Sunday, December 18, 2016

Infection Control With Folk Medicine

By Mark Wagner

Super germs are in the news today. The overuse of antibiotics is one reason that medical personnel are having trouble fighting germs. Another reason is the ease of travel. People can fly in from a distant country carrying a disease that there is little or no local resistance to. All this is scary, but there are effective means of infection control according to some alternative practitioners. Home remedies may be your best defense in the new millennium.

Antibiotics were once the miracle answer to everything from ear infections to the blood poisoning and gangrene that plagued our forefathers. However, these wonder drugs were foolishly added to livestock feeds or used to treat animals for every problem. People also demanded them for even minor colds or fevers. Today there are antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that doctors can't handle.

The spread of infectious disease has been made easier by the increased number of international flights. Unregulated immigration can also bring disease that the local population may have little or no resistance to. Tuberculosis, once considered to be stamped out in the United States, is again considered a threat.

This is a frightening scenario, but alternative medicine may have answers. Natural therapists say that a strong immune system can handle any bacteria or virus. If the immune system becomes weakened, the body is vulnerable to contagion. Practitioners advocate a good diet of natural foods, an active lifestyle, a program of stress reduction, and the use of dietary supplements for prevention and treatment.

Immune system boosters are now a multi-million dollar industry. Probiotics - supplements of beneficial bacteria to replenish the colonies in our digestive tract - are important. Herbs from around the world are known to be helpful in shielding us from bacteria and viruses. Echinacea is an American herb that fights colds and flu. Another is elderberry. Minerals are used, too; think of the zinc lozenges that people take for cold relief.

Another mineral, silver, is known to have antibacterial properties. People used to put a silver coin in their milk to keep it fresh, and silver is widely used today in industry to disinfect tubes and pipes. Many cities use it in water purification, as is done on space ships. You can buy colloidal silver as a dietary supplement, but it is important to choose a properly produced product with proof of purity.

Silver is considered safe up to a point. After that, people can actually turn blue from taking too much. However, the dosage must be very high and the usage extreme to suffer this reaction. If you are worried about your skin tone, it still might not be a bad idea to keep a bottle of colloidal silver on hand for emergency use. If you have a sore that won't heal or think you have come into contact with someone that has a serious and highly contagious disease, you can use silver as a temporary shield against infection.

People used to use poultices, unpasteurized goat's milk, spiderwebs, mustard packs, and other folk cures to heal themselves and their families. It might be time to educate ourselves about these old time remedies; we just might need them.

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