Antimicrobial resistance has followed on the heels of drug development since the very beginning –
in fact, since before penicillin was ever released to the general public. Factors such as antibiotic overuse on humans and animals, incomplete medication cycles, and greater ease of pathogen concentration and transmission in our crowded, global lives have accelerated the evolution of microbial resistance. In the last decade, there has been an effort to slow it down, by pointing out needless medical prescribing patterns, layering or combining antibiotics to improve their lethality, and segregating the use of next-generation antibiotics as a “last resort.” Nevertheless, global spread of staph, malaria, and tuberculosis strains that are, in some cases, resistant to almost every pharmaceutical antimicrobial continues. Beyond this, global transmission of viral infections presents a difficult challenge as well.
The WHO and countries around the world are establishing guidelines for antibiotic use, and research to develop new drugs continues. But we may have to stop thinking of antibiotics as invincible weapons in a microbial war, and more like pieces of the co-evolutionary relationship we have with microbes: […]
Feeling a little maxed out with the summer eating and drinking activities? We have also been feeling this way. Generally, our healthy routines are a bit loose during the summer season, but after a few months we can start to feel sluggish, burned out and uninspired with our eating habits. These are the perfect reasons to take a few days to simplify, make space for creativity, reset digestion and cultivate healthy habits again, and it’s the perfect time to try a simple detox before heading into the fall season.
In most cases, our bodies are not toxic, and we do not need a serious detox. Hard detoxing can often deplete us more than we need and be potentially dangerous. Our bodies need support, nurturing and building to function properly. To improve your health and feel better in your body, the real key is in making more subtle long-term shifts.
We have outlined a simple three-day detox that is a healthy, yet realistic way to reset the digestive system, slow down a little and enjoy building your reserves for the changing season ahead.
This three day cleanse offers a gentle detoxification plan with a focus on digestion and nourishment, while setting you up to continue the suggestions after the three days are up. Cleansing is best during the spring and summer months because in winter we are trying to build all the reserves we have. So find a window of time, ask a friend to join for support, and treat yourself to some quiet downtime and gentle cleansing.
The 3-day detox
Mucosa, host defense, and the role of stress
In our quest to combat disease, modern medicine has developed an array of tools: from antibiotics and other antimicrobials, pharmaceuticals can provide a strong push-back against infection when necessary. Conversely, in cases where the immune system turns its fire against our own bodies (conditions collectively known as “autoimmunity”, for example rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or certain inflammatory bowel diseases), we see the use of steroids, anti-inflammatories, and immunosuppressants. And while in either case these modern interventions can be life-saving, both circumvent our immune systems: antimicrobials purport to take over the job of fighting pathogens, while steroids and immunosuppressive drugs just turn the immune system off.
But our immunity is a sophisticated, subtle learning system that works best when it is fully engaged. In fact, we’re starting to discover that some of the dysregulation in immune function (hypersensitivities, asthma and allergies, for example) might be linked to an overly sheltered, microbe-free environment:
without exposure, without challenge, the immune system fails to learn the language needed to operate effectively in a world full of both microbes and allergens.
To herbalists, the use of drugs that fight infection or suppress the immune response as a first-line intervention seems akin to a parenting philosophy that either does a child’s work for her, or tells the child to be quiet and go to her room. Neither, in the long run, produces healthy, well-adjusted adults.
We strive instead to support our immune system’s own functional processes, much […]
What if you could soothe your sweet tooth with a popsicle treat that improved your gut, curbed your sugar cravings and gave you relief from any other digestive upset?
Incorporating the bitter flavor into your daily diet supports normal secretion of digestive enzymes and bile, both of which are essential to proper digestive functioning. Not only do bitters provide immediate relief from the irritation of occasional indigestion gas, bloating and heartburn, but they support our digestive system health over the long term.
Because it’s summer and we are hit with a wave of ice cream treats and frozen drinks, we have some inspiration for how to keep it cool, fresh and healthy during the dog days of summer.
These bitter pops have been a favorite and are quite enjoyable as after dinner treats.
The digestive and carminative herbs paired with doses of our herbal bitters make for a delicious digestif that is loved by the whole family. Finding ways to get creative with taking herbs, not only improves your experience with using them in everyday life but provides creative activity, which we could all use a little more of! So unplug, get into the garden and whip up some of these easy digestive popsicles to enjoy throughout the rest of the summer.
Lemon Drop Bitter Pops
A refreshing lemony herbal popsicle
makes 5 pops
- 1/2 oz Lemon Verbena leaves, chopped
- 2 cups boiling water
- Juice of 2 lemons.