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