Botanical Medicines Trump Parasites, Bacteria, etc.

Broad Spectrum Botanical Medicines – A Safe and Effective Treatment Strategy to Address Fungal, Bacterial, Viral and Parasitic Infection.

1st October 2012

By Dr. Rachel Fresco

Guest writer for Wake Up World

In 300 B.C. The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor, considered to be the bible of Chinese medicine, describes how external pathogenic factors (what we know as bacteria and viruses) manifest and the subsequent progression of the disease process. For several thousand years, Chinese medicine has documented the effectiveness of botanical therapies and maintains the most highly developed herbal Materia Medica.

Thousands of plants have been categorized according to their medicinal properties, and a basic set of principles in formulation of remedies has been developed. In a typical formula, an “Emperor” herb is chosen as the main thrust of treatment, and several “Minister” are selected which support the activity of the main herb. Other herbs then are used as “Assistants” to carry the treatment to specific channels and organs, and also balance the effects of the stronger herbs. Supportive herbs are also chosen to bolster the weakened systems and to lessen the chance of side effects of the treatment.

With the availability of medicinal plants from around the world, formulas have now been developed using the same therapeutic model, without being restricted to the use of plants from only one country of origin.

Using the anti-pathogenic properties of more than one botanical in a combination or formula provides a broader spectrum of activity against infections. The resulting formulations are powerful alternatives to some of the potentially toxic agents that may be used in the treatment of infectious diseases. The addition of herbs used for immune support and to assist the drainage pathways of the liver and kidneys increases the overall effectiveness in promoting a healing response.

The following test of one such combination, containing Bilberry extract, Noni, Milk Thistle, Echinacea (purpurea & angustifolia), Goldenseal, Shiitake, White Willow, Garlic, Grape Seed extract, Black Walnut (hull and leaf), Raspberry, Fumitory, Gentian, Tea Tree oil, Galbanum oil, Lavender oil, Oregano oil shows a remarkable broad spectrum of activity.

A & L Analytical Laboratories, in Memphis, TN, performed USP Effectiveness Tests, in which this botanical combination was injected with large numbers of disease causing organisms, and then cultured for 28 days. The results below demonstrate the bacteria and yeast pathogens are completely eliminated in a matter of hours, and do not recur over a 28 day period of being cultured.

Organisms tested

Aspergillus niger

Candida albicans

Escherichia coli

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Staphylococcus aureus

Liquid Botanical Combination 15 ml used in each test

USP Effectiveness Test


Initial concentration     cfu/ml O day (2-3 hours)cfu/ml 7 dayscfu/ml 14 dayscfu/ml 28 dayscfu/ml
Aspergillus niger 19750 6900 0 0 0
Candida albicans 12750 100 0 0 0
Escherichia coli 402500 100 0 0 0
Pseudomonas aeruginosa 765000 100 0 0 0
Staphylococcus aureus 515000 50 0 0 0

When researching some of the individual ingredients in this particular combination, we find a wealth of data demonstrating the inhibitory effect on various pathogens. Goldenseal and Gentian, containing high levels of berberine, Black walnut containing plant tannins, Oregano Oil, Garlic, Tea Tree and Lavender, are all well known by practitioners of complementary and functional medicine and herbalists. Most recently many of these ingredients have been lauded for the ability to inhibit Biofilm encapsulated infections such as MRSA and C. Difficile.

Researchers have found links to infective agents in many conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Cancers, CFS, and autoimmune diseases. Using Organic Acid urine testing, metabolic byproducts of pathogenic yeast and bacteria have been found in many cases of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Delay.

Reports from parents of autistic children being treated with the botanical combinations have been very positive. Many children have shown improved cognitive function, verbal and motor skills, as well as normalization of bowel function. This improvement has been concurrent with the reduction or elimination of Candida, Clostridia, Klebsiella and other pathogens as noted in before and after lab testing.

Nearly everyone in today’s world has some degree of inbalance in intestinal flora due to poor food and water quality, antibiotics, and other causes that suppresses the beneficial organisms needed to keep unfriedly species at bay. Consequently, many people now suffer from yeast and bacterial overgrowth called intestinal dysbiosis, and the resulting inflammation to the intestinal tract in dysbiosis leads to “leaky gut” syndrome. When particles of food or bacteria and yeast that should stay in the digestive tract escape to the blood stream, a immune cascade is triggered that can lead to auto-immune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, food allergies, and systemic inflammation.

Bacteria may also play a major role in cardiovascular disease. In Circulation (1998:628-633), investigators note that C. pneumonia has been found in diseased coronary tissues. Numerous studies have revealed the presence of bacterial biofilms within fatty deposits of damaged arteries (but rarely in healthy arteries), and have established a significant association between infection and coronary heart disease. Epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins and other universities tested for the presence of C. pneumonia infection in a group of Alaska Natives–a population with a relatively low risk for developing heart disease–and, years later, compared these results with a forensic examination of each individual’s cardiovascular system at the time of death.

The researchers found that early serological evidence of infection with C. pneumonia was predictive of the presence of this bacteria in atherosclerotic tissue many years later, clearly supporting the notion of its pivotal role as an initiating trigger in the early stages of  CVD, rather than as an associated late-stage event. This strongly supports the use of C. pneumonia as a powerful early warning indicator of CVD, even in young, low-risk individuals, and sheds a completely new light on the bio-mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers have also identified this same bacterial agent inside the damaged brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Infection with C. pneumonia is known to trigger an inflammatory cascade – one that often occurs inside the brain and other areas of the body. Clinical research has also forged a link between the Apo E4 gene, arteriosclerosis, and late-onset Alzheimer’s.

Spurred by this series of connections, a team of investigators sought to more clearly elucidate the role of C. pneumonia infection in late-onset Alzheimer’s. They examined post-mortem brain tissue in patients who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and compared it with brain tissue from individuals who had never developed the disease. A surprising 17 out of 19 of the former AD patients tested positive for the organism, while only 1 of the 19 patients in the control group exhibited similar signs of infection. Significantly, evidence of C. pneumonia infection occurred exactly in those areas of the brain that showed specific neurological damage. In another study, published in Medical Microbiology and Immunology (1998;187:23-42), AD patients with both C. pneumonia and the Apo E-4 allele typically exhibited the most severe neurological damage.

The scientific evidence of the role of infection in seemingly unrelated diseases has prompted many practitioners to consider using broad-spectrum anti-microbial formulations as part of a base line treatment protocol. The role of broad spectrum combination formulas has continued to increase, as practitioners and patients seek out treatments that are safe and effective for long-term use. Used correctly, the wealth of the plant kingdom is one of our greatest allies in optimizing our health, and provides a strong defense in the ongoing war against infectious diseases.

About the Author 

Dr. Rachel Fresco, L. Ac. is founder and CEO of Bio-Botanical Research, Inc. Since it’s inception in 1989, Dr. Fresco has utilized her background in medical herbology, naturopathy, Chinese medicine and clinical nutrition to create products that have a significant impact on health and wellness, serving the needs of health professionals, pharmacies and individuals. Addressing concerns relating to infection, as well as the digestive and immune systems, her products have helped thousands of people worldwide. Many noted authors, physicians and laboratories recommend the broad-spectrum formulations such as Naturcillin that Bio-Botanical Research offers.  For further information call 800.775.4140, or visit online at


On Pets, Parasites, Prevention, and Protocols

New Parasite Prevalence Maps Help Pet Owners Prepare

July 18 2012

Story at-a-glance

  • The Companion Animal Parasite Council now provides online maps pet owners can use to see if the area they live in or plan to visit has parasite problems. The maps are a good tool to find general information about the presence of parasites in counties and states across the country. But they shouldn’t be used as a tool to scare pet owners into subjecting their animals to a barrage of potentially toxic chemicals.
  • The best way to protect pets from parasites is not to put them on monthly, year-round preventive drugs. Under certain circumstances, chemical preventives may be necessary, but they should not be used indiscriminately. They carry side effects like every drug, and their overuse is contributing to the problem of parasite resistance to these preventives.
  • No matter what parasite preventives you use, including chemical agents, your pet can still attract pests and parasites. In fact, even animals loaded with chemicals to the point of toxicosis can still acquire parasites.
  • Do all you can to avoid parasites, relying on natural preventives as much as possible, and then have your vet run a SNAP 4Dx test every six months to check for the presence of heartworm and tick borne diseases, as well as a stool sample to check for GI parasites.

By Dr. Becker

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has redesigned its website1 for pet owners and now features a set of maps you can check for information on parasite prevalence in a specific area.

If you’re only interested in heartworm disease, you can select your state from a drop-down menu on the right side of the home page to see the infection risk for your state. If you’d like more extensive information, you can view the entire U.S. map.

If you choose the second option, you can find out the risk for several different diseases for dogs and cats individually, by state. The maps include infection rates for:

  • Tick borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis)
  • Intestinal parasites (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm)
  • Heartworm

You can also click on a state and see infection rates for individual counties, then hover your mouse over a county to see its name.

According to Dr. Christopher Carpenter, executive director of CAPC, “Our unique parasite prevalence maps provide localized statistics about diseases that affect dogs and cats in consumers’ backyards, and we update them monthly.”

Keep Your Pet Safe from Overuse of Parasite Preventives

I think these maps are useful for pet owners looking for general information about the prevalence of a certain disease in a certain location. The intent of the maps is to “… help drive clinic visits,” according to Dr. Carpenter, because “People respond to and appreciate it when experts share pertinent information.”

He goes on to say that CAPC hopes veterinarians leverage the maps “… to strengthen client relationships and consistently ‘tap consumers on the shoulder’ with facts that underscore the risk of parasitic disease that exists everywhere.”

Since the Companion Animal Parasite Council is sponsored by a “Who’s Who” list of major veterinary drug manufacturers, I think it’s safe to assume the real intent of the maps is to get pet owners to buy into the belief that every dog and cat in the country should be on parasite preventives year-round.

And while I agree pet owners appreciate learning information pertinent to the health of their furry family members, I think it’s extremely irresponsible of veterinarians to encourage the overuse of parasite preventives. These drugs, like all drugs, have side effects.

Just because a drug is used as a preventive doesn’t automatically put it in the category of “better safe than sorry.” This is a lesson the traditional veterinary community is slowly learning about vaccines. Every single thing we put into or onto an animal should be carefully assessed to insure its benefits outweigh its risks.

And keep in mind that even pets loaded down to the point of toxicosis with chemical preventives still frequently wind up with pests and parasites. There is no absolutely foolproof method for keeping every single pet protected from every single pest.

Around this time last year I saw my first dog patient with Lyme disease AND heartworm disease – conditions she acquired while taking a monthly, year-round heartworm preventive drug AND a spot-on flea/tick preventive prescribed by her regular vet. This is a good illustration of the ineffectiveness of some of these drugs, as well as the fact that parasites are growing resistant to them because they are being overused.

Preventing Tick Borne Diseases

  • In the spring, summer and fall, avoid tick-infested areas.
  • If you live where ticks are a significant problem, check your pet for the little blood suckers twice each day. Look over his entire body, including hidden crevices like those in the ear, underneath his collar, in the webs of his feet, and underneath his tail. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it safely.
  • Use a safe tick repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense. If you live in a Lyme endemic region of the U.S., your veterinarian will probably recommend you use a chemical repellent. Remember: it’s important to investigate the risks and benefits of any medication before you give it to your pet. Natural repellents are NOT the same as toxic preventives … they are not a guarantee your pet won’t be bitten by ticks….they only reduce the likelihood of infestation. So frequent tick checks are really important.
  • Create strong vitality and resilience in your dog or cat by feeding a species-appropriate diet. Parasites are attracted to weaker animals. By enhancing your pet’s vitality, you can help her avoid the ill effects of a tick borne disease.

Preventing Intestinal Parasites

  • Puppies and kittens can get intestinal parasites from an infected mother – either across the placenta or from their mother’s milk.
  • Beyond that, most pets acquire intestinal worms by eating infected poop. So the best way to prevent infection is to make sure your pet’s environment is clean and ‘feces-free.’ Pick up your pet’s poop and make sure she doesn’t have access to infective feces from wild or stray animals around your property or anywhere else outdoors.
  • Whipworm eggs in the environment are extremely resilient and resistant to most cleaning methods and freezing temperatures as well. They can be dried out with strong agents like agricultural lime, but the best way to decontaminate a whipworm-infested area is to replace the soil with new soil or another substrate.
  • Keep your pet’s GI tract in good shape and resistant to parasites by feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet. I also recommend either periodic or regular probiotic supplementation to insure a good balance of healthy bacteria in your pet’s colon, as well as a good quality pet digestive enzyme.
  • Have your vet check a sample of your pet’s stool twice a year for GI parasites.

What You Need to Know About Heartworm Disease Prevention

According to heartworm preventive dosing maps, there are only a few areas of the U.S. where dosing your dog with 9 months to year-round heartworm medicine might be advisable. Those locations are in Texas and Florida, and a few other spots along the Gulf coast. The rest of the country runs high exposure risk at from 3 to 7 months. The majority of states are at 6 months or less.

Preventives don’t actually stop your dog from getting heartworms. What these chemicals do is kill off the worm larvae at the microfilaria stage. These products are insecticides designed to kill heartworm larvae inside your pet. As such, they have the potential for short and long-term side effects damaging to your canine companion’s health.

To reduce your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworms, control mosquitoes:

  • Use a non-toxic insect barrier in your yard and around the outside of your home.
  • Don’t take your pet around standing water. Eliminate as much standing water as possible around your home and yard by cleaning your rain gutters regularly and aerating ornamental ponds and decorative water gardens.
  • Stay out of wet marshes and thickly wooded areas.
  • Keep your pet indoors during early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are thickest.
  • Make liberal use of a safe, effective pet pest repellent like my Natural Flea and Tick Defense.

If You MUST Use a Chemical Heartworm Preventive …

If you live in an area of the U.S. where mosquitoes are common and you know your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworm disease is significant, here are my recommendations for protecting your precious furry family member:

  • With guidance from a holistic vet, try using natural preventives like heartworm nosodes rather than chemicals. Make sure to do heartworm testing every 3 to 4 months (not annually) as natural heartworm preventives can’t guarantee your pet will never acquire the disease.
  • If your dog’s kidneys and liver are healthy, try using a chemical preventive at the lowest effective dosage. This could mean having the drug compounded if necessary for dogs weighing in at the low end of dosing instructions. Give the treatment at 6-week intervals rather than at 4 weeks, for the minimum number of months required during mosquito season.
  • Remember, heartworms live in your pet’s bloodstream, so natural GI (gastrointestinal) dewormers, such as diatomaceous earth, and anti-parasitic herbs (such as wormwood and garlic) are not effective at killing larvae in your pet’s bloodstream.
  • Avoid all-in-one chemical products claiming to get rid of every possible GI worm and external parasites as well. As an example, many heartworm preventives also contain dewormers for intestinal parasites. Remember – less is more. The goal is to use the least amount of chemical necessary that prevents heartworm. Adding other chemicals to the mix adds to the toxic load your pets’s body must contend with. Also avoid giving your pet a chemical flea/tick preventive during the same week.
  • Follow up a course of heartworm preventive pills with natural liver detox agents like milk thistle and SAMe, in consultation with your holistic vet.
  • Always have your vet do a heartworm test before beginning any preventive treatment. A protocol I put in place in my clinic last year is to run a SNAP 4Dx blood test every 6 months on dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors during warmer weather. The 4Dx tests for heartworm and tick borne diseases. Because parasites are becoming resistant to overused chemical preventives, the sooner you can identify infection in your pet, the sooner a protocol can be instituted to safely treat the infection with fewer long-term side effects.