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The Completely Natural and Safe "Antibiotic"

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a natural, germ-fighting "antibiotic" of sorts that can stop life-threatening infections without the need to administer the real thing. Such infections can be defeated by handwashing, one of medicine's oldest and most powerful treatments.

In a review of some 2,300 patients admitted from 2000-02 who stayed in the hospital for almost three weeks, 3.4 percent developed staph infections, although none had a known resistance to antibiotics. That small amount of patients usually had more medical problems than the rest and usually spent some time in an intensive care unit, medical ward or were transferred from another facility.

Researchers believe unclean hands among health care workers were the likely cause. That's why handwashing is the best remedy to prevent you and family from catching the flu this winter and staying away from vaccines that may likely do far more damage to your health.

You may already know this, but it does bear repeating: Avoid using antibacterial soaps. These soaps are completely unecessary and could easily cause more harm than good. The antibacterial compounds found in most of these soaps sold in the United States are likely contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Science Blog November 1, 2004

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