OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics can have dangerous side effects when they are overused. Many people take antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses but in actuality antibiotics are not helpful for viruses. Over time, the overuse of antibiotics can make bacteria more resistant and thus, will require higher doses of medicine to treat. Bacteria that used to be highly responsive to antibiotics have become increasingly resistant and harder to treat including; ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis and tuberculosis. Many minor viral infections will improve in a matter of days but it is best to consult with your doctor to determine the correct form of treatment. (SOURCE: www.kidshealth.org)

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES: There are many natural alternatives to antibiotics that a person can take to help battle illnesses. Although you should always consult with your doctor when sick, the following natural remedies may help to treat some common illnesses:

  • Garlic- Used in many cultures for thousands of years, garlic is rich in antioxidants which can strengthen the immune system and help destroy particles that can damage cell membranes. Garlic has been shown to help treat and prevent the common cold. Garlic also can help reduce high blood pressure and decrease the progression of cardiovascular disease. (SOURCE:www.umm.edu)
  • Echinacea- Besides enhancing the activity of the immune system, Echinacea has been shown to be a natural pain reliever. It also can reduce inflammation and has hormonal, antiviral and antioxidant effects. It can be used to treat urinary tract infections, ear infections, sinusitis and athlete?s foot. (SOURCE: www.umm.edu)
  • Panax Ginseng- Panax ginseng, not to be confused with American ginseng, is a plant that has many different medical uses. It can be used to treat anemia, diabetes, gastritis and even fever and hangovers. It can also help depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)
  • Tea tree oil- Can be used topically to treat infections such as acne, ringworm, lice, scabies and fungal infections of the nails (onychomycosis). It can also be used as a local antiseptic for cuts, burns and bites. This oil has also been proven effective in helping with herpes labialis, toothache and other infections of the mouth and nose. It can even treat sore throat. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)
  • Aloe- Can be taken by mouth or applied on the skin and has been used to treat stomach ulcers, diabetes, osteoarthritis, bowel disease, fever, itching, inflammation and asthma. It can also be used as skin remedy for burns, frostbite psoriasis, sunburns and cold sores. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)

* For More Information, Contact:

Paula Negele Media Relations paula.negele@providence.org