Herbs For Skin Infection

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Skin diseases are numerous and a frequently occurring health problem affecting all ages from the neonates to the elderly and cause harm in number of ways. Maintaining healthy skin is important for a healthy body. Many people may develop skin diseases that affect the skin, including cancer, herpes and cellulitis. Some wild plants and their parts are frequently used to treat these diseases. The use of plants is as old as the mankind. Natural treatment is cheap and claimed to be safe. It is also suitable raw material for production of new synthetic agents. A review of some plants for the treatment of skin diseases is provided that summarizes the recent technical advancements that have taken place in this area during the past 17 years

Herbal therapy for skin disorders has been used for thousands of years. Even our biologically close relatives, the great apes, use herbal self-medication (Huffman 2001). Specific herbs and their uses developed regionally, based on locally available plants and through trade in ethnobotanical remedies. Systems of herbal use developed regionally in Europe, the Middle East (Ghazanfar 1994), Africa, India (Behl and Srivastava 2002), China, Japan, Australia, and the Americas. Two well-known systems still in use are the Ayurvedic herbs in India (Kapoor 1990) and herb combinations developed as part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China (Xu 2004). In Europe and the United States, use of herbs declined as purified extracts and synthetic chemical drugs became available. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the use of herbs due to the following reasons: the side effects of chemical drugs became apparent, there was a call to return to nature, natural remedies became a part of the green revolution, and there was a return to organic produce. Herbal remedies, including those for skin disorders, are currently gaining popularity among patients and to a lesser degree among physicians. In Asia, especially in China and India, herbal treatments that have been used for centuries are now being studied scientifically. In Germany, the regulatory authority Commission E oversees herbal preparations and their recommended uses (Blumenthal et al. 1998). Currently, the United States does not regulate herbal products except as dietary supplements. There is no standardization of active ingredients, purity, or concentration. There are also no regulations governing which herbs can be marketed for specific indications.

Included in this review of herbal medications are those medications that show scientific evidence for clinical efficacy, as well as the more common herbs found to be useful in the treatment of dermatologic disorders. Information regarding the safety of each herb is also included in this chapter to better enable physicians to decide which herbal therapies they may want to use in practice. Common drug interactions and the side effects of herbal medicines that may be seen in the dermatologic setting are also included in this discussion.

Top seven safe, effective natural antibiotics

Certain natural substances have antibacterial properties, but which are safe to use, and when should a person use them?

Prescription antibiotics, such as penicillin, have helped people to recover from otherwise fatal diseases and conditions since the 1940s.

However, people are also turning to natural antibiotics for treatment.

According to the NHS, 1 in 10 people experiences side effects that harm the digestive system after taking antibiotics. Around 1 in 15 people are allergic to this type of medication.

In this article, we look at the evidence behind seven of the best natural antibiotics. We also discuss which to avoid, and when to see a doctor.

Seven best natural antibiotics

Garlic may be an effective treatment against bacteria.

The scientific jury is still out concerning natural antibiotics. While people have used remedies like these for hundreds of years, most treatments have not been thoroughly tested.

However, some show promising results under medical review, and further studies are underway.

With an ongoing increase in drug-resistant bacteria, scientists are looking to nature when developing new medications.

Here, we examine the science behind seven natural antibiotics.

1. Garlic

Cultures across the world have long recognized garlic for its preventive and curative powers.

Research has found that garlic can be an effective treatment against many forms of bacteria, including Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Garlic has even been considered for use against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

2. Honey

Since the time of Aristotle, honey has been used as an ointment that helps wounds to heal and prevents or draws out infection.

Healthcare professionals today have found it helpful in treating chronic wounds, burns, ulcers, bedsores, and skin grafts. For example, results of a study from 2016 demonstrate that honey dressings can help to heal wounds.

The antibacterial effects of honey are usually attributed to its hydrogen peroxide content. However, manuka honey fights off bacteria, though it has a lower hydrogen peroxide content.

A 2011 study reported that the best-known type of honey inhibits approximately 60 kinds of bacteria. It also suggests that honey successfully treats wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Antibacterial properties aside, honey may help wounds to heal by providing a protective coating that fosters a moist environment.

3. Ginger

The scientific community also recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. Several studies, including one published in 2017, have demonstrated ginger’s ability to fight many strains of bacteria.

Researchers are also exploring ginger’s power to combat seasickness and nausea and to lower blood sugar levels.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea has been used to treat infections for many years.

Native American and other traditional healers have used echinacea for hundreds of years to treat infections and wounds. Researchers are beginning to understand why.

A study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology reports that extract of Echinacea purpurea can kill many different kinds of bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes).

S. pyogenes is responsible for strep throat, toxic shock syndrome, and the “flesh-eating disease” known as necrotizing fasciitis.

Echinacea may also fight inflammation associated with bacterial infection. It is available to purchase in health stores or online.

5. Goldenseal

Goldenseal is usually consumed in tea or capsules to treat respiratory and digestive problems. However, it may also combat bacterial diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

In addition, results of a recent study support the use of goldenseal to treat skin infections. In a lab, goldenseal extracts were used to prevent MRSA from damaging tissue.

A person taking prescription medications should check with a doctor before taking goldenseal, as this supplement can cause interference.

Goldenseal also contains berberine, an important component of natural antibiotics. This alkaloid is not safe for infants, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Goldenseal capsules are available to purchase in health stores or online.

6. Clove

Clove has traditionally been used in dental procedures. Research is now finding that clove water extract may be effective against many different kinds of bacteria, including E. coli.

7. Oregano

Some believe that oregano boosts the immune system and acts as an antioxidant. It may have anti-inflammatory properties.

While researchers have yet to verify these claims, some studies show that oregano is among the more effective natural antibiotics, particularly when it is made it into an oil.

Skin and soft‐tissue infections (SSTIs) are common infections of the epidermis, dermis or subcutaneous tissue. SSTIs range in severity from minor, self‐limiting, superficial infections to deep, aggressive, gangrenous, life‐threatening infections. Some classifications divide SSTIs into ‘complicated’ and ‘uncomplicated’ infections based on clinical severity. Treatments of SSTIs involves antibiotic therapy, surgical debridement or drainage, and resuscitation if required. Sometimes these treatments are limited by high treatment costs, bacterial resistance to antibiotics and side effects, therefore, many people with SSTIs are turning to Chinese herbal medicines to treat this problem.

Chinese herbal medicines are natural substances that have been used for centuries in China where they are generally considered to be effective for SSTIs. Some Chinese herbal medicines have been shown to have antibacterial and anti‐inflammatory properties, although a few herbal medicines have been reported to have side effects. Therefore there is a need to review the current clinical evidence systematically to inform current practice and guide future studies on Chinese herbal medicines for SSTIs.

6 Ways to Treat a Skin Infection Using Natural Remedies

Alarming statistics indicate that drug-resistant skin infections are on the rise. Unfortunately, many drugs commonly used for such infections are sometimes ineffective because of antibiotic resistance.

The explosive growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has led to a resurgence of interest in the use of natural remedies, many of which have a rich history of use by our ancestors.

Read on for six ways to treat a skin infection naturally using medicinal herbs, honey, essential oils, and probiotics. I’ve also included three recipes you can try at home to start feeling better.

The Emergence of Drug-Resistant Infections

More and more adults are struggling with skin infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. And, perhaps because antibiotics are routinely prescribed by some pediatricians or because “antibacterial” soaps and other products are so widely used in homes and schools, this trend is also on the rise in children younger than 15 years of age.

Drug-resistant skin infections pose a significant health risk at any age because they increase a person’s susceptibility to systemic infection. The growing problem of antibiotic resistance is causing many people to turn to natural substances for the treatment of skin infections.

Excitingly, an emerging body of research indicates that natural compounds, including botanical medicines, honey, and topical probiotics, have significant therapeutic value in the treatment of skin infections without the potential to cause antibiotic resistance. And these treatments don’t just work for MRSA. People with acne, ringworm, cutaneous Candida infections, and a host of other bacterial infections could also see positive results.

If you’re struggling with a skin infection—whether it’s acne, ringworm, or a bacterial infection—you can take your treatment into your own hands. Check out this article for six ways to treat it naturally, and get recipes for remedies you can make at home.

Six Ways You Can Treat a Skin Infection Naturally

While there are many natural compounds that have antimicrobial properties, a few stand out from the rest in their ability to combat antibiotic-resistant skin infections:

1. Another Surprising Use for CBD Oil

Cannabis has received no shortage of attention from the medical community in recent years. A growing body of research indicates that it has an incredibly wide variety of health applications, including the

Cannabinoids may also make the skin more resistant to infection in the first place by upregulating the endocannabinoid system, a network of molecules and receptors that influences immunity, among many other effects. Topical CBD oil may be the best way to reap the antibacterial, skin-protective benefits of cannabinoids.

After extensive research on CBD products available today, Ojai Energetics Hemp Elixir is my top choice. It’s what I use myself and with my family, and what I recommend to most of my patients, because it’s effective, safe, and made from 100 percent organic ingredients.

2. Why Honey Is Liquid Gold

Honey, a sweet, viscous food derived from the nectar of flowers and produced most commonly by the European honey bee Apis mellifera, is truly “liquid gold” in the treatment of skin infections.Topical application of natural, unprocessed honey reduces redness, swelling, and healing time in bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella. Its effects are comparable to that of topical antibiotics.

Natural honey also accelerates the healing of diabetic wounds and is useful in the treatment of ringworm, cutaneous Candida infections, and acne.

Manuka honey, a special type of honey produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush, has a broad spectrum of action, unlike any other known natural antimicrobial. It inhibits pathogenic bacteria that colonize the skin and wounds, including MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The powerful antimicrobial effects of manuka honey are due primarily to the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO), a naturally occurring phytochemical found in the nectar of Leptospermum flowers that damages bacterial DNA, RNA, and proteins.

When selecting manuka honey for medicinal uses, you need to consider the UMF, a quality trademark and grading system that rates the strength of the honey. (UMF stands for “unique manuka factor” and is an official designation granted only to authentic manuka honey produced and jarred in New Zealand.) UMF 10+ is the minimum strength honey recommended for medicinal use; it is best for less serious infections such as acne. For more stubborn infections, I recommend UMF 15+ or 20+.

3. A Salve Made from Cryptolepis Can Soothe Your Skin

Cryptolepis is a shrubby plant native to Africa that has traditionally been used to treat malaria. However, this plant also works as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial against pathogens implicated in skin infections, including MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans.

Cryptolepis is best used as a salve. I recommend this salve from Woodland Essence.

4. Sida acuta: Invasive Weed or Effective Treatment Option?

Sida acuta is a species of flowering plant in the mallow family that grows around the world and is often considered to be an invasive species or weed. Despite its lowly reputation, Sida acuta is a powerful treatment for skin infections. According to herbalist and author Stephen Harrod Buhner, it is active against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida skin infections. (14)

5. Try Eucalyptus, Juniper Berry, or Another Essential Oil to Treat Your Skin

Essential oils are made by distilling the volatile oils from plants. They can be applied directly to the skin, either straight or diluted in a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil).

A wide variety of essential oils have antimicrobial properties that may neutralize skin pathogens, including:

Essential oils are often combined to produce synergistic effects. (15) One oil, for example, may be an effective antiseptic, while another works as an anti-inflammatory. Your best bet may be using a premade blend of essential oils intended for topical use in skin conditions.

6. Try Using Topical Probiotics

Lactobacilli have antimicrobial activity against skin pathogens and prevent the formation of biofilm (a stubborn surface build-up of bacteria that is difficult to eradicate) when applied topically. (16) Lactobacillus plantarum also inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization on the skin and enhances tissue repair in burn wounds. (17)

While a variety of probiotic-containing skincare products are emerging on the market, I am unaware of any that are explicitly intended for treating skin infections. However, one product line that may be worth a shot is Mother Dirt. The ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in Mother Dirt skin care products replace essential bacteria lost by modern hygiene and lifestyles and may fortify the skin’s natural defenses against infection.

Why Natural Skin Infection Treatments Make Sense

Antibiotics have long reigned supreme in the field of dermatology, forming the cornerstone of treatment for skin infections. The practice of using one type of therapy to treat a disease, such as an antibiotic for a skin infection, is referred to as “monotherapy.”Monotherapy is problematic because pathogens are highly adaptable organisms that quickly develop ways to evade the effects of single antimicrobial compounds.

Pathogens that successfully evade the impact of antibiotics pass their antibiotic resistance genes down to subsequent generations. Considering that some bacteria can go through a single generation in as little as 20 minutes, it is no surprise that antibiotic resistance has skyrocketed in our modern-day society!

Using natural compounds to treat a skin infection is an effective way to avoid the pitfalls of antibiotic monotherapy. In contrast to antibiotics, which contain a single active antimicrobial compound, botanical medicines and other natural substances contain many active compounds all in one package. The presence of multiple antimicrobial compounds makes it difficult for pathogens to adapt and evade the effects of the intervention, which reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, in traditional herbal medicine, several plants are often administered together to treat infections. The synergistic effects produced by a combination of botanicals enhance the antimicrobial effects of the intervention and further reduce the risk of bacterial resistance. Using a natural remedy to treat your skin infection allows you to take a Functional Medicine approach to the problem—by addressing the root cause—without contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Ready to Try It Yourself? Here Are Three Recipes to Get You Started

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to treat a skin infection naturally. In fact, you can make an herbal antibacterial wash, wound powder, and herbal oil for skin infections right in your kitchen. The recipes featured below are courtesy of Stephen Harrod Buhner’s excellent book Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria.

If you’ve never made your own herbal oil before, don’t worry. These recipes are easy to follow, and you can find supplies at a number of online retailers. Look for a vendor that sells organic herbs.

General Antibacterial Wash

Combine the herbs with water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool and strain. Rinse the affected skin liberally with the decoction four times daily.

Wound Powder

Powder all herbs as finely as possible. (Stephen recommends using a high-powered blender or food processor to get a semi-small grind and then transferring the blend to a nut or coffee grinder to make a finer powder.) Strain powder through a sieve. Use as needed. This formula can be sprinkled onto feet or into shoes and socks to treat athlete’s foot. It may also be used on babies for diaper rash.

Herbal Oil for Skin Infections

Grind herbs as finely as possible with a high-powered blender or coffee grinder. Place ground herbs in a small, ovenproof glass dish or ceramic pot than can be covered; do not use a metal pot. Pour in enough olive oil to saturate the herbs, stir well, and then add extra oil to cover the herbs by one quarter inch. Heat the mixture, with the lid on, overnight in the oven for eight hours at a low temperature, between 150 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the mixture cool and then press the mixture through a cloth to extract the oil. Store the oil in a sealed glass container out of the sun.

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