Antibiotic Resistance: Cut A Finger, Lose Your Arm

You Can Never Tell When A Small Cut Is Going To Result In Amputation Of Your Limbs These Days

This Just In: Natural Molecules Actually Reverse Antibiotic Resistance

Dr. Kate Flavin MD in the UK recently posted online two pictures of bacteria growing in a Petri dish taken in 2009 and 2019.  The picture shockingly shows the area of kill produced by antibiotics is nil in 2019 compared to 2009.  (Graphic below — K. Flavin)  Antibiotic resistance is said to pose a threat to health security and destroy economies.  It is difficult to imagine a world without antibiotics.

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, changed the course of medicine but also set the stage of the modern problem of antibiotic resistance.  It only took four years after the discovery of penicillin for antibiotic resistance to become apparent.

Losing limbs from antibiotic resistance

The growing number of lower limb amputations occurring among diabetic patients involve antibiotic resistant bacteria, producing horrific photos like the one below.


The primary problem of antibiotic resistance occurs among bacteria that don’t stain pink when a Gram stain is instilled into a lab dish.  These are called Gram-negative bacteria.  Prominent Gram-negative bacteria are Escherichia coli, Acinetobacteri, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Gram-positive Staphlococcus aureus is also a notorious bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics.)

The cell wall of these bacteria does not absorb the stain, meaning antibiotics don’t penetrate into these bacteria to effect a kill.

The problem of antibiotic resistance has forced modern medicine to explore the use of natural antibiotics.

Some therapeutic oils, in particular extracts from cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde), oregano (carvacrol) and thyme (thymol) exhibit strong activity against both Gram stain-positive and negative bacteria.  Carvacrol is reported to reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics.  The antibacterial action of carvacrol, which is stronger against Gram-positive than Gram-negative bacteria, principally relies on bacterial membrane damage.  That means the impermeable cell wall in bacteria is actually destroyed by carvacrol, to effect a convincing kill.

Natural molecules reverse antibiotic resistance

Some of these oils, particularly extracts from cinnamon (cinnnamaldehyde), thyme (thymol) and oregano (carvacrol) actually reverse antibiotic resistance by inhibition of a phenomenon called effluxResistant bacteria actually pump antibiotics out of the bacterial cells.  Among 21 plant extracts tested, lovage extract (botanical name: Levisticum officinale) exhibited the strongest inhibition of antibiotic efflux in Gram-negative bacteria.  Lovage extract is available commercially.

This means these natural molecules, which stand on their own to kill pathogenic bacteria, should also be used with prescription antibiotics to thwart or reverse antibiotic resistance.  Why this isn’t being done as common practice today goes unexplained.   

Prevent post-antibiotic Clostridium difficile infection

It is important to note that carvacrol as an extract from oil of oregano strongly reduces the number of spores that are released by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that often predominates after antibiotics are used and results in a potentially life-threatening infection.  Carvacrol also increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut while killing off detrimental bacteria, like Clostridium difficile.  A protocol to protect against Clostridium difficile infection during the post-antibiotic period should be followed. Again, doctors are remiss in making this standard practice.

While it is generally stated that germ resistance to herbal antibiotics does not occur, there are some reports that suggest microbes can overcome herbal drugs.  Carvacrol somewhat inhibits germ resistance (20 uses before it induces the problem) but cinnamaldehyde derived from cinnamon exhibited no germ resistance after 50 uses and is therefore comparatively superior to other herbal extracts in that regard.  Remarkable!  Nature trumps modern pharmacology.


Garlic’s many antibacterial properties are well documented.  The many antimicrobial properties of allicin, the primary active molecule provided in fresh-crushed garlic cloves, or in alkaline-buffered garlic pills, has been shown to best vancomycin, the antibiotic drug of last resort when other antibiotics are ineffective.  Despite their labeling, most garlic pills do not yield allicin because stomach acid destroys the enzyme that produces allicin.  Alkaline-buffered garlic pills overcome this problem and provide as much allicin as produced in a fresh-crushed clove of garlic.  Because of allicin’s/garlic’s method of action (depletion of glutathione antioxidant from inside the cell), it is not prone to germ resistance.

Don’t forget vitamin C

Vitamin C has been identified as an antibiotic modifier, to both enhance antibiotic germicidal action and inhibit antibiotic resistance.  Of interest, the prospect of restoration of 24/7 vitamin C synthesis in the human body is now a reality.  This development could be a revolutionary advance in warding off antibiotic resistance altogether.

It may be wise to stock your medicine chest with these natural antibiotics derived from herbal extracts so they are available when needed.