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Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are on the rise in the United States. The reason for this trend is the over utilization of
antibiotics in Western medicine. Antibiotic resistant strains are more virulent capable of causing prolonged and serious
infections. A common practice in alternative medicine is the utilization of herbs or the use of herbs in conjunction with antibiotics
for the treatment of bacterial infections. Herbs are effective agents capable of eradicating bacterial infections. Many herbs possess
antimicrobial constituents with bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity for a broad spectrum of gram positive and gram negative
bacteria. Although herbs are generally not as potent bacteriostatic or bactericidal agents as antibiotics, herbs may be an effective
adjunct or monotherapy due to their ability to stimulate the immunes system enhancing the natural defenses of the body. Another
consideration is the antioxidant activity of herbs. During an infection, macrophages and phagocytes denature bacteria using
hydrogen peroxide in respiratory burst producing oxidative radicals. Oxidative radicals contribute to oxidative stress capable of
increasing cortisol levels down-regulating immune function. Herbs attenuate these effects. The last beneficial aspect is that many
herbs either do not disrupt or promote the growth of symbiotic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
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