What safe and effective natural antibiotics can you take instead of the harmful drugs? And what dietary supplements do you need to inhibit candida overgrowth and restore the health of your gut after taking antibiotics?
Following my previous blog, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Antibiotics and Gut Health, here are some valuable tips for resisting infection naturally, restoring intestinal microflora and improving digestive health following a course of antibiotic medication.
GARLIC is nature’s antibiotic, recognised for centuries by herbalists for its powerful anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. You can take it cooked, raw or in odourless capsules to combat infection and enhance your natural immunity. It’s important when taking probiotic and garlic supplements that you take them at separate times – preferably at opposite ends of the day – because garlic’s antibacterial action will destroy some of the probiotic bacteria if taken together.
ECHINACEA is a herb with remarkable anti-microbial and immune supportive actions. It’s available in tablets, tincture or fluid extract as a supplement to promote a natural resistance to infection. I prefer to use herbs in tincture or extract form and recommend Kiwiherb Echinature (Echinacea purpurea root extract) from the HealthPost range.
OLIVE LEAF is another valuable herb with immune strengthening and antibiotic properties. Although its antibiotic action works across a wide spectrum of infectious microbes it will not destroy the “friendly” bacteria in our gut, unlike antibiotic drugs.
COLOSTRUM, the first milk produced by humans and other mammals to nourish their newborn offspring, has antibiotic, anti-parasitic actions combined with a balancing action on the intestinal micro-flora. Its main role is immune supportive, providing the optimum life-enhancing boost for the infant in the first few days of life. Bovine colostrum has been used as a natural antibiotic by humans – both children and adults – for thousands of years.
FERMENTED FOODS such as kombucha, kefir, raw yoghurt, pickles, sauerkraut, rejuvelac, and other lacto-fermented vegetable or fruit juices all help promote a healthy intestinal environment and provide another source of the beneficial bacteria strains required by your body.
AVOID SUGAR Candida albicans (thrush) – the unfriendly fungal infection – thrives on refined sugar. Yeast foods can also contribute to Candida overgrowth.
VEGETABLES that actively inhibit Candida growth are garlic, onions, kale, turnips, horseradish, cabbage and broccoli. Eat these freely to improve your intestinal health. Remember any vegetables from the brassica family should generally be either cooked or fermented. Occasionally snacking on raw broccoli is okay but eating raw brassicas regularly or in quantity can irritate the digestive tract, causing bloating, gas or abdominal cramping. Goitrogens contained in raw brassicas can also suppress iodine uptake and interfere with thyroid function, but these are neutralised through cooking or fermenting processes.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL or EVENING PRIMROSE OIL (EPO) is important in preventing conversion of yeasts such as Candida albicans to their invasive fungal-type mycelia form in the gut. Use EPO capsules or take 2 teaspoons of organic cold pressed virgin olive oil 3 times a day.
GINGER is another herb with anti-fungal properties, and to treat nausea and bloating – drink it as a tea or use it in cooking.
VITAMIN B COMPLEX and VITAMIN C are often necessary to help deal with the effects of infection on the body, and particularly after antibiotic treatment. Many of the B vitamins are synthesised in the gut by friendly bacteria, so when these have been destroyed by antibiotics the body’s production of B vitamins is lowered. When Candida overgrowth is present the amount of the B vitamins Biotin, B5 and B6 drops dramatically. Vitamin C aids the immune system in dealing with infection and removing toxins. Always take B vitamins in a B Complex form so your body gets them in the optimum ratio needed for metabolism; several doses of a 500mg tablet or equivalent dose of powder divided throughout the day are the recommended way to take Vitamin C for maximum absorption.
- What other natural antibiotics have you found effective?
- Have you successfully treated candida using natural remedies?
By Carolyn Simon ND, DipMedHerb
HealthPost stock a range of quality Garlic, Echinacea, Olive Leaf, Colostrum, Evening Primrose Oil, Ginger and Vitamin supplements available for secure purchase at great low prices from our online store.
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