Just the other day, a 17 year old boy was brought into my office. He had a swollen jaw. I examined it and recommend the father take the boy to their family MD for antibiotics.
Well, the next day the father came back. The boy was diagnosed with MRSA (aka the antibiotic-resistant Superbug). The father wanted to know what Ayurvedic treatments I could offer.
As you know MRSA (pronounced Mursa in the States) has evolved, mutated and adapted its DNA to be super-resistant to conventional treatments. It can survive a full dose of beta-lactam antibiotics, including penicillin, methicillin, and cephalosporins, according to Medical Microbiology.
How MRSA Probably Came About. . .
The virus was discovered in 1961 in the UK, two years after we started using the antibiotic methicillin to treat S. aureus and other infectious bacteria. That's how it got its name, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
Since then this superbug has been on a rampage. MRSA infections in the United States reached 127,000 in 1999 (according to a 2007 report in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And that's only counting the infections that were treated in hospitals. Of those 127,000 infections, 11,000 people died.
These Figures Suggest That MRSA Is Causing More Deaths than AIDS
By 2005, MRSA was associated with 18,650 hospital stay-related deaths, estimates the October 17, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Almost all these deaths were from people with weakened immune systems.
MRSA was once only labeled as a hospital acquired (HA-MRSA) infection. Now, however, it's turning up in schools, gyms and day care centers. It has been promoted to the rank of community acquired (CA-MRSA) infection.
A 17 Year Old High School Student's Battle With MRSA
Last October, a 17 year old boy named Ashton Bonds from Virginia's Staunton River high school acquired a MRSA staph infection according to CNN. Ashton went to the Bedford Memorial Hospital on October 4th with a pain in his side. After they ruled out appendicitis they sent him home.
Three days later, he was readmitted. By that time the MRSA infection had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and the muscles around his heart.
Antibiotic treatment was useless. The doctors sedated him and put him on ventilator. They were ready to begin surgery to try to drain the infection from his lungs. Very sadly, a blood clot near his heart got to him first.
21 schools in his area were immediately closed down and given a thorough cleaning to prevent the spread of the disease.
Superbugs are Super-Intelligent
As much as antibiotics has saved millions of people since their discovery, stories like this one show that they're loosing its power. You must understand how intelligent bacteria can be. They actually scavenge the dead remains of other bacteria that perished to antibiotic. They can see what killed their brothers and mutate accordingly. Okay, back to that boy and his father who came to my clinic with the swollen jaw. As you can see, it's no surprise they didn't want to rely on conventional medical treatment.
Fortunately, there's still a wealth of remedies available for dealing with MRSA and other skin infections. Of course, they are natural treatments that can't be patented and sold as a drug. If they can't be sold as a drug, who can afford to pay the millions of dollars required to get it FDA approved?
Thank Goodness for the Natural Rainforests of the Amazon and India
In these regions traditional people have kept the production of herbal medicines flowing to us in the West. The marriage of organically grown plant medicines with the ancient techniques of formulation have provided us with a rich system for keeping human beings healthy.
These superbugs are Mother Earth telling us to keep ourselves healthy with what she provides for us. Why rely on processed antibiotics? Annihilation as the main means to rid the body of toxic bacteria does not work. This has been scientifically proven by the breakout of MRSA in hospitals throughout the US.
For the Boy With The Swollen Jaw I Prescribed. . .
Turmeric - 2 capsules with lunch and dinner. (According to a report by the University of Maryland Medical Center turmeric's volatile oil serves as a natural antibiotic. It's been used to treat all sorts of skin and respiratory infections for thousands of years. )
Guduchi - 1-2 capsules at night before sleeping. (Lab studies showed that guduchi reduced or eliminated E. coli and upper respiratory infection, according to the Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2003. )
Triphala - 1-2 capsules at night before sleeping. (A 2006 study by the University of Madras showed triphala inhibited growth of common bacterial isolates from HIV patients. )
Superbugs Versus Supermen
We talk so much about superbugs as if they are more dangerous to us than other bacteria. They are only super-strong when fighting antibiotics. They aren't necessarily any more of a threat to our immune system. According to Ayurveda, it's really a matter of how strong your body's tissues are. Just take note of the news: The people who are dying from MRSA are usually the elderly or those suffering from a weakened immune system.
In fact, in a healthy body, many microbiologist believe bacteria will mutate to become helpful to its host. This may explain why children who grow up with a pet before age one rarely have asthma or other allergies (more on this in a future issue).
The problem lies with your body's ability to release toxins. If your cells are congested with toxins your immune system cannot operate properly. Infections take place. In Ayurveda we teach that toxemia is the root cause of all disease. Most toxins come from the colon. Antibiotics do nothing to clean out toxic waste from your blood and gut.
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Dr. Helen Thomas, Ayurvedic Practitioner: Since 1987 Dr. Helen Thomas, D. C. , has treated thousands of patients, both in America and India, on a daily basis, with the 3,000 year old science of Ayurvedic medicine.
Dr. Helen has pored over the ancient texts and worked side-by-side with Ayurveda practitioners. Over a decade ago, Dr. Helen started paying Ayurvedic doctors from India to come and work with her in her clinic.
Her knowledge comes from hands on experience, not theory given to her in school.
Many of her patients have been moved to tears after receiving an Ayurvedic assessment from Dr. Helen. Ayurveda helped them understand themselves, their needs and their stresses, more profoundly than ever before.