's also important to note, as the author does, that herbs can have side-effects and can affect how other medicines work if both are taken together. In the profiles of the herbs, the potential side-effects are noted.
Remedies include those for ear infections, skin infections, relieving the symptoms of colds and flu, boosting the immune system, and much more.
This is a good resource to have on hand as a natural alternative to antibiotics and other medications that may not be as effective as they used to be.
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
Stephen Buhner, expert herbalist and author, does the hard work himself of weeding through the tremendous mounds of research and revealing to you, the reader, in his always witty, engaging, exhaustive style, some of the most promising antibacterial herbs. "Herbal antibiotics, second edition" starts out by discussing why bacteria become resistant, discusses various types of herbs to treat infections, and then shows you, the reader, how to make herbal medicines (or where to buy them from). The antibiotic herbs are divided into systemic - herbs that travels to all parts of the body; localized non-systemics - herbs that concentrate in the bloodstream but do not cross the GI tract; and synergists - herbs which work together to potentiate the effectiveness of the other herbs; profiling what he believes are the most effective herbs in each category. For example, he identifies cryptolepis as a systemic antibiotic, notes the dosage to use it for, historical uses of it, which bacterial strains it is active against, where to find it (i.e., Woodland Essence), as well as scientific research to support its use as an antibiotic. On page 100, he notes the tincture of cryptolepis is more effective than Bactrim and equal to ampicillin. On page 125, he states that alchornea, at the proper dosage, is as effective as ciprofloxacin, a 2nd generation fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The first section of the book delves more into the strictly antibiotic herbs, while the second half of the book delves more into immune-boosting herbs with antimicrobial properties.
My personal experience with these herbs is that they work, or at least they can pack a powerful punch to a sinus infection. I am a recurrent sinusitis sufferer who has a weakened immune system in my body's ability to produce antibodies against streptococcus pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae, the two most infectious bacteria that account for 82% of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (Source: Microbiology of Sinusitis, Proc Am Thorac Soc, March 2011). So I have worked with an herbal practitioner to use the cryptolepis, sida, alchornea (CSA) tincture (available from Woodland Essence) and "Auntie Bio" (which contains cryptolepis) to control infections, as well as certain nose drops for topical treatment of the infections.
While they all do pack a very powerful punch and in my estimation knocked the 2 infections out 90%, I cannot (as of yet) say they definitively eradicated either of my sinus infections, which in turn required pharmaceutical antibiotics, twice in the past 8 months. In fact, a recent nasal culture taken earlier this month tested positive for strep pneumoniae, despite using the "auntie bio" for several months prior. Perhaps I just have very resistant strains of bacteria in my sinuses, as I have been on many pharmaceutical antibiotics in my life, or maybe I didn't use the herbs at the right potency or with the right combination of herbs, I just don't know. Under the guidance of my herbalist, I used both the pharmaceutical antibiotic with the herbal antibiotic - which potentiated the effectiveness of the pharmaceutical and inhibited the efflux pumps of the bacteria - and both times this has knocked out the infection 100%. Ultimately, I hope I can rely on herbs exclusively rather than pharmaceutical antibiotics. My point in sharing this is more research is needed - like hard-core clinical research validating the efficacy of these herbs as antibiotics. I was disappointed that the book does not list the primary systemic antibiotics as effective against streptococcus pneumoniae or haemophilus influenza. On page 54, Mr. Buhner writes: "Unfortunately, cryptolepis, sida, and alchornea have not been tested against this organism [haemophilus influenza]. However, I believe that, due to their activity against similar Gram-negative bacteria, they are usable for Haemophilus infections, especially sida, given its strong protective effects on red blood cells." I directly emailed Mr. Buhner and asked if cryptolepis, sida and acuta were effective against strep pneumoniae, and he replied: "Probably is effective." I know he is incredibly swamped with emails and logically speaking, maybe it is effective based on what he knows, maybe no research has been done on this or maybe it was inadvertently not included in the book, but in my quest to stay sinus infection-free, perhaps I just want hard evidence.
Additionally, Mr. Buhner states on his Healing Lyme forum that herbs are not anywhere as harsh on the GI tract as pharmaceuticals, but notes some herbs, such as cryptolepis (or grapefruit seed extract) in large doses may upset the ecological balance in the GI tract. So taking probiotics with them, in these circumstances, may be useful.
So points for future consideration, in my mind, include:
+More clinical evidence on humans guiding the correct dosage and timeline for treating bacterial infections, additional research on herbs' effectiveness against bacterial strains such as strep pneumoniae or haemophilus influenzae, as well as how to get tested to determine what bacteria is causing the infection, and/or how to incorporate herbal treatments alongside current medical treatments. A potential roadblock, however, is that allopathic doctors do not appear interested in learning about herbs and much of the medical research on herbs takes place outside of North America.
+How to incorporate the many herbs he mentions while maintaining costs. Using antibiotic herbs for long-term infections via tinctures can be quite costly and is not covered by insurance. Mr. Buhner suggests importing alchornea seeds, as he believes it would do well in the United States, so perhaps having an herbal apothecary is part of the answer.
+The role of probiotics, if needed at all, when taking herbal antibiotics. It would be very intriguing to evaluate the intestinal microbiota of individuals taking herbal antibiotics (which any of us could do via the American Gut Project), as a specific research study seems warranted for at least peace of mind for people like myself taking herbal antibiotics long-term.
Despite the significant amount of research that still could be done, Mr. Buhner has done an incredible service to us all with his exhaustive research and clinical experience that he introduces to us in an easy-to-understand, accessible way. I, and those suffering with these crazy, difficult-to-treat infections, are no doubt deeply indebted to him.
Use this book along with a couple exciting herbs - This book was a real kick in the backside to make me realize just how much more I need to learn and gather my own supplies.
Here is a big Thank you to Stephen Harrod Buhner for writing this edition (I also bought the first edition however this edition has sooo much more information and knowledge!)
Thank you for opening my eyes to what is already happening! Wish I could have found you sooner!
The book explains how antibiotic resistance came about and where it's heading (getting worse if you can't guess that) and how natural antibiotics are part of the solution. It explores a holistic approach to treating infection that involves not only knocking out the infective organisms, but also supporting the immune system (and a patient's emotional/spiritual comportment) as part of the healing process.
It offers specific treatment guidelines for several antibiotic-resistant infections and it covers quite a number of particular herbs in depth, exploring not only their history including their use in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Western herbal practice but what science has discovered about them. This last part is the most interesting because it demonstrates that while the author has a beef with western medical practice and with the biases of science research in America, he believes strongly in the scientific method.
While the book is eye opening to say the least, there are a few shortcomings. First, some of infections covered are usually so serious that they require hospitalization. The question of how does one get to be treated with these herbs in a modern American hospital is not addressed. Similarly, if you are someone without health insurance, how are you going to know which bacteria you have in order to select the most appropriate protocol? Third, it's not clear how the author came up with the specific protocols for treating individual infections. Most of the research he refers to covers a specific herb for specific infection (which, in fact, is one of the shortcomings of Western medical practice that he exposes). Finally, the author seems to be suggesting that unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, herbal ones don't negatively alter the gut microflora, but how that could be the case isn't 100% clear.
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