HOPE FOR ANITBIOTIC RESISTANCE
EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK REVIEW at www.cambridgenaturals.com: As we aren?t defeating harmful bacteria through our own efforts, hope comes from working with nature rather than trying to outsmart her. Stephen Harrod Buhner?s useful and inspiring book, Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteria, provides such hope. As the author says, ??bacteria are not our enemies?they are our ancestors?? (Buhner, p.32)
Buhner is a master herbalist sprung from a family of doctors. He writes comfortably and cogently about medical science, traditional herbalism, and phytotherapy -- the use of plants for healing. In chapter 2 he gives what he recommends for cases of MRSA, clostridium difficile, Streptococcus pyrogenes (strep throat), Eschericia coli (e.coli), salmonella, etc. His recommendations are specific as to form and dose and length of treatment so a reader is able to administer to himself, once the problem has been properly diagnosed.
The central sections of the book are given over to three kinds of herbs: those that act systemically, i.e., reaching all parts of the body, and those that act locally in the gastro-intestinal tract or on the skin or in a particular organ, and lastly those he calls the synergists, which ?increase the activity of other plants? and ?stimulate immune responses to disease and, as well, the body?s own highly elegant repair mechanisms.? (Buhner, pp. 211 & 208) Western medicine has isolated active ingredients from plants; Buhner instead proposes using the plant itself since it evolved to operate efficiently as a whole. However, in recommending herbs he does not eschew Western medicines. For example, he cites the effectiveness of thyme in boosting tetracycline used against MRSA. The ?effectiveness threshold? of the antibiotic went from 4.0 to 0.12 mg/L, meaning that a great deal less tetracycline was needed when coupled with thyme. (Buhner, p.213)
Buhner?s position is plausible and encouraging. His book is the one I recommend highest in the list below. He summarizes the ways in which bacteria ?outwit? antibiotics and argues against what he calls the reductionist approach of Western medicine, while providing concrete information about alternatives in the plant world. The last sections of the book tells those with opportunity and interest how they can grow these herbs themselves. Good luck to you, if you take up that challenge!