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A Centuries-Old Chinese Herbal Medicine Could Help Us to Fight TB

As science struggles to find new chemicals to address old afflictions, one more time an ancient — and wholly natural — remedy may be the answer, in this case with fighting tuberculosis (TB), according to Science Alert. It turns out that a compound called arteminsinin, which comes from a form of wormwood, not only treats malaria, but antibiotic-resistant TB bacteria.

While the research is ongoing, it adds to the growing body of evidence that Mother Nature more often than not has the solution to common illnesses. Antibiotics are a foundational component of modern medicine, without which many of our current treatment modalities and medical procedures become exceedingly dangerous. But overuse of antibiotics has made them increasingly ineffective against serious infections.

This antibiotic-resistance has turned into a worldwide health threat of massive proportions that kills tens of thousands every year. One infection, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide. Solutions for this include improved infection prevention, more responsible use of antibiotics in human medicine, limiting use of antibiotics in agriculture, and finding innovative approaches to treat infections.

But in the wake of this crisis, a good thing has emerged: the re-discovery of natural infection-fighting methods. From garlic to cinnamon to probiotics and fermented foods, to sunlight and Manuka honey, there are positive things in nature that are turning out to be good combatants for fighting infections.

Manuka honey has even been shown to be more effective than antibiotics in the treatment of more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria as well as serious, hard-to-heal, antibiotic-resistant skin infections, including MRSA.
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