March 13

Book Review: Herbal Antibiotics

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Herbal AntibioticsI’ve had Stephen Harrod Buhner’s book, Herbal Antibiotics, 2nd Edition: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug Resistant Bacteria, in my library for about a year. It’s become a well-worn copy and important ally in my herbal practice.

I’ll be perfectly honest in why I picked it to discuss this week. You need this book.

That might sound dramatic, but I couldn’t be more serious. If you think that antibiotic resistance was a problem, you have no idea how right you are. This book gives you the information you need to prepare to face a day where antibiotics are useless.

Buhner has recognized and addressed an ever-growing threat that we face from drug-resistant bacteria. He details how the threats from overuse of antibiotics were always known, the impact of CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) farms and their overuse of antibiotics, and how antibiotics in the environment are changing everything from the soil to seagulls.

The author describes in clear language how bacteria are able to resist our most advanced antibiotics, as well as how intelligent bacteria are. They are far more communicative than humans have given them credit for, and they excel at developing resistance mechanisms to our so-called advanced pharmaceuticals. Bacteria are smart! Their communicative and adaptive abilities are nothing short of frightening.

On the more hopeful side of the subject, Buhner also describes the hows and the whys behind the ability of plant-based preparations to bypass those resistance mechanisms. When it comes to antibiotics, it is the humble plants that possess significant advantages over modern, manufactured, synthetic medicine.

The book is approximately 400 pages (not including the endnotes and index) of vital information. This isn’t just for minor infections. The author addresses bacteria such as:

  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus (MRSA)
  • Clostridium difficile (C-diff)
  • Enterococcus spp.
  • Myobacterium tuberculosis
  • Streptococcus spp.
  • Salmonella
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • E.coli
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • and more

Specific formulations are given for each infection. Of course, there is no way to make an actual diagnosis without a doctor and a lab. In a SHTF scenario without such resources,you will need to have learned to recognize the symptoms and proceed from there.

The materia medica includes herbs that have proven effective, either through decades of the author’s experience or demonstrated through scientific studies, against harmful bacteria. Some of these herbs were like old friends, like oregon grape root, echinacea, juniper berry, ginger, and elderberry. Some, like sida, bidens, and usnea were unfamiliar, but are now in my herbal supplies.

There is also a very good section at the back of the book with explanations on how to make standard herbal preparations, such as tinctures, infusions, herbal powders, linaments, and lotions. There are also recipes and a good explanation of how to calculate the dosage for children.

And while the serious bacterial threats do take center stage, Buhner also addresses many minor complaints, like ear infections. All in all, this is a valuable reference for anyone. Preppers will appreciate the straightforward, honest treatment of the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as how to address and mitigate the problem.

To buy Stephen Harrod Buhner’s book, Herbal Antibiotics 2nd Edition:Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug Resistant Bacteria, Click Here


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drug-resistant bacteria, Herbal Antibiotics, Stephen Harrod Buhner


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