Fighting Infections Naturally
Support your bodies natural defence systems
In these modern times of advanced medicine and treatments, we are finding old diseases once thought eradicated, resurfacing and new stronger viruses evolving and mutating, and resistant to this modern medicine. These advances are leading not only complementary practitioners, but conventional doctors to treat their patients with natural supplements and probiotics.
The average person can host up to 400 different types of bacteria living in the digestive tract, which are continually multiplying. These are ‘beneficial bacteria’ and provide the first line of defence against pathogens (unfriendly bacteria), viruses and fungi. They are also important in allowing us to derive nutrients from fibrous food.
work by killing life, but as well as killing the bad bacteria, they also kill the good, often resulting in good bacteria being wiped out for at least 6 months. The more ‘broad-spectrum the antibiotic, the more the good strains of bacteria are killed. Widespread overuse has resulted in new generations of superbugs, each one more virulent than the previous, and are implicated as a cause of new diseases.
Incidences of disease caused by food bugs has increased dramatically. Post-war, the demand for meat increased dramatically, and so did the demand for cheap feed from tropical countries, where animal infection is widespread. Whilst legislation, codes and practices have addressed this problem, the legacy remains. The animals given these contaminated feeds, in turn, contaminated the environment as the micro-organisms were able to establish themselves. Years after, millions of animals, globally, have contributed to this problem and to the creation of disease and infection cycles. The problem is made worse due to factory farming methods and modern food processing. The decline in home cooking and the increase in mass catering (especially fast food and ready meals) combined with a growing number of people with weakened immune systems is causing a critical situation.
So what can we do
The best way to fight infection is to have a strong immune system and a healthy gut with the right balance of good bacteria. So if you do succumb to an infection, your natural defences are equipped to fight it off. The beneficial bacteria includes the families of ‘Lactobacillus’ and ‘Bifidus’. Supplementing these gives bad bacteria less chance of survival. There are many different kinds of bacteria, some which live in the gut and some which pass through and which are useful while they are there. The resident, such as L. acidophilus and B. bacterium are more powerful at fighting infection. Others can be found in fermented foods such as yoghurt and sauerkraut.
Useful supplements for general protection include probiotics (which your chemist or doctor can advice on), Vitamin C and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet.
For specific treatments of infections such as stomach bugs and diarrhoea I would recommend grapefruit seed extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus, garlic and aloe vera.
For throat related infections (including tonsillitis and laryngitis), Vitamin C, zinc, propolis and cat’s claw herb are recommended.
Chest infections response to Vitamin C, echinacea and zinc and for fungi related illnesses try artemisia, garlic, grapefruit seed extract and acidophilus.
By Cherylin Nicholson