Ask Dr. Nandi: Are natural antibiotics safe, effective?

(WXYZ) - We know that certain bacteria are becoming more drug resistant.  Now the medical community is looking closely at antibiotics found in nature that may have antibacterial properties.

So just what kinds of natural antibiotics are out there and what’s the science behind them?

Some of these remedies I’m about to share have been used for hundreds of years.  Garlic, one of my favorites, is used around the world and research shows it may be effective against Salmonella and E. coli. Ginger, another ingredient I often use when cooking, has been shown to fight several strains of bacteria. Manuka honey has been reported to discourage nearly 60 kinds of bacteria. It may also treat injuries infected with MRSA, a contagious bacterial infection known for being antibiotic resistant.  Other natural antibiotics showing promise include Clove, Echinacea, Goldenseal and Oregano. 

Are these all considered safe to use?

Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe.  There are a few drawbacks that I’ve included in my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:

1. Cooked garlic is typically safe to eat but be aware that concentrated garlic has been shown to up the risk of bleeding.  So be careful if you have any surgery planned or take blood thinners.

2. Goldenseal is an herb that contains a chemical called berberine.  But it’s is not safe for babies and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant. 

3. Do not take a mineral product called Colloidal Silver.  It contains microscopic pieces of silver which may be dangerous.

4. Always talk to your doctor about any natural substances you’d like to take.  Especially if you’re on medications as you don’t want to cause interference.

I’m all for natural antibiotics as I believe when they’re used appropriately they can be quite beneficial.  But be careful as they may carry risks so please do your research.


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