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5 herbs instead of antibiotics

  • Helen Barnett
    Helen Barnett

    Helen is a medical herbalist, Yoga therapist and Thai bodywork practitioner. Following graduating with a BSc Hons in Western Herbal Medicine from the University of Westminster in 2009, Helen practiced as a herbalist seeing clients in clinics in the UK for over 10 years, and also spent time working as a lecturer and clinical supervisor for the Betonica School of Herbal Medicine.

    Through her own health journey Helen has found the tools of Yoga and herbs, and a sense of connection to nature, to be beneficial in carving a way to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, and her passion is sharing this to empower people with the skills, knowledge, and discernment to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life in ways which are sustainable to each individual.

    Helen facilitates herbal medicine courses and workshops which share the knowledge and wisdom of herbs, interwoven with Yoga practices and self-reflection to better understand our unique and ever-changing needs, and how to best support them.

    Helen also teaches therapeutic Yoga workshops, offers private Yoga therapy sessions and healing bodywork, and is a writer sharing the scientific knowledge and traditional wisdom of herbs, and insights on healthy living practices through her brand HB Healthy.

    The essence of what Helen offers is bringing people back to their essential nature, through re-connecting with their own bodies and the wider nature surrounding them, to re-establish a state of inner harmony and balance, from where they can live a healthy vibrant life, whatever it brings.

  • 13:21 reading time (ish)
  • Immunity Western Herbal Medicine

The overuse of antibiotics has meant that our pharmaceutical antibiotics do not work as well as they used to. However herbs can work fantastically, and this article shares which are best.

The antibiotics crisis

Most of us have probably been prescribed a course of antibiotics at some point in our lives (if not more than once!).  Whilst antibiotics can be helpful in the case of serious infections (of bacterial origin, since antibiotics do not work against viruses), their use does not come without risk. After more than a century of ‘modern’ antibiotics, the repercussions of their use are only now beginning to be understood. In this article we share 5 herbs which can be safely used in place of antibiotics for some conditions. 

5 herbs instead of antibiotics

The discovery of antibiotics (as we know them now) in the early 1900’s undoubtedly changed the course of human health. Antibiotics have, over the years, been life-saving medicine, treating serious infectious diseases (pneumonia and tuberculosis to name a few). They have also provided the possibility for advances in new medical interventions such as organ transplants and open-heart surgery (1).

The prescription of antibiotics boomed from the 1940s onwards, initially with little restriction as they were considered a ‘wonder drug’. However, times change and most pharmaceutical drugs have consequences aside from any potential beneficial effects on the condition they are targeting.  The benefit to risk must always be considered. The word antibiotic translates directly to mean ‘against life’.  Although they were only considered against bacteria by those who coined the phrase, its deeper meaning seems to have rung truer than ever imagined.

The overprescribing of antibiotics for conditions which will usually get better in their own time (such as common cold and simple coughs) has been prolific, and this has led to what we now face as an ‘antibiotic resistance crisis’ (1). Unfortunately, antibiotics have been called upon to treat conditions which were not dangerous and did not warrant their use, as we are learning more now they must be used very selectively to preserve their efficacy. 

Overuse has seen many strains of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics, so that when they are used they no longer work. There has been a rise in antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’, such as MRSA.  Some infections are now simply untreatable by antibiotics, even in cases where they are really needed. This is an unsurprising ‘backlash’ from nature, i.e. bacteria which have evolved to become stronger in order to overcome the ‘attack’ of antibiotic drugs.

Helen Barnett

Helen is a medical herbalist, Yoga therapist and Thai bodywork practitioner. Following graduating with a BSc Hons in Western Herbal Medicine from the University of Westminster in 2009, Helen... Read more

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