Antibiotics are life-saving drugs which when used properly can fight bacterial infections and save lives by killing bacteria. Streptococcus, E.coli and Staphylococcus are some common infection causing bacteria.
Antibiotics do not fight viral infections like colds, flu, bronchitis etc. Misuse of antibiotics has lead to strains of bacteria resistant to these drugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) which causes infections that resist treatment from most commonly used antibiotics. Hence, use antibiotics only when required and when prescribed by a doctor. Follow the dosage instructions carefully and complete the full treatment. Otherwise, some bacteria may remain and cause the infection to revive again.
Cinnamon as a Natural Antibiotic
Many prescription antibiotics have their source in natural plants, foods or herbs. These natural antibiotics are also beneficial in treating different bacterial infections. Natural herbs and plants have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for their anti-bacterial properties.
Since over use of conventional antibiotics has caused drug-resistant bacteria to infect humans, scientists are studying the efficacy of using natural medicine which have similar properties to treat certain medical conditions. Most of these herbs have chemical components in them which offer antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and other properties. For example, the active ingredient in garlic is allicin which is a natural antibiotic. Other similar herbs which can be classified as natural antibiotics are cinnamon, honey, Echinacea, wild indigo, eucalyptus, bee propolis, myrrh, wormwood, olive leaf and more.
Honey and cinnamon are combined often to fight various infections. Daily use of these two products can prevent bacterial and viral infections and they help strengthen white blood cells. Honey and cinnamon can be drunk with water to heal colds and coughs and heal bladder infections. Honey and cinnamon paste can ease an aching tooth, cure acne, eczema, insect bites, ringworm and other skin infections.
A study conducted by a group of surgeons found that a cinnamon oil solution was able to kill common infections – many of them found in hospitals. Some of these hospital-acquire infections are MRSA and streptococcus. Cinnamon oil was found to be as effective as antiseptics used to combat infections caused by these bacteria and could be used in hospitals. Similar study by French scientists found that cinnamon oil of 10% or less strength was able to fight various strains of bacteria, like E.coli and staphylococcus, resistant to conventional antibiotics.
A hand-sanitizer made using eucalyptus, lemon and cinnamon bark oil was found effective in killing germs and an effective antiseptic lotion.
In one study, a chemical compound – o-methoxycinnamaldehyde was isolated from powdered cinnamon and it was found to have antibiotic activity. At various strengths, it was found to inhibit growth of different bacteria strains.
The recommended dosage of cinnamon is 1-6g a day taken for not more than 6 weeks.
Precautions with Cinnamon
Some people could develop an allergy to cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon has a component coumarin which has anti-coagulant properties. Hence, anyone taking blood thinners like warfarin must be careful when consuming cinnamon for it could cause excess bleeding. Do not use cinnamon as the sole treatment for serious illnesses.
Cinnamon could interact adversely with the antibiotic tetracycline and interfere with its dissolution rates. Excess consumption of cinnamon powder or even small quantities of cinnamon oil could cause indigestion, increased heart rate, increased perspiration and breathing. Contact dermatitis, aggravation of rosacea symptoms, mouth sores, and inflammation of the tongue can be caused due to exposure to cinnamon oil or eating cinnamon flavored mints, candies or chewing gum. Always consult a doctor if you need to take antibiotics and are using cinnamon for medicinal purposes.