It is no longer a secret that antibiotic-resistant bacteria, commonly known as superbugs, are on the rise. This has many in the medical community gravely concerned. One of the greatest causes fueling this epidemic is the indiscriminate overuse of antibiotics.
In 2015, in an attempt to address the problem, the White House released a plan to half inappropriate outpatient use of antibiotics by 2020. This is an ambitious and laudable goal, but with 2020 just around the corner, one that is not likely to come to fruition.
The problem of antibiotic overuse is incredibly widespread. In fact, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partner organizations, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), recently confirmed that as many as 30 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are totally unnecessary. In analyzing data from doctors’ rooms and emergency facilities around the country, the researchers determined that about 47 million excess prescriptions are written every year for conditions that are totally unaffected by antibiotics, most especially viral respiratory tract infections. In an effort to placate patients who feel they need to be given something for their symptoms, when in fact the only treatment is time and their body’s own immune system, doctors put patients at risk of potentially dangerous allergic reactions and the sometimes fatal pathogen, Clostridium difficile.
But there is a natural solution to the problem that Stavros Saripanidis, consultant in obstetrics and gynecology in Thessaloniki, Greece, wants to remind colleagues of: oil of oregano. Saripanidis calls oil of oregano an “extremely powerful broad spectrum fungicidal and bactericidal” that has no side effects. And best of all, unlike antibiotics, it has never caused bacterial resistance. Of course, as is only to be expected, the mainstream media has done nothing to promote this natural antibiotic.
So, what makes oil of oregano so powerful? Its active ingredient, carvacrol.
In 2012, researchers out of Utrecht University in the Netherlands published a study in the journal PLoS One, in which they examined the antimicrobial properties of carvacrol against the most common foodborne pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni. They concluded that carvacrol effectively blocked the damaging effects of eukaryotic cells without interfering with healthy cell function. They noted: “These results broaden the spectrum of antimicrobial activity of carvacrol and support the potential of the compound for use in novel infection prevention strategies.”
Another 2012 study, this time by researchers from the University of Connecticut and published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, looked at the effects of three plant-based antimicrobials, one of which was carvacrol, against another foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes (LM). All three were found to be effective in vitro, and their results suggested that these antimicrobials could potentially be used to control LM infection, though they noted that in vivo studies were needed to validate the results.
A third study, conducted by the University of Arizona in 2010, and published in the Journal of Food Protection, examined the effects of carvacrol and another natural antimicrobial against antibiotic-resistant Salmonella. Their study found that both antimicrobials inactivated all pathogens.
In addition to being a “natural antibiotic,” carvacrol has also been proven to protect the liver and is a powerful antioxidant.
Other health benefits of carvacrol include reducing pain and inflammation. It is also a very effective natural treatment for respiratory treatments and asthma.
Those suffering from yeast infections, or Candida albicans, will find it to be a very effective natural remedy.
Another problem that haunts millions is cholesterol. It is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that causes a build-up and the narrowing of arteries. Oil of oregano prevents this process, thereby contributing to normal cholesterol levels.
And finally, a study conducted in Georgia and published in the journal Georgian Medical News, found that carvacrol effectively lowers blood sugar for those suffering from diabetes, without any damaging side effects.
There are clearly plenty of sound reasons to always keep oil of oregano in your arsenal of natural medications.