How do bacteria become antibiotic resistant?

Antibiotic resistance is a genetic trait, like brown hair or blue eyes, but unlike these traits, antibiotic resistance transfers very quickly between one bacteria and another.  Somehow (and as I understand it, scientists are still trying to figure this out) bacteria communicate with each other extremely rapidly, and through this communication they are able to transfer survival traits.

In a study by Dr. Stuart Levy and his colleagues, they found that introducing antibiotics into chicken feed very quickly promoted the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the chickens’ intestinal tracts, as well as the intestinal tracts of the people working with the chickens.  The chickens’ guts changed within a week, the farm workers in 3-6 months.  Further, the bacteria sampled were not only resistant to tetracycline (the antibiotic used), but several other commercial antibiotics – they had learned and adapted.  (Personally, this freaks me out.)

The good news – after they stopped using the antibiotic laced feed for six months, no detectable levels of tectracycline resistant organisms were found in the farm workers.

How are herbal antibiotics different from pharmaceutical antibiotics?

Many pharmaceutical antibiotics are isolated chemical constituents.  They are one compound/one chemical – penicillin is penicillin, tetracycline is tetracycline and so on.  This makes them easier for bacteria to adapt to and counteract.  In contrast, herbs are much more complicated.  Garlic has over 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids and a dozen other compounds.  Yarrow has over 120 identified compounds.  (It makes me look at my herbs with a new appreciation.)  In plants, the whole appears to be more than the sum of its parts.  The different compounds work together, often to produce better than expected results.

Top 15 Antibiotic Herbs

There is much, much more to learn about herbal antibiotics, but I just wanted to give you a brief overview and let you know that herbs can be effective remedies, sometimes even for infections that don’t respond to “standard” treatments.  Always exercise caution when using herbs as medicine, and be doubly careful if you are on any prescription medication.
I’ll share a few that I use regularly.
Aloe vera: is active against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonos aeruginosa, and herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2.  Aloe and honey are two of the most effective treatments for burn victims when applied externally to speed wound healing and prevent infection.  Aloe is used simply by slicing open the leaves of the fresh plant to get at the sap and applying the aloe gel to the wound or burn until well covered, repeating as necessary.
Cinnamon: a team of surgeons found that a solution made with cinnamon oil killed a number of common and hospital-acquired infections, like streptococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. German research claims cinnamon “suppresses completely” the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections and the fungus associated with yeast infections as well.
I like to keep a pan of warm apple cider on the stove with cinnamon in it and give it to the kids to drink it is an effective way to get it down.
Garlic: is active against Tuberculosis, Shigell dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonos aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Streptococcus spp., Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Protues merbilis, herpes simplex, influenza B, HIV and tested against viruses – it is an excellent virus killer!

Garlic make be taken fresh (as juice or as cloves), in capsules, as tincture, or in food.  Start with small doses and gradually increase.  Raw garlic may cause stomach upset and even induce vomiting, if taken without food, so be careful.  Small, frequent doses are generally easier to take than large doses (1/4 to  teaspoon juice as needed).  Capsules may be better tolerated and easier to take.  Ample garlic in food is also helpful.  Watch out for garlic and blood thinning medication.

Grapefruit Seed Extract: Since Grapefruit Seed Extract is made from all-natural ingredients, it can be used to fight bacteria both internally and externally. When taken as an oral dose, it is effective at combating the bacteria that can cause diarrhea and stomach upsets, like salmonella and E Coli, as well as having protective qualities for the pancreas. It is even said to alter the pH of the blood, which makes it an inhabitable place for some fungi (like the candida fungus) and viruses to take up residence.
Echinacea: is active against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus spp., mycobacterium (tuberculosis), abnormal cells (direct application necessary).  It has been recommended it for abnormal pap smears, strep throat, and very early onset of colds and flus.  For strep throat and heading off colds and flus, I would recommend the use of echinacea tincture, 30 drops (full dropper) each hour.  I have also had success fighting off a cold with a steady stream of echinacea tea.
Honey: has long been acknowledged for its antimicrobial properties. Traditional remedies containing honey were used in the topical treatment of wounds by diverse ancient civilizations. Honey inhibits wound-infecting bacteria. Honey supplies the nutrients necessary for healthy tissue regeneration and stimulates the growth of new blood capillaries. The antibacterial properties also provide a barrier to cross-infection of wounds. Honey’s high sugar content has an osmosis effect on wounds. It draws lymph out to the cells while absorbing moisture and provides an anti-inflammatory action which reduces swelling and pain
Juniper: is used as a mild diuretic to treat urinary problems. Juniper detoxifies the system and helps prevent the buildup of uric acid in cases of gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
Licorice: is active against malaria, tuberculosis, Bacillis subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus sobrinus, S. mutans, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Vibrio cholera, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, Toxocara canis, and coughs.

Licorice is a powerful immune system stimulant and antibiotic, and works well with other herbs.  It does have side effects, especially with overuse.  I have found in practice that the use of the whole root does in fact produce fewer side effects than the extracts. However, some of the same side effects still occur: higher blood pressure, water retention. These occur with less frequency and generally occur in those of middle age – i.e. those who have gone through menopause. Should be used with caution in those with high blood pressure.

Wormwood: exhibits properties that are beneficial to boost the immune system. Consumption of wormwood will aid the body to rid itself of toxins, which is beneficial in fighting fevers and infections. For maximum benefit, wormwood can be mixed with mint to make it more palatable and then consumed to treat the flu, lasting fevers and food poisoning. The antiseptic properties of woodworm are to destroy viruses and bacteria that can cause fevers.
Essential Oils that build your immune system:
Rubbing X-Plague on the bottom of my feet, works wonders at boosting my immune defenses.

Some Essential Oils that are antibiotic and bactericidal, for fighting bacteria infection : basil,eucalyptuslemonlemongrassmyrrhneroliniaoulipalmarosatea tree, and rose.