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The successful use of antibiotic drugs has long been considered one of the major achievements of Western medicine. In the decades following World War II, the discovery of numerous antibiotics dramatically reduced death from bacterial diseases throughout the developed world. Australian physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet summed up the prevailing attitude of the time when he commented in 1963 that, by the end of the twentieth century, we would see the “virtual elimination of infectious disease as a significant factor in societal life.”[1(p10)] Since that time, however, the massive overuse and misuse of these drugs have caused serious problems, among them a hastening of the inevitable progress of antibiotic resistance. As increasing numbers of drugs lose their effectiveness against diseases that they once controlled, and new strains of bacteria arise that do not respond to existing therapies, we must explore the alternatives available to us. Many of the most promising of these are found in herbal medicine.
The rise of antibiotics
All ancient civilizations experienced contagious diseases of one type or another, due to the crowding and close contact that characterized their permanent settlements.[2(p16)] In earlier hunter-gatherer societies, populations had been too small to support the perpetuation of infectious diseases over long periods of time. Instead, relatively isolated groups would either develop immunity to the invading microbe or simply die out.
As people began congregating in the large population centers of Europe after the agricultural revolution, infectious diseases spread rapidly. Epidemics ravaged urban populations as animal diseases adapted themselves to humans, rats and insects spread infections, and poor nutrition and sanitation increased people’s susceptibility.[3(p7)] Many died from diseases including smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, and syphilis. Moreover, explorers from these regions carried diseases to the Americas, decimating the Native populations, who lacked immunity to the foreign pathogens.
In the nineteenth century, European researchers began searching for a “magic bullet” that would rid the world of infectious disease, but their efforts were hindered by the ineffectiveness and/or toxicity of the substances they developed. That changed in the 1930s and early 1940s. First, a research team under German pathologist Dr. Gerhard Domagk created the first of the sulfa drugs, which would prove effective against various life-threatening diseases, including pneumonia and infections of the blood.[4(pp40-42)] Then, researchers at Oxford University purified and began testing penicillin, which Alexander Fleming had discovered some years before. A number of American pharmaceutical companies began industrial production of the drug, which was found to effectively treat a wide range of potentially fatal diseases, including pneumonia, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and gonorrhea. Penicillin was soon being sold over the counter in an oral form and used in many consumer products, from throat lozenges to skin cream.[5(pp15-17)] Its flagrant overuse had a downside, however – the rapid rise of penicillin-resistant organisms. In 1945, 14 percent of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were already resistant to the drug. By 1953, that figure had jumped to 64-80 percent.[1(p11)]
Many new antibiotics were developed in the 1940s and 1950s, including streptomycin, the cephalosporins, tetracycline, and erythromycin. In the 1960s, methicillin – a synthetic derivative of penicillin specifically designed to get around the problem of penicillin resistance – was introduced, along with ampicillin, gentamicin, and others. Infectious disease in the developed nations seemed, to the casual eye, to be largely under control, thanks to a variety of factors, including improved sanitation as well as the new antibiotics.
Few noticed that the very popularity of these drugs was paving the way for rampant resistance. By now, more than 150 antibiotics have been developed, each of which initially increased the overall ability of physicians to cure infections.[4(p43)] However, resistance to each appeared shortly after its introduction. Furthermore, over time, the speed a which antibiotic resistance develops has increased markedly.
The current crisis
Today, more than two million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections annually, causing at least 23,000 deaths each year. Resistance is developing rapidly in bacteria responsible for health conditions including pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis; skin, bone, lung, and bloodstream infections; urinary tract infections; gonorrhea; tuberculosis; and foodborne infections. High rates of resistance in common bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus that cause healthcare-associated and community-acquired infections have been found throughout the world.
Moreover, increasing numbers of bacteria are becoming resistant to multiple antibiotics. Many of the infections acquired in hospitals are caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) or other multidrug-resistant bacteria. In the U.S. alone, over 90,000 invasive MRSA infections per year are estimated, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that people with MRSA are 64 percent more likely to die from their infections than are those with non-resistant forms. Approximately 450,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were reported worldwide in 2012. Ten countries have reported treatment failures for gonorrhea, due to resistance to treatments of last resort – meaning there were no antibiotics that remained effective.
When the standard antimicrobial treatments fail, infections become extremely difficult – or even impossible – to control. In these circumstances, physicians may prescribe other antibiotics that are more toxic and less effective. In drug-resistant infections, illnesses and hospital stays are likely to be prolonged, and patients tend to have worse clinical outcomes and greater risk of death or long-term disability. Vulnerable patients, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis, or surgery, may be most likely to contract infections of this nature. However, even healthy people with minor skin punctures are potentially at risk. As the problem continues to grow, a report from the WHO observes that “a post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – is a very real possibility for the 21st century.”
Development of antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is not a new phenomenon. Through eons of evolution, bacteria have acquired the ability to protect themselves against antibiotic substances produced by plants, fungi, and even other bacteria. One basic method by which they accomplish this is spontaneous mutation, after which the newly acquired capacity for resistance can be passed on to large populations at amazing rates. When susceptible bacteria are subsequently killed or diminished by the antimicrobial substance, those that have developed resistance become prevalent.
Bacteria are very adaptable, and have developed a variety of ways in which they can respond to antibiotics. They may alter the permeability of their cell membranes, decreasing the amount of antibiotic that can enter; or change their internal structure so that the antibiotic can enter but will have no effect. They may produce inactivation compounds targeted to degrade or destroy specific antibiotics. They may even remove antibiotics from their cells using one of several types of efflux pumps.
In the presence of antibiotics, bacteria quickly learn how to protect themselves, and their rate of learning can speed up dramatically in environments in which they are constantly exposed to low doses of antibiotic drugs – such as our water supplies. Once they have developed a way to respond to a specific antibiotic, they can share that information with other bacteria at a rapid rate. Unlike humans, who can only pass on DNA through reproduction, they can also transfer various types of genetic material directly to other living bacteria. They can even extrude their own genetic material, leaving it in places where it can be picked up and incorporated into the structure of other bacteria at a later time. In addition, the viruses that infect bacteria help them to transfer resistance information. Today, as more and more bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance, they are exchanging that information across species lines – among vastly different types of bacteria, in fact – something that never occurred before the widespread use of antibiotics.
While antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon, it is increasing at unprecedented rates, and the main reason for this is excessive use of these drugs. Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications worldwide. In 2010, 258 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed in the U.S. – about 833 prescriptions per thousand people.[10(pp70-71)] The highest prescription rate – 1,365 courses per thousand – was for babies under two years old. Data suggests that Americans receive, on average, approximately 17 courses of antibiotics by the time they are twenty, and a total of about 30 courses before they reach the age of 40.
Up to half of these prescriptions are unnecessary or may not be optimally effective as prescribed.[6(p11)] The most obvious example of this is the frequent prescription of antibiotics for viral infections, such as influenza and bronchitis, against which these drugs are completely ineffective. Antibiotics are often prescribed for children’s ear infections and upper respiratory tract infections, which are caused by viruses over 80 percent of the time.[10(pp66,74)] In other cases, antibiotics are given for minor bacterial infections, which would likely resolve on their own; or prophylactically, to protect against infection – a practice that may be prudent for high-risk patients but may not be warranted in others. The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics – active against a wide range of bacteria – when narrow-spectrum drugs would be effective encourages resistance in multiple organisms.
Once a person begins antibiotic therapy, failing to complete the full course can also contribute to the growing problem of resistance. When a patient stops taking an antibiotic early, they may end up killing some, but not all, of the bacteria that caused their illness. The surviving bacteria may become more resistant to that antibiotic, and if they are passed on to other people, the drug will likely not work as well.
Proper disposal of leftover antibiotics – and other drugs, for that matter – is also important. Flushing medications down the toilet should be avoided, to prevent them from contaminating water supplies, irrigation systems, soils, and waterways. The best way to dispose of them is through a medicine “take-back” or disposal program. Consumers can contact city or county agencies or local pharmacies to find out if such a program is available in their area.
The majority of antimicrobials worldwide are not given to human patients, however, but to animals raised for food production, including factory-farmed cattle, sheep, chicken, and fish. They are used not only to treat infection but also as a preventative measure, often to avoid the spreading of disease in populations whose density and living conditions put them at high risk. Moreover, low-dose antibiotics are widely used in conventionally raised animals as growth promoters, enabling farmers to raise bulkier animals and maximize profits without spending more for feed. Although the use of antibiotics for growth promotion has been banned throughout Europe, it is estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are purchased by animal producers for this purpose.[10(pp82-84)] The bacteria in these animals tend to be resistant to multiple antibiotics, and this resistance can be passed on to humans through various methods including direct contact (feeding or handling) and contamination of soil or waterways by fecal matter.
In addition to their use in humans and animals, antibiotics are used in agriculture and horticulture. Drugs such as oxytetracycline – a form of tetracycline closely related to the one prescribed for people – and streptomycin are used on plants and fruit to prevent blight and other diseases. Antibiotics are even used in marine paints to limit barnacle growth. All of these avenues contribute to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.
One of the greatest opportunities for bacteria to develop resistance and virulence, however, is in our hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In these settings, large numbers of pathogenic bacteria are exposed to massive quantities of antibiotics, and patients with compromised immune systems are available to serve as hosts. Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), for example – resistant to virtually all known antibiotics – are being found in increasing numbers in healthcare facilities, and cause death in almost half of the patients whose blood they infect. Moreover, various resistant infections once seen mainly in hospitals are now occurring with growing frequency in communities.
In an attempt to ward off community-acquired infections, many Americans rely on antimicrobial chemicals such as triclosan in their personal and household cleaning products. This practice may be somewhat self-defeating, however, as a link between antibacterial chemicals used in personal cleaning products and bacterial resistance has been seen in laboratory studies. Other studies show that washing one’s hands with such products is no more effective than using plain soap and water. A large quantity of these chemicals goes down the drain, contributing to the antibacterial load in our water supplies and natural waterways. Like many pharmaceutical drugs, these are poorly filtered by most water treatment systems and persist in the environment, hastening the development of antibiotic resistance and creating a hazard for marine life and other living things, including humans.
Increased rates of resistance are not the only problem caused by the overuse of antibiotic drugs. In addition to the side effects that these drugs can induce, frequent courses of antibiotics can significantly alter the balance of our microbiome, destroying beneficial bacteria and allowing the overgrowth of yeasts, fungi, and potentially harmful bacteria – such as Clostridium difficile, which can cause severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Since healthy intestinal flora are necessary for an optimally functioning immune system, antibiotics can sometimes truly be a double-edged sword.
Role of herbs in fighting infection
In this milieu of growing antibiotic resistance, herbal medicines can play several vital roles that dramatically extend our ability to avoid and overcome bacterial infection. Some herbs, such as echinacea and astragalus, provide immune system support, enabling us to more effectively resist disease. Others can be used to address minor symptoms – such as licorice and slippery elm for sore throats or goldenseal poultices for some skin infections – decreasing doctors’ visits and helping to minimize unnecessary prescriptions. Some, such as yellow alder, even potentiate the effectiveness of specific pharmaceuticals, resulting in better treatment outcomes. The remainder of this article, however, will focus largely on herbs with direct antibacterial properties, which will become increasingly important as antibiotic drugs continue to lose their effectiveness.
Herbal medicines – particularly, whole medicinal herbs – do not seem to be subject to resistance the way that pharmaceuticals are. Unlike drugs, which are usually composed of a single chemical compound, plants may contain as many as 200 antibacterial compounds, and thus bacteria are not as easily able to adapt to them. Moreover, plants have evolved over the eons to resist bacterial invasions through multiple mechanisms. Their compounds tend to work synergistically with one another, providing benefits that single, isolated chemicals cannot replicate. Despite the fact that resistance is less of an issue with herbs, some health practitioners recommend varying one’s antimicrobial herbal protocol periodically, to maintain optimal effectiveness. Moreover, certain herbs, such as goldenseal, can reduce levels of beneficial bacteria with long-term use, but this situation can be mitigated with appropriate probiotic supplementation.
When using herbal medicines in general, it should be remembered that they tend to work more gradually than pharmaceutical drugs. In the event of a serious infection, it is important to strictly maintain a regular regimen long enough to evaluate whether improvement is taking place or whether adjustments need to be made to the protocol. This time period will vary based on the type of infection and the individual, and optimal dosages will vary as well. Some herbs can affect the balance of various bodily systems over time, and so should not be taken on an on-going basis. For these reasons, among others, it is recommended to have one’s herbal protocol prescribed and monitored by a knowledgeable healthcare professional who can adjust it to address changes in one’s physical condition. Such a person should also be able to advise you as to whether the herbs in question would counteract or interact with any drugs that you are taking. In addition, many herbs are more effective in combination, and a qualified practitioner can recommend a synergistic protocol or formula that incorporates antibacterial herbs with other supportive or potentiating plants.
It is not the intention of this article to suggest that life-threatening infections be treated solely with herbs when there are effective antibiotics available. Antibiotics, when prescribed and used properly, can be invaluable in saving lives and helping to restore health. However, minor infections may often be self-treated at home with herbs, and growing numbers of practitioners, faced with patients who are not responding well to antibiotics, are developing and employing targeted herbal protocols. More and more research studies are focusing on the effectiveness of herbal medicines in various diseases. In the face of ever-increasing antibiotic resistance, herbal medicine is becoming an increasingly valuable tool in the fight against infectious disease.
Systemic herbal antibiotics
Stephen Harrod Buhner is a pioneer in the field of using plant medicines to heal antibiotic-resistant infections. For systemic bacterial infections, such as those caused by staphylococcus, which can spread widely throughout the body, four of the herbal remedies he recommends most highly in his book Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria are cryptolepis, sida, alchornea, and bidens.[1(pp87-140)]
Cryptolepis sanguinolenta is a plant medicine from Ghana that has been used by traditional African healers in treating malaria, fevers, dysentery, and urinary tract infections, among other complaints. Its use has been validated scientifically in clinical studies showing it to be broadly antimicrobial and strongly effective against resistant strains of staph and malaria, various strains of tuberculosis, urinary tract infections from enterobacter and klebsiella bacteria, and more. [1(pp100-101)] Certain other cryptolepis species, such as C. buchanani, used in Ayurvedic medicine, have similar antibacterial properties. C. sanguinolenta is somewhat difficult to obtain in the U.S., but a tincture can be purchased online from Woodland Essence (www.woodlandessence.com).
Sida acuta, which probably originated in Mexico and Central America, is similar to cryptolepis in that it contains the natural alkaloid cryptolepine, one of the plant’s more potent constituents. This plant, along with a number of related species, has been used throughout the world by traditional medicine practitioners to treat conditions including fevers, infected wounds, sexually transmitted diseases, and systemic infections.
Sida has been used in both Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, and studies have found it to be potently active against malaria, staph, strep, tuberculosis, E. coli, salmonella, and other pathogens. Sida should not be used by pregnant women, however. If one is unable to locate S. acuta for sale, S. cordifolia may be substituted and should be easy to find online in capsule form, due to its popularity as a weight loss supplement.
Alchornea cordifolia is common throughout the middle region of Africa and is used traditionally for conditions including eye and skin infections, malaria, tuberculosis, and urogenital infections. It has documented activity against 15 separate MRSA isolates, and has been found equally or more effective than gentamicin and ampicillin in combating E. coli and staph.[1(pp124-125)] Other studies have found it active against bacteria including Helicobacter pylori, salmonella, and shigella. Large doses should not be taken in conjunction with central nervous system depressants or sedatives. Like cyptolepis, it is difficult to find for sale in the U.S., but Woodland Essence carries it in tincture form.
Bidens pilosa, a native of South America, is much more readily available than sida or crytolepis, although its systemic antibacterial effects are not as strong. It has been used by traditional peoples throughout the world for a variety of ailments, from ear infections to kidney and abdominal problems, malaria, and infected wounds, and has been employed in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. Research has shown it to be active against a wide range of microbial organisms,(p38) and it may potentiate the activity of tetracycline. It is most effective when freshly juiced or taken in the form of an alcohol tincture. Diabetics should exercise caution when taking bidens, as it affects blood glucose and insulin levels.
Buhner has formulated specific protocols that target many common infections and include supportive and synergistic herbs, such as licorice and ginger, along with antimicrobials. His MRSA protocol, for example, includes cryptolepis tincture as the main systemic antibacterial, with ginger, reishi mushroom, and licorice providing immune support, and juniper berry and bidens added in the case of MRSA urinary tract infections. Other plant medicines he recommends as being effective against MRSA include sida, alchornea, black pepper, the berberines, usnea, juniper berry, isatis, ashwagandha, echinacea, red root, and Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood). His protocol for tuberculosis – both resistant and non-resistant strains – includes both cryptolepis and sida as systemic antibiotics, with piperine (from cayenne or black pepper) as a synergist and lomatium, licorice, and rhodiola as immune support. If you are interested in using these protocols, please see Herbal Antibiotics for precise formulas, contraindications, and other relevant information. Also remember that even the best of protocols for serious infections should be used under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner.
Medicine from the rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is an incredibly rich source of medicinal plants and indigenous wisdom regarding their use. Leslie Taylor, ND, founder of the now-defunct Raintree Nutrition Company, has been researching the herbal medicines of the region for well over 20 years, championing rainforest conservation and sustainable harvesting, and sharing her knowledge with the public through an extensive database of ethnographic and scientific information. In 2012, when the FDA demanded that she remove the database from her website because it was making “medical claims” for the herbal products she developed and sold, Taylor chose to close her thriving company rather than withdraw the information, and to release all her proprietary formulas to the public free of charge so anyone with access to the constituent plants could make them. These include a general microbial formula as well as one that specifically targets infections caused by mycobacteria such as M. tuberculosis, which show a high degree of natural resistance to most antibiotics, and mycloplasmas, such as M. pneumoniae, which lack cell walls and thus are resistant to antibiotics that target the cell wall. This “Myco” formula consists of mullaca (Physalis angulata), Brazilian peppertree (Schinus molle), anamu (Petiveria alliacea), clavillia (Mirabilis jalapa), macela (Achyrocline satureioides), fedegoso (Cassia occidentalis), picão preto (Bidens pilosa), and uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). For precise proportions, usage guidelines, and potential precautions, see www.rain-tree.com/myco-capsules.htm.
All the herbs in this formula are supported by both traditional use and scientific research. For example, mullaca, used by herbal practitioners throughout the Americas, has shown broad-spectrum antibacterial and antimycobacterial effects, with in vitro activity against organisms including klebsiella, neisseria, pseudomonas, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and M. tuberculosis.[18(pp359-363)] Anamu, used for both magical and medicinal purposes in the Amazon, also possesses broad-spectrum antibacterial properties and is effective in vitro against pathogens such as E. coli, staphylococcus, pseudomonas, and shigella.[19(pp166-170)]
Bidens is also an ingredient in some of Buhner’s formulas, and was discussed above. Most of these herbs are available individually online, and Taylor’s formulas are now being manufactured and sold by several companies and organizations, including the nonprofit group Nurses for Safer Access (www.angelsinwaitingusa.org/herbs.php).
This section will briefly cover several common herbs with which many readers may be more familiar. From among the large number of herbs used by Western consumers for antibacterial purposes, these were selected for discussion because they are among the most popular.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is known as a potent antibiotic that has been used to treat skin, eye, ear, mouth, throat, and vaginal infections, as well as infections of the digestive tract, such as dysentery. It is best used after the onset of an infection – not as a preventive, as many have mistakenly believed. Although the root and rhizome are generally used in herbal medicine, a recent study found that leaf extracts inhibited MRSA through a variety of mechanisms – even more so than isolated berberine, an alkaloid present in the plant and frequently credited with much of its effectiveness. Due to its wide use in recent decades, goldenseal has become an “at-risk” plant, and thus wildcrafted products should not be purchased. Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) root, another berberine-containing herb with similar actions, can sometimes be substituted. The berberine plant alkaloids are not very soluble in water, so alcohol tinctures will tend to be more effective than aqueous extracts. These plants may also be used topically in powder form for wound care, or as douches or washes. Internally, goldenseal should not be taken long term, and use of a good probiotic is recommended to restore beneficial microflora.
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia or E. purpurea) is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the U.S., due to its effectiveness against various microbial organisms and its properties as an immune stimulant. It is active against bacteria including Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae, and to a lesser degree Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis, and it completely reverses the inflammatory processes these bacteria cause.(p279) Root tinctures and fresh juice of the aerial plant are most effective for internal use. For external use, the root can be dried and powdered, mixed with water to form a poultice, or made into an ointment or salve. Although the medicinal properties of the various echinacea species are similar, some herbalists find E. angustifolia to be more potent than E. purpurea, while others feel that for some purposes, they are best used together. Like goldenseal, E. angustifolia has been overharvested in the wild, and only cultivated products should be purchased.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an extremely potent antiseptic, due to its high concentration of volatile oils, particularly thymol. Although its main uses have traditionally been in treating respiratory infections and digestive problems, it is active against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria that may cause disease throughout the body. In one recent study, for example, thyme essential oil was found to strongly inhibit the growth of multidrug resistant strains of staphylococcus, enterococcus, escherichia, and pseudomonas. The essential oil can be inhaled through vaporizing, misting, or steaming; or diluted for use as a dietary supplement or for topical application. Thyme can also be taken internally as either an infusion of the leaves or a tincture. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has similar properties, as these herbs contain a number of compounds in common, including carvacrol as well as thymol. Preliminary studies indicate that oregano oil has in vitro activity against bacteria including MRSA.
Garlic (Allium sativum), in its raw form, has a long tradition of topical and internal use to treat infectious diseases. It has been found active in vitro against bacteria including staphylococcus, escherichia, salmonella, klebsiella, M. tuberculosis, and H. pylori.(p183) In a recent study, aqueous extracts from fresh garlic showed significant inhibitory activity against all eight drug-resistant bacterial strains upon which it was tested.
Although it can kill a great many organisms by direct contact, there is no real evidence that it functions as a systemic antibiotic when consumed, and very little evidence that it combats pathogenic bacteria with which it comes in contact in the stomach and intestines. It may thus be more accurately considered an antiseptic herb, rather than an antimicrobial. Nonetheless, it can be of use in combating bacterial infections due to its immune-boosting effects. Garlic has potential blood-thinning effects, however, and so may not be recommended with use of blood-thinning medications or before surgery. Caution should be taken in using it topically, as it can cause skin irritation, blistering, and even third-degree burns. These herbs are but a sampling of the many that show promise in combating antibiotic-resistant infections.
As prescription antibiotics continue to lose their effectiveness, we will increasingly come to rely on herbal medicines and other so-called alternative therapies to effect life-saving interventions. To facilitate the development of the most effective therapies, more clinical studies are needed, both to validate traditional wisdom and to examine the synergistic actions of plant medicines from around the world. In the process, it is hoped that medicinal plants will be considered more than just a collection of individually patentable compounds, and that whole plants will be studied to explore the full benefits of their complex biology.
It is also hoped that readers will consider this article as a jumping off point for further personal research into various aspects of herbal medicine that were not addressed here due to space constraints. Many of the plants mentioned have additional capabilities – as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer medicines, for example – and are particularly effective in specific forms and combinations. We are fortunate, at this time in history, to have a wealth of herbal knowledge available that can help empower us in our continuing quest for optimal health.
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About the Author
Roberta Louis is managing editor of the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing and a contributing editor at Well Being Journal. She is a freelance writer and editor specializing in alternative healing methods, with a particular interest in herbal medicine. She may be contacted at: [email protected]
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Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Summer 2014 Volume 38 Number 2
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