Guest blog by Susun S. Weed
Known as one of the "founding grandmothers of the herbal renaissance"
Author of Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
There are good reasons to use antibiotic drugs. That said, most physicians and healthcare professionals agree that they are often overused. The overuse of antibiotics has created "superbugs" that are immune to the most common antibiotics. But on a more personal level, antibiotics can wreak havoc on your own immune system and gastrointestinal tract.
The good news is that there is an all-natural alternative to antibiotics that I've found to be very effective. If your infection is not life threatening, you may wish to try herbs instead of, or in addition to, regular antibiotics. Of the most-often used herbal anti-infectives—calendula, chaparral, echinacea, goldenseal, myrrh, poke, usnea, and yarrow—it is the lovely purple coneflower, echinacea, that I most often turn to.
I find echinacea as effective as antibiotics (dare I say sometime better than!) if E. angustifolia/augustifolia—but not E. purpurea—is used when you make your own tincture; tincture, not capsules or teas, is used; the root, and only the root, is used; and very large doses are taken very frequently.
To figure your dose of echinacea, divide your body weight by 2; take that many drops per dose. There are about 25 drops in a dropperful; round up to full droppers. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, take 90 drops/4 dropperfuls. There is no known overdose of echinacea tincture. With acute infection, I take a full dose every 2–3 hours. When the infection is chronic, I take a full dose every 4–6 hours.
Many infections can be countered by echinacea alone. But, when there is a deeply entrenched infection in the pelvic area, for example, I add one dropperful of poke root tincture to my one- ounce bottle of Echinacea. Poke is an especially effective ally for men with prostatitis, women with chronic bacterial vaginal infections or PID, and anyone dealing with an STD/STI or urinary tract infection (UTI).
There are many good-quality vendors who sell echinacea root. To make your make your own echinacea antibiotic tincture: Put 4 ounces, or 115 grams, of echinacea cut root in a quart jar. Fill the jar to the top with 100-proof vodka. Cap tightly, and be sure to label it and keep it safely out of children's reach. Wait at least 6 weeks before use. This tincture is even more potent after 1 year.