Our previous article [February] discussed medical science's concern over the developing resistance of bacteria to known antibacterial drugs. This month we apprise you of some natural antibiotics and antioxidants.

Some diseases such as tuberculosis and certain types of "hospital acquired" infections are totally resistant to known drugs. It has also been shown that bacteria are able to transmit their resistance to other not-yet-affected bacteria. The pharmaceutical industry has been somewhat slow in recognizing the development of this "universal" resistance to known antibiotics, so there is likely to be a hiatus before they are able to develop new drugs.

Until we have the new materials with which to fight microbial infections, it behooves us to do everything possible to maintain our immune systems at their peak. This can first be accomplished by keeping the doshas balanced. The diet is to be whatever your constitution requires to keep it in balance. Adequate exercise, including aerobics, is also required. Nutritional supplementation with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will help to keep the immune system functioning at its peak. Keep in mind that it is the immune system that conquers the invading bacteria, with or without the help of antibiotics or other natural substances.

If one is on any antibiotic, or antibiotic tea, it is absolutely essential to take supplemental vitamins and minerals as well as yogurt or acidophilus milk in order to maintain the normal flora of the intestinal tract. The normal flora of the bowel keeps us in a state of health by synthesizing vitamins and enzymes. Ingested antibiotics kill these friendly bacteria.

In order to help the immune system stay active and balanced there is a class of substances called Proanthocyanidins (Pycnogenol) which are bioflavonoids found in certain fir tree barks and in grape seed extracts. These are superior antioxidants and also have some anti-inflammatory properties. They are synergistic with vitamins C and E. Their major influence is to improve capillary circulation so that cell health is enhanced and maintained. They are able to pass the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain cells. Though not antibiotics, their antioxidant abilities help support the immune system against invaders. The product from grape seed extracts are more economical and ecologically preferred. Using pycnogenols as a daily food supplement is highly advised for everyone.

One of the most powerful naturally occurring antibiotics is garlic. For centuries, garlic overcame bacterial infections. Its potency has proven greater than some of the better known antibiotics, especially in respiratory diseases. Garlic contains allicin, a natural antibiotic. It is also antiseptic, antifungal and anticlotting. It is commonly used to expel worms from the intestinal tract. It is an excellent source of potassium and phosphorus, vitamins B and C, and also calcium and some proteins. Its abundant supply of selenium, a potent antioxidant, may be useful in ailments of the heart and eye. Garlic juice has been invaluable in the treatment of childhood ear infections without the hazards of habitual chemical antibiotic use. Garlic may be used raw, cooked or in capsular form as long as the content of allicin is guaranteed.
…more on antibiotics next month.

Dr. Devananda Tandavan, MD, is a member of the American Medical Association, the International College of Surgeons, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the American Federation of Astrologers, the International Center of Homeopathy–and more. Send questions to Hinduism Today, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa, Hawaii 96746 USA. Access Dr. Tandavan's WWW home page at:http: //www.Hinduism Today.kauai.hi.us/ ashram/