Are There Really Alternatives to Antibiotics?

by Susan

No! I don’t want to take more antibiotics!

10 days ago I woke up with an extreme sore throat. It hurt to swallow, my ears felt sore and my head was congested. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but a few days later I was supposed to be flying to LA for a movie premier and meeting Elton John. Since I’d burst my ear drum landing in NYC for BlogHer six months earlier, I knew that I had to take any ear aches or fluid in my ears seriously.

I went to a doctor who looked into my throat and ears, handed me a 7 day prescription for Amoxicillin and told me not to fly for at least 10 days.

I did as I was told and took the prescription for antibiotics and canceled my trip.

But, now only 3 days after my prescription for Amoxicillin ended, I have a new, but equally raging, sore throat. I suspect it’s a new virus as my girls who had also finished their colds last week, were in contact with another nasty cold virus on Saturday and we’re all sick again.

This cold virus seems to be doing exactly what the other did — going straight to my throat and ears. My throat is red and swollen, it hurts to swallow and my ears feel a little funny. My nose isn’t stuffed up at this time. In my girls, it’s presenting as extremely running noses, with some blood in the mucus. They tell me their throat and ears do not hurt.

Within the last month or two, my 5 year old Julia had to take antibiotic eye cream for an eye infection and Sophia had to take a 10 day does of oral Amoxicillin for an ear infection.

Now I’m scared we might be faced with more prescriptions for antibiotics.

And I don’t want my kids or I to have to take more antibiotics if it’s not absolutely necessary.

But ear aches and ear infections scare me! Especially now that I blew my ear drum flying and went for a couple months with a loud ringing in one ear and the fear I’d never hear properly again.

I am so profoundly grateful for the invention of antibiotics and I worry that our overuse of them will send us into a terrifying time when antibiotics no longer work at all. I am definitely NOT trying to say that I don’t think we should follow our doctors’ advice and take antibiotics when we need them. I just want to figure out if there are some ways we can reduce our use of antibiotics.

I’m really glad to see many educational campaigns in clinics and doctors’ offices informing people that it is important to not misuse or overuse antibiotics. Many of these posters and pamphlets explain how antibiotics are not to be used for viruses and that they are only effective on bacterial infections.

But, I find that so often — especially in kids — these common cold viruses turn into throat, ear and eye infections and then prescribed antibiotics.

I’d like to find out if there are any effective natural ways to prevent and treat throat, ear and eye infections.

When I google “Alternatives to Antibiotics”, I just get overwhelmed. It seems there are lots of books and websites telling us there are alternatives, but who can I trust?

So, since I’m a mom blogger through and through, I’m here asking YOU…

What do you think?

  • Do you think there are really alternatives to antibiotics?
  • What natural alternatives to antibiotics have you tried?
  • How often have you or your children taken antibiotics?
  • Have you developed yeast infections or other side effects from antibiotics?
  • If a doctor told you to take antibiotics, would you ever refuse to take them?

 

Please leave me a comment and tell me your opinion.

Let’s turn this post into a resource… If you have blogged about or found any helpful references about alternatives to antibiotics, please leave a comment and include the links.

Also, I’d really love if you asked your readers what their opinions and experiences are and ask them to share their stories in a comment here. Again we welcome links in our comments to posts you or your readers write.

Disclaimer:
Please note that this post is not intended to provide medical advice. I simply want to find out what my fellow moms think about antibiotics. Of course you should take the advice of a trained medical care provider.

Written by Susan, co-founder of the Mom Blog, 5 Minutes for Mom
Tweet with me @5minutesformom



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

View all articles by

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sheena January 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Could you have a sinus infection? Based on some of your symptoms…it could be. I have one right now and I know some other people who are going through it as well. I never had sinus problems before and I got it after a cold I caught a few weeks back..

Hope you feel better.

Reply

2 Susan January 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Sheena,

Hmmmm… I wonder about a possible sinus infection i don’t think I have ever had one before so I wouldn’t really know. But I think right now it is mostly in my throat.

I’m going to see how I feel tonight and tomorrow before going to the doctor.

Reply

3 Kendra January 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I just started ordering some Shaklee products after going to a Healthy Home presentation. For lack of a bettter term, “Shakelee sales person” said she and her family take a couple of supplements at the first sign of a cold and they haven’t been sick in years…I have not tried it myself yet but it definitely intrigues me now that I am just getting over a 2 week nasty cold. She takes the Nutriferon and Defend and Resist complex and says its completely safe for her kids as well. If I can avoid the nasty “crud” for the rest of the winter, I am seriously considering trying it.

Reply

4 Susan January 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I’ve heard great things about Shaklee products. I’ve taken Melaleuca vitamins for years, but have really slacked off the last year and I bet it’s part of the reason I’ve been sicker this winter. I took my vitamins this am and I’m going to try to be better about it again.

Another great vitamin supplement line is from Usana, but they are more expensive.

I often take Black Elderberry juice extract when I’m starting to get a sore throat and that often helps too.

Reply

5 Heather K January 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Yes!! There are alternatives!
Goldenseal (often sold as a combination of Echinacea and Goldenseal herbal supplement) is a powerful herbal antibiotic. It’s great taken in small, regular doses as a preventive measure to boost the immune system but can be taken in larger doses for up to 10 days to treat infections of the mucosa. Dental abcess sinus infections, upper respiratory infections all respond well to goldenseal applications. It has other applications but these are the ones I can personally attest to.
Cranberry is great for UTIs because it actually inhibits bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Yogurt is often encouraged while taking a course of antibiotics and I suggest cranberry, especially for women, for anyone taking antibiotics.
As a preventive measure for illness, i would highly recommend raw dairy products: raw butter, farm fresh milk (unpasteurized–from a CLEAN source), raw cheeses, yogurt, milk kefir and water kefir. All of these are wonderful sources of healthy probiotics. You can find more info on the dairy at http://www.westonaprice.org or http://www.rawmilk.com
A study released back in February 2009 (can’t find the articles) links increased levels of Vitamin D with a natural resistance to multiple bacterial and viral infections including the flu and common colds.
I think it’s very important to make yourself aware of alternatives, as well as natural treatments that can augment effectiveness of treatments prescribed by your doctor.

Reply

6 Susan January 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Thanks Heather, I’ve never heard of Goldenseal, I will have to look into it.

Yes, I agree about the Cranberry. I actually had some cranberry supplement pills from Melaleuca for awhile, but haven’t used them in a long time.

And I’m downing a lot of yogurt right now to keep away the yeast infections after being on the antibiotics.

Thank you again!

Reply

7 Jaimie January 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

We are on our 3rd round of antibiotics over here (myself and my 2 sons). We have had pneumonia, strep throat and sinus infections in the last month. My son also had chronic ear infections (12x a year with antibiotics) until we had his tonsils/adenoids removed and tubes put in (NO ear infections since and it’s been 18 months now). He developed antibiotic resistance for almost 2 years from the over-prescribing. We are so thankful we did the surgery bc he has not had antibiotics until this month, and it was for pneumonia.

My take on it is that if it is serious OR chronic, antibiotics are necessary. We could not go without them for the pneumonia or strep. But for my other son, who rarely gets sick and seems to have a stronger immune system, I often skip the antibiotics if he has an ear infection, unless the fever lasts over 3 days and is very high. I think you have to take it on a case-by-case basis – you are right that if you don’t take them, it can often lead to much more serious illnesses.

We have tried prevention methods, such as breastfeeding for over a year, vitamins, eating healthy and probiotics. But that does not work for everyone (including my first son) who just always had a weak immune system. SO, long story, but I don’t have any solid answers. I just know that for my family, we cannot put off antibiotics all the time, but we do tell the doctor we’d prefer not to have them if possible (and she often makes the call).

Reply

8 Susan January 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I’m so sorry Jaimie. What a rough road you’ve all had!

And yes, I personally would not turn down antibiotics for anything really serious. But it’s so tough when they have to be used repeatedly. When I was a teen, I was prescribed antibiotics for years for acne and I think I developed candida or something. I don’t think it was a great idea for me to be on that for so long.

Yay for breastfeeding! I nursed both my girls for about 2 years each.

And definitely being open with your doctor is so important. Often they are very open to alternatives.

Reply

9 Mary February 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Really it’s a question of whether it is bacterial or viral as to whether anti-biotics are necessary. I also have a weak immune system (sigh) and have to really work to avoid getting sick. Not getting overtired or overly stressed, eating healthy foods at the right times, avoiding others who are sick and getting my flu shot are all very important if I want to stay relatively healthy. Making sure I take my inhalers in time (for asthma) and not exposing myself to things that I’m allergic to is also important. In order to avoid antibiotics, I find prevention is the key.

The flu shot (and allergy shots) are very controversial in some circles but honestly they make a huge difference. Not only to your own health, but to people like me whom you might meet. A mild bout of flu for you is a lot more serious for me. Turns out that the person who can make the most difference in avoiding spreading illness is the person who is sick. The best illustration that I ever saw of this was the “Flu Fiction” Mythbusters episode.

When I was a child I was overprescribed antibiotics. I had chronic bronchitis, frequent ear aches and struggled with pneumonia (nearly died). I ended up developing a serious drug allergy as a result – that was NOT fun. The problem was that the doctor was just treating my symptoms instead of trying to figure out what was going on (serious allergies and undiagnosed asthma because I cough instead of wheezing).

In terms of natural remedies that we use a lot – my sister swears by sage tea for colds (but not good if you are pregnant or breastfeeding!) If you have a cough, 2oz of dark chocolate works as well as most cough suppressants in many cases. Honey, especially Manuka Honey, has natural anti-bacterial properties and if you have a cold or sore throat drinking 2T of honey with 2T of lemon juice in ~1 1/2 c of hot water works really well.

Reply

10 Heather H. January 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I am all for everyone being educated on the misuse and over-prescription of antibiotics. I think unless you know for sure that it’s not a virus and it is a bacterial infection, don’t take them. However, you have to be VERY careful about using herbs and other homeopathic methods. Some interact with things you may already be taking and some may have different adverse effects, especially when mixed with common things we drink or eat. If you do go that route, I suggest reading up on EVERYTHING YOU CAN before trying anything new…and always talk to your pharmacist to make sure anything you’re taking (prescription OR over-the-counter) will not interact with them in a dangerous way. Remember, just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you (cocaine, marijuana and tobacco are all natural)!

Also, to go along with Heather K’s comment (how funny we’re both Heathers!), I had a friend one time (also named Heather…WEIRD!) who thought she had a UTI and she guzzled cranberry juice, only to find out that she had kidney stones…which cranberry juice ironically makes WORSE! So ALWAYS go to the doctor if you suspect a UTI…just like you should always go if you think you may have a yeast infection.

My advice: be open with your doctor and let him/her know that you don’t want antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. Hopefully, they will listen to your wishes and give you alternatives to help you feel better. If your doc is unwilling to heed your wishes, switch doctors!

Reply

11 Susan January 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Very good points Heather, thank you.

Yes, just because something is natural doesn’t mean its safe and that it won’t interact with something else you’re taking. I often think about those examples of “natural” drugs which certainly aren’t safe.

And yes, UTI’s can be very serious and it’s important to check with your doctor.

We don’t have much freedom with changing doctors up here in BC, Canada. We’re lucky to have a family doctor at all. LOL. Mostly I go to a local clinic and see whatever doctor is on duty because my family doctor is a 45 min drive away and I have to wait several days to get an appt.

Reply

12 Kia January 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I hate that docotrs are so keen to prescribe anti-biotics. One big problem is that an anti-biotic only works against bacteria and many illnesses with cold/flu like symptoms are caused by viruses not bacteria, thus taking an anti-biotic is pointless.
Keeping echinacea on hand, vitamin C supplements and garlic (use closed capsules if you don’t like garlic) all help fight against viruses (as well as other nasties).
Those anti-biotics are often braod spectrum too meaning that they actually fight off the good bacteria. This can sometimes lead to thrush in otherwise healthy people (killing off those good bacteria lets the thrush take hold).
May be worth seeing if there is a qualified homeopath in your local area.

Reply

13 Brianne January 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Preventing is definitely key in the the winter times especially. If anyone in the house is or I can feel something coming on I take vitamin c-1500mg a day and zinc -100mg. Drink OJ and eat lots of fruit and drink a lot of water. Also if it is a cold, congestion- dont eat/drink dairy. A little yogurt only. And you should take a vitamin d supplement everyday all year long.

I have an UTI for almost 3 months now and on 3 rounds of antibiotics. Nothing seems to be working and I hate that I have been taking this stuff. Going to see a urologist to see what is the deal

Sometimes antibiotics are necessary but not always. Even some ear infections dont need them. Talk to your doctor about your worry over antibiotics and hopefully they will work with you.

Great tips! Keep them coming.

Honey -is good for a sore throat!

Reply

14 Susan January 29, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Thanks Brianne for the suggestions. My mom used to constantly shove Vitamin C in us when we were getting sick. I definitely think my slacking off on vitamins this year has led to me getting sick more and worse than usual this winter.

What a drag about that UTI. Good you’re going to a urologist.

Reply

15 Christy January 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I agree with Heather K.’s recommendation for boosting the immune system with echinacea (Don’t use for long periods, only when you will be or have been exposed to illness) and also recommend a vitamin C supplement (we like Emergen’C). Garlic is a natural antibiotic and, while I’ve read that it works best when eaten raw, I take the Kyolic tablets when I have gotten the occasional sinus infection. Also, avoid all dairy when you are ill. I discovered that my children were sensitive to dairy and may have contributed to their ear infection cycles. I wrote about it:
http://www.raisingknights.com/2010/11/raising-healthier-kids-my-experience.html

Reply

16 Susan January 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Thank you so much Christy for your advice.

I’m going to pick up some Emergen’C… we used to always have it here. And we also used to take Garlic. I’ve got to get back into my vitamins.

I’m bad about avoiding dairy at anytime as I love eating cereal. But it sounds like lots of people suggest avoiding it when ill. So I won’t have any for the next few days.

Reply

17 Rachel January 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I agree with the wisdom I’m already reading here and yes, definitely support the “proceed with caution” mentality with any medical route. I’m thankful for antibiotics, too- but, they are not always our first choice. If someone in our family needs help getting well, however, I’m glad they are there :).

Reply

18 Susan January 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Yes, I often shudder to think of how it wasn’t really that many years ago when antibiotics didn’t even exist.

Reply

19 Susan January 28, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I’m loving all this fantastic advice and discussion here. Thank you all so much!

I wanted to mention how helpful I find Black Elderberry Juice Extract. It can often help stop a cold if you take it right when you’re exposed to the virus or at the earliest signs of a sore throat.

And as much as I hate it, gargling with hot, salty water does help too.

Reply

20 Rebecca January 29, 2011 at 12:04 am

Uti’s are kinda a personal subject, so I rarely get to pass this info on, I hope Brianne reads this, and anyone else who suffers from UTI’s. One night I literally thought my hubby was going to have to take me to the ER, I was in such bad pain. He looked on the Internet and found a site that said to take some baking soda. I thought it couldn’t possibly hurt, so I mixed about a tsp full into about 3 Tbs of water stirred it up and took that, chased it down with a glass of water (it taste yucky), and within 15 min I had complete relief. I took one more dose the next day and that was it. I used to get them about 3 times a year, I haven’t taken antibiotics for it since. Truly a miracle cure. Now I only get them very occaisionally (not even once a year).
I also take very heavy doses of vit c when I start a cold. My colds only last 2-3 tops. Big fan of emergen-C.
My sinus infections are always accompanied by major tooth aches. I took antibiotics for one and waited it out the second time. Someone told me it would not go away without antibiotics, but it did.

Reply

21 Susan January 30, 2011 at 12:55 am

Wow Rebecca!

Thank you so much for sharing that trick with the baking soda. I’ve never heard of that. I’ll be sure to remember that one.

Yes, I’m going to pick up some emergen-C tomorrow. Thanks again.

Reply

22 Junglewife January 29, 2011 at 7:35 am

My 5-year-old daughter is actually taking a round of antibiotics right now. She developed some blister-like sores on her leg that were spreading and kind of freaked me out so I e-mailed my dad who is a doctor and he diagnosed her with impetigo caused by a staph infection. We live overseas in a remote area so we are very thankful for e-mail and having a doctor for a dad! I’m also thankful that the little pharmacies here have antibiotics available over-the-counter! The infection could have gotten serious pretty quickly but we were able to nip it in the bud with a good antibiotic. I don’t want to mess around with infections. That said, I am NOT quick to give antibiotics to my kids. Only when the situation really warrants it. Fortunately we have not had to deal with chronic ear infections or things like that, which a lot of parents have to deal with. My kids don’t get sick too often, but when they do (usually a cold/cough) I just let it run its course. I don’t know of any alternatives to antibiotics, but would be interested to hear if there are any. Of course, if it’s something serious, I’d rather bring in the big guns and take out the infection rather than risking my kid’s health!

Reply

23 Susan January 30, 2011 at 12:57 am

Oh my goodness… how lucky you are to have a doctor for a dad! That sounded scary… I’m glad she’s ok.

Reply

24 Junglewife January 29, 2011 at 7:38 am

One more thing – hubby and I have really found that when we feel like we are starting to get sick, if we start loading up on the echinacea and vit c, it really helps cut down on the length of time we are sick/severity of the cold. I know that people’s experiences really vary, but both of us really have found that the echinacea works wonders.

Reply

25 Susan January 30, 2011 at 12:56 am

Yes, vitamin C and echinacea are both so wonderful. I’ve been too slack about them lately.

Reply

26 christieo January 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

I don’t have any wisdom to share unfortunately but I am grateful for this post because I often wonder the same thing myself! My doctor seems to be really quick to dole out the antibiotics and the nebulizer treatments (the overuse of steroids in that situation scares me) and I find myself uncomfortably having to search for alternatives — just in case. I will have to look into some of the great suggestions here! Thanks for posting! I hope you feel better soon — I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this!

Reply

27 Susan January 30, 2011 at 12:58 am

Oh yes, nebulizer treatments also seem to be handed out really often to kids. I fortunately haven’t yet had to deal with that for my kids.

Reply

28 Stacey January 29, 2011 at 9:27 am

Our family actually sees a Chiropractor/Kinesiologist instead of a traditional doctor. My girls (5 & 2.5 yrs old) have never been on antibiotics. When they have sore throats or ear aches, we make a trip to the Kinesiologist where they get a little adjustment and we figure out what vitamins or other nutritional supplements will help boost their immune systems. It’s worked for us so far. Of course we’re not opposed to seeing a traditional doctor if need be. The Chiropractic/Kinesiologist route has just worked for us so far.

Reply

29 Susan January 30, 2011 at 12:59 am

That’s amazing Stacey! I so wish I lived near your Chiro. The thing I find with Chiropractors is that they vary so much… one can be so amazing and another one just average. I haven’t seen one in a while, but I am very tempted to start going back. It’s the money thing… I have a little medical coverage for it, but not nearly enough.

Reply

30 Rockin' Momma January 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

We also see a Chiropractor a lot. I think it helps prevents us from getting as sick.

I know you said that you have never had a sinus infection but (I’m no doctor) but it sounds to me since your head was congested before that you might have had a sinus infection with a post nasal drip which was causing the sore throat. Basically the snot was dripping down your throat making it sore.

I’d try a Neti pot rinse. It’s over the counter and it’s all natural. I love the Neti pot! I can’t take over the counter medications like Sudifed anymore, I can’t sleep at night when I do (And I never took it that much anyways) So the Neti pot has been great when I get stuffed up or a sinus headache.

Reply

31 Susan January 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

Thank you so much for the suggestion. That does sound like perhaps what it might be. I read a blog post reviewing the Neti pot once, but had forgotten about it until now. I am going to check that out. Thank you again.

Reply

32 Tonya January 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I have found that when I have taken sugars and lowering the amount of processed foods we eat the viruses don’t inhabit our bodies. We are around sick people more than I would like to be and we tend not to get what ever they have. I haven’t researched on alternatives but I know they are out there. In our house when I feel like the kids immune systems are down we take fish oil, I give them probiotics, and put grapefruit extract in their drinks. I am also very careful when getting over the counter stuff to make sure it is the more pure in form with no added sweeteners or chemicals.

Reply

33 Tonya January 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

pretty much what I’m saying is prevention is what I practice!

Reply

34 Susan January 30, 2011 at 1:04 am

Sounds like you are doing an awesome job Tonya. Way to go! And thank you for the advice.

I used to be so much better about taking vitamins and supplements and giving them to my children, bu over the last year I’ve totally slacked off on them and I am sure we are getting sick more than we used to. I’ve got to get us back into vitamin and mineral supplements.

I find reducing sugar to be such a constant battle… I get so frustrated how many products have more sugar than necessary. I don’t like to have artificial sweeteners either.

Reply

35 Tonya January 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

Yes sugar is in everything. If it isn’t sugar it is corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup! That is why eating whole foods it the best way to eat because there is nothing added. I just read through a few of the other people responses. I highly recommend a chiropractor too! Though I really would stay away from EmergenC has it has a lot of sweeteners and additives that are unnecessary. You can get vitamin C by eating kiwi and other fruits and veggies. You could also eat some super foods like quinoa, broccoli, kale, etc. The way I look at it is that God gave us this earth and an abundance of different foods for a reason. We are the ones that messed it all up by making life all about convenience (processed foods) that our bodies aren’t made to digest! Just my two cents. I know it is easier to pick up supplements/immune boosters but it is really better to get the vitamins from the actual food. Also just wanted to say that finding a probiotic that is only probiotic is really hard and I have only found about 3 that we can take because they are pure with no other additives. I will take work but I know you can do it! And the benefits of your hard work will pay itself ten fold with healthy kids and mama! Blessings to you.

Reply

36 Heather H. January 30, 2011 at 7:58 am

Susan, that is EXACTLY why I don’t want our country to go to a national health care plan!

And I’m not trying to start a debate about it on here…your situation is just the perfect example of what would happen if we went to that (and we have a bigger population here, too!).

Reply

37 Deedee January 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

Galic and Ginger are really good for virus’s as they are both very antiviral. I brew them up in a ‘tea’ and mix in lemon juice and natural honey for a warm, healing drink. If you can stand it – another good remedy is simply a spoonful of minced raw garlic (I chase it down with a glass of water. I know it sounds gross, but once it is swallowed it isnt’ too bad – you don’t have to chew!! LOL! If I take that as soon as I start to feel unwell, it seems to stop it in its tracks! We also use alot of homeopathy. I give the kids Ferrum Sulf as soon as they start to feel unwell, followed by Hepar Sulf and that has prevented any of them needing antibiotics for over three years now!! (and we used to have them regularly)

Reply

38 annaliza January 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

echinacea and fresh juicing (we have jack lalane’s power juicer) has helped us tremendously. you can get echinacea tablets from your local whole foods store. they are usually knowledgeable about the herbal supplements they have in stock. the aftertaste of the echinacea is kinda bad but the benefits waaay exceed the bad taste. your local grocery store carries “ColdEeze” which works well. do not chew the candy, you let it disintegrate in your mouth.

jack lalane’s power juicer comes with a book of recommended recipes for certain things from tumors to immune builders. it’s amazing (i wish i would get commission for selling his machine–haha. it’s helped those around me). i feel the immune builder recipe immediately after consuming it! assembling the machine and disassembling it takes some time but its well worth it.

hope that helps. and get well soon. thanks for all you both do!

Reply

39 Blessed January 31, 2011 at 7:08 am

I too appreciate this post – I despise taking antibiotics or having my kids on them and last winter was awful – we had pneumonia and horrible bronchial and sinus infections all winter long. This winter my pediatrician recommended starting the kids on an allergy medicine every other day – they have barely had a cold this winter and I’m thankful for that. I too started taking my allergy prevention supplement (L.A.S. – i buy it at pureherbs.com) and haven’t been sick either.

The only thing I take fro Pure Herbs is the L.A.S. but I know there are two other products that my sister-in-law has her family take whenever they start to get sick or have been around someone with a bad cold – they stay pretty healthy!

My husband swears that “Quick Defense” a herbal supplement i pick up for him at the local health food store, keeps him healthy. He only takes it when he starts to get sick and then takes it until he feels better.

Fortunately I have a pediatrician who embraces herbal supplements and who is careful about prescribing antibiotics or steroids. I’m thankful for her and the friend that recommended her when my first baby was born!

Reply

40 mary b January 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

It bothers me how often I hear people say they are going to the doctor (or taking their child) and “hoping” the doctor will give them some antibiotics, when really all they have is a nasty cold. I think Drs feel pressure from parents to give them something, and that is also very bothersome to me.
The CDC does a good job of explaining a bit on this:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/GetSmart/

Reply

41 Monica January 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

As odd as it sounds, I am a firm believer of healing your body yourself, not with medication. I’m the type who won’t even take a Tylenol if I have a headache. Instead, I drink a cup of tea and take a nap…which by the way does the trick due to the caffeine (which opens up blood vessels) and the sleep (which allows your body to heal without exerting energy.)

A few years ago my youngest son would be catch a sinus infection almost ever 3-5 months, no matter what the season was. First it was blamed on allergies, then just always an infection. One day I threw my back out and my doctor suggested I see a chiropractor. I went and the chiropractor did wonders. During small talk as he finished my paperwork, I spoke of my sons issues. The chiropractor gave me a little brochure on chiropractic therapy for ear infections. Well, we all know the ear, nose, and throat is connected, so I entertained the idea. The chiropractor said I didn’t need to see him, but with kids, I could even do slight things at home.

As an example, have you ever hugged a child and accidentally ‘cracked’ there back? I know I have when playing around or wrestling. Have the child, or adult, stand up with their arms crossed with their hands on their shoulders. Then, tell them to blow out all their air and give them a gentle bear hug once they do.

Some might think this is risky, but for a mom who was putting her kids, and herself, on antibiotics ever few months, it’s been nice that we haven’t had any ear, nose, or throat issues in about 3 years now. I’m a firm believer.

You can Google “chiropractic therapy ear infections” for more info on the subject.

Good Luck!

Reply

42 Christy January 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I commented before but wanted to say – Be informed. Know what needs antibiotics and what doesn’t. Many times, doctors will prescribe them because that’s what they think YOU want also. Don’t just take a prescription slip from your doctor without asking about alternatives. If you tell them you would like to try something else first, they may be willing to work with you and give you an amount of time to try the alternative treatment first. Of course, there are some things that NEED an antibiotic. Know the difference.

When my littles have gotten the now very rare ear infection, we do NOT go to the doctor unless there is an urgent need. An ear infection will usually resolve itself within 48 hours. We went through the never-ending cycle of antibiotics and recurring infections with our first two sons years ago. Once I became enlightened about healthful eating and holistic healing, my next three sons have rarely had an ear infection. If they do, we use either homeopathic ear drops or garlic-infused warmed olive oil, warm compresses, and lymphatic massage. If their pain causes them to be unable to sleep, I give them Tylenol. So far, our experience has been that they experience the earache for 2 nights and by the following morning, they are better. The only experience that differed from that was when my teenager woke up with an earache and within a few hours, his eardrum ruptured. Of course, we went to the doctor.

Reply

43 amy February 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

this sounds pretty simple but i didn’t see it mentioned- when I start to get a sore throat I immed. gargle with really warm (almost hot) salt water for as long as I can stand it and it seems to work wonders for me. Salt kills bacteria so maybe it’s that I’m getting to the bacteria before it has time to multiply into something that needs antibiotics? Not sure but I haven’t had strep in 10 years.

Reply

44 Jullie February 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm

My children are in daycare and I am afraid that my 2 daughters may have contracted impetego as a result of another parent sending their child to daycare while infected. What are your thoughts on sending a child to daycare or school when they are sick? Especially, with something as contagious as impetego?

I did some research, and the US national Library of Medicine describes Impetego as:

Impetigo is highly contagious bacterial skin infection.

Impetigo is caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria.

Good general health and hygiene help to prevent infection.

It is most common in children, particularly those in unhealthy living conditions.

In adults, it may follow other skin disorders or a recent upper respiratory infection such as a cold or other virus. It is similar to cellulitis, but it only involves the top layers of the skin.
Impetigo is contagious. The infection is carried in the fluid that oozes from the blisters.

So, again, Susan – I ask what your opinion is on parents who send thier kids to daycare and or school when they are ill….

Reply

45 Jagdeep Kaur June 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

these are the things that i have successfully tried on myself and my 10 yrs daughter and they always work.

for cough: the moment you feel a cough coming on, juice a fresh ginger an mix it with some honey; 50:50. you can store it for a day or two (i haven’t tried to store it for longer so don’t know if it can last). take a table spoon full every 3-4 hrs for a couple of days. and also as amy suggested, warm salted water gargles, every 3-4 hrs, esp before going to bed at night.

for a cold: some honey and fresh ground black pepper, lots of steam, and good sleep

for swellings in the teeth (i’ve had wisdom tooth problems): warm salt water gargles always, always helped and got the swelling down. (this is something for which the docs always prescribe anti-biotics). my mother advises a little powdered haldi (turmeric) + some salt + mustard oil. apply this mixture on the swelling. i have tried it on a swollen gum/tooth, it worked. :)

Reply

46 Julie November 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I love this discussion and I agree with most of everything that has been posted. I to like to take a more natural approach to healing my family (I have 3 small children, all under the age of 6). I have been using therapeutic grade essential oils to heal my family for about 6 years now. The brand Young Living Essential Oils are the world leader and can be diffused in the air, applied to your skin, as well as taken internally. Recently, my son who is 13 months old had a cough for several days. It was not going away on its own so I took him to the pediatrician who diagnosed him with a double ear infection and prescribed him with amoxicillin. Since I use essential oils I look up in my Essential Oil Desk Reference Guide (you can purchase one on Amazon.com). The blend of oils, known as Melrose was recommended for ear infections. I used Melrose, along with Lavendar (which is wonderful for ear aches). My son went to the doctor on a Friday and by Monday he was back to his normal happy and cheerful self. I am very concerned with the over use of antibiotics and I was extremely excited we were able to cure his infection without them.

Reply

47 Bob June 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I `don`t understand why people jump on antibiotic the minute they have an infection. What happened to letting your body fight the infection. YOu can ue homeopatic sirop sold in pharmacy like Phytothux. or liquid echinacea. Gargle with Sterisol. Ear infection can be cured with homeopatic ear drops. Vitamin C is very good to prevent those infections. Eat good balanced meals. Eat real food in small amount if you are not hungry.

Find out how and where you get infected. There is no point to give you antibiotics if you keep having bad hygeen. I don`t mean that you don`t wash yourself. I mean you have to do something to prevent reinfection. Clean your environment. Avoid sources of infections. Those are hospitals, clinics, day care centers for children. Avoid putting your children in day care centers because they come back home with all kind of infections.
Quarantine the family member who is infected so others do not catch the infection. This is fom the 1950s but it works. In those days when a child was sick, he staid home. Today they go to school and infect other children. This contributes to the spread of diseases. Don`t tell me this isen`t so, because it is.

With repetitive infections you have to stop the cycle. You must find the cause and remove the cause.

Anoteher contributor to infections is mold infested buildings. This spreads a condition called Sick Building Syndrom. The symptoms usualy are repetitive infections of years, lungs and troath, asthma, and sometimes skin rashes. After long exposure it can produce cancer. If your child has asthma only when he is in school and never when he is at home, if he catches infections the within 2 weeks after stoping his antibiotic prescription, hello molds .

To know if a building is mold infested you can look for grey, brown or black spots on ceilings, walls of school buildings. Sometimes you won`t see it because it is inside the walls. Any good mold control organisation that does mold remediation and tests for molds, air quality, and radon will be able to take sample and send it to their afiliated lab. You nead a lab report. Send the bill to the schoolboard afterwords, specialy if the test is positive. If they don`t want to pay or remedy the situation. Call the newspapers, and the TV chanels.

You are not alone. Mold infestation is a plague in our schools and many buildings. This is due to poor maintenance.

Reply

48 Russ Hildebrand July 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Hey Folks, I think the advice on the web is excellent regarding alternatives to antibiotics for strep throat. When you read a lot and you listen to others, many of the remedies become very familiar. The healthier the person is the better they will fight. I just want to let you all know that our family always gets chiropractic adjustments when we are sick. Not saying it is a cure-all but everything helps and I know the adjustments help the body fight off disease. In the meantime, we are eating right and supplementing, too.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: