Antibiotic Alternatives

Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness. Here’s how to fight five common bacterial infections before resorting to them, plus how to make the best of it if you must.
Antibiotic Alternatives
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If it feels like>> BRONCHITIS
Take thyme tablets Taken orally, thyme travels to the airways, where the compound thymol disinfects bacteria on contact. BEST BUY Bronchipret ($17;

Drink black elder tea “An extract of the black elder herb is primarily antiviral, but it’s also been shown to inhibit bacterial growth,” says Paul Kalnins, N.D., L.Ac., an assistant professor at NCNM. BEST BUY Boil one cup of water, remove from heat, then steep 1 teaspoon elder fl owers and 1∕2 teaspoon elder berries ($3.50 and up; for 10 minutes; add 1∕2 teaspoon honey; drink 2 to 3 cups daily.

Swallow umckaloabo syrup Four placebo-controlled clinical trials showed that umckaloabo (a South African herb) successfully treats bronchitis; in one trial, the herb upped the odds of complete recovery by seven times. BEST BUY Nature’s Way Umcka ColdCare Cherry Syrup ($15 and up;

Try elecampane tincture “This herb is commonly used to treat acute bronchitis, especially when one is coughing up large amounts of yellow-green phlegm, although this symptom should always be promptly investigated to determine if antibiotics are necessary,” Kalnins says. Research confi rms that elecampane root is signifi cantly antibacterial. BEST BUY Herb Pharm Elecampane ($12 and up;