If you follow Dr. Oz, then you probably saw this week’s show about “radical cures”. The show had special guest Dr. Joe Mercola, a well-known natural medicine and alternative health advocate. In the second part of the show, the doctors revealed a top 10 list of herbs to prevent disease and slow aging. It was heartening to see that 5 of the 10 herbs mentioned are also on my A-list for controlling infections like Staph and MRSA.
Here’s the link to the show recording: www.doctoroz.com/videos/anti-aging-herbs-and-spices
Included in the list were the antimicrobial herbs Thyme, Oregano , Cinnamon, Clove and the anti-inflammatory spice Turmeric. Given the growing link between chronic infections and other diseases like cancer, it’s no wonder that so many infection-fighting herbs made Dr. Oz’s list.
The 10 herbs and spices on the list are excellent additions to a healthy, immune boosting diet, especially if used fresh. For the most infection fighting strength, concentrated extracts of these herbs (such as medicinal strength essential oils) are usually needed.
Are natural cures really radical?
While it’s encouraging to see herbal remedies getting more media attention, it’s also a little disheartening to hear them described as “radical cures”. Remedies that have safely been used for thousands of years and backed by many scientific studies hardly seem radical to me. Rather than being radical, natural remedies go back to the very roots of modern medicine. If anything is radical, it’s modern medicine’s over-reliance on pharmaceutical drugs.
As Dr. Oz mentioned, it’s best to work with your doctor if you want to use natural remedies for a serious medical condition. But while the a few doctors are open minded, most medical doctors no nothing about natural medicine and many actually discourage it. So if you want to use natural remedies for something serious like Staph or MRSA, there are some steps you should take first.
Tips for using natural remedies safely and effectively
The following tips will help you use natural remedies more safely, effectively and with better support from your doctor:
- Make sure the natural remedy has a long history of safe use. Some good resources include doctor recommendations (if they are knowledgeable of the remedy), the GRAS list of food ingredients (Generally Regarded As Safe) and researching the literature about safety.
- If you take medications, ask your doctor if there are any known interactions with the natural remedies you’d like to use. All drugs have a Product Insert with a list of contraindications, or things to avoid while taking the drug.
- Follow the instructions and safety precautions. Most natural remedies will have dosages and precautions listed on the bottle or have a standard protocol for effective and safe use. It’s best to follow the label or the standard protocol and head the precautions unless directed otherwise by a knowledgeable physician. Some natural products should be avoided during pregnancy or while taking certain medications. And while common natural remedies are generally safe, some may cause problems if used inappropriately.
- Ask your doctor about their experience in natural medicine. A growing number of Medical Doctors are becoming aware of the benefits or these remedies. Naturopathic Doctors usually have a great deal of experience with many natural remedies.
- Ask your doctor for support to monitor your progress while using natural remedies. This is especially important for serious or severe infections. If your doctor is not supportive of natural methods, you will need to be more proactive, informed and determined if you choose to use them.
- When using a new remedy, consider starting off slowly to make sure your body tolerates it well. This is especially helpful for babies, small children or people with sensitive skin or weakened immune systems. It’s also a good idea to take notes of your progress to better track how well the remedy works for you over time (progress notes can also aid your doctor in treating you).
- Avoid the mistake of relying solely on any remedy. As helpful as a remedy may be, it’s equally important to take other steps to overcome stubborn infections. Working on your immune system, rebuilding your intestinal flora with probiotics, supporting your body to detoxify and getting rid of biofilms are just as important as the treatments or remedies you use.
To your best health,
Microbiologist and Natural Health Expert