Herbal Antimicrobials for Intestinal Infections

Number 127. For Professional Use Only

ABSTRACT: Increases in international travel, immigration, animal transport, improper food handling, and drug-resistant bugs have led to an explosion in infectious disease of all types, as well as a need for new, safe antimicrobials. The gastrointestinal tract is called upon to function as an effective physical and immune barrier; and, because the intestinal tract can become a breeding ground for microbes, intestinal health is of critical importance. Imbalanced intestinal flora (dysbiosis) and intestinal infections not only cause localized problems, but can have systemic manifestations previously thought unrelated to intestinal health. With the involvement of gut origin (enteric) microbes in increasing numbers of disease processes, it becomes imperative to recognize, treat, and restore health to the intestinal tract. Herbs such as thyme, oregano, barberry, wormwood, garlic, and others appear efficacious as antimicrobial agents against the plethora of microbes threatening intestinal health; in addition, they benefit multiple organs and organ systems—a basic tenet of herbal therapy.

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