There has been a dramatic transformation in the way certain diseases are looked upon in modern medicine. Antibiotics have become a part of general treatment modalities. Diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia and septicemia, which were once considered to be harbingers of death, have become easily treatable conditions.
Initially, the word antibiotic was coined for organic compounds produced from bacteria and molds that were toxic to certain microorganisms. With passage of time, it is now used for any organic, synthetic or semi-synthetic compound that has the property of killing bacteria.
All antibiotics have selective toxicity. This means that they destroy foreign invading organisms without harming the host. Antibiotics interpose in the synthesis of one of the large but the simplest structural unit of a cell in different ways. For example, penicillin restricts synthesis of peptidoglycan, the mess like outer layer of bacteria with thick walls but do not interfere with other intercellular constituents. These antibiotics do not affect other cells in the human body as human cells do not have cell walls.
This property of selective toxicity attributed to antibiotics has been the central point of debate between alternative and conventional therapists. The major contention is that antibiotics in many instances fail to differentiate between friendly bacteria, such as the intestinal flora that is necessary for proper digestion and foreign disease-causing pathogens. Another logic frequently put forward is that antibiotics are based on a single compound that bacteria can break easily thereby developing resistance to the drug. Besides these, the side effects that antibiotics cause are sometimes as serious as the disease that they are supposed to treat.
There is anecdotal evidence of the antibiotic alternative that existed in the shape of herbal antibiotics, long before the first allopathic antibiotic was introduced. Cheese molds were used for topical treatment of infections. Turmeric is still used, internally and externally, in South East Asia for its strong antibiotic properties. Homeopathic remedies, which are also based on purely natural substances, provide another antibiotic alternative.
The basis of homeopathy is to emphasize on improving immune system health in the individual. It also understands that bacteria, in general, are not harmful. An attempt to eliminate them should only be made when they give rise to disease. In fact, most of these single-celled microscopic organisms often protect from disease by competing and limiting the growth of harmful bacteria.
Moreover, most colds, low fevers, influenza and mild indispositions are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are ineffective against a viral disease. Although antibiotics are necessary to control infections, they should be administered only when other alternatives fail to work. People whose immune system health is strong are able to fight minor ailments on their own without the aid of aggressive treatments.
Homeopathy not only provides an effective antibiotic alternative but also antidotes in instances where an antibiotic has caused allergies, headaches, skin lesions, or a weakened liver. Homeopathic remedies act in the same fashion as herbs for immune system strengthening the body’s inherent capacity to combat pathogens as well as treating the underlying cause.