Dear Editor – I have been following the continued reports on the progression of ‘superbugs’ and their implications with interest.
One report that caught my attention was the three year study conducted by Oxford scientists, published in September 2013, which concluded that the most significant factor in reducing superbug infections was a reduction in antibiotic use.
Dr David Eyre of Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University said, “People usually become ill with [the superbug] C.diff after taking antibiotics, because antibiotics don’t just kill ‘bad’ bugs but also ‘good’ bugs in the gut [these are an essential part of a strong immune response], allowing the resistant C.diff to take over”. He concluded, “using antibiotics more carefully can prevent people becoming ill with C.diff even if they are exposed to it.”
The new strain of bacteria that is on the rise, Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, including those used as a last resort.
With bacterial infections as prevalent as they ever have been in society, what options do G.Ps have other than to prescribe their only ammunition: antibiotics?
Perhaps a collaboration between doctors and Medical Herbalists is in order? Their medicines both stem from the same root after all: plants.
The herbalist’s approach differs in that it supports the body’s response to infection by strengthening the immune system and ensuring the individual is in good health; then infection can be countered with the assistance of herbal remedies, without the need to resort to the heavy artillery of antibiotics.
At The Herbal Clinic (established 1977), Swansea, hundreds of cases of bacterial infection ranging from cystitis to tonsillitis and enteritis have been successfully treated in this way.
As Dr Eyre highlights, it is the use of antibiotics that predisposes people to far more serious infections, as well as ongoing problems as a result of impaired immunity. I wonder at what point they will issue a health warning on the packaging of antibiotics to reflect the insidious nature of this so-called ‘medicine’.
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.