There’s been a lot of hand-wringing the past decade about “superbugs.” These are bacteria that have become immune to all or most of the antibiotics created to kill them. It’s a growing problem, and it has multiple causes — most of which are entirely preventable. However, instead of cracking down on the practices that lead to antibiotic resistance, Big Government chooses to turn a blind eye. There’s a lot of rhetoric but no action.
This is par for the course. When it comes to the public good or lining the pockets of its cronies, Big Government invariably leaves us hanging out to dry. It’s not a pretty picture but it’s not surprising either. However, you’d think that Big Pharma would be all over this impending crisis. They’re quick enough to jump on every other “public health” crisis and churn out side effect-laden pills. Why the lack of response on this one?
Because there’s no money to be made in antibiotics. Because Big Pharma wants us on drugs we’ll take for the rest of our lives. Drugs like cholesterol meds and blood pressure pills. Drugs they can consistently make hundreds or thousands of dollars per year from. Antibiotics don’t fit the bill.
Big Pharma’s philosophy: if we don’t profit, we don’t make it — even if it saves lives
Big Pharma has been pulling out of the antibiotic game for decades. Pfizer stopped researching antibiotics in 2011. Aventis, Eli Lilly, and Bristol-Myers Squibb haven’t been in the antibiotics game since the 90s. In 2013 there were only four major drug companies still involved in antibiotic research. That number has slightly improved due to new programs — designed to reward Big Pharma financially — but there are still only a handful of companies involved.
Big Pharma doesn’t give a darn about your health. If the choice is between making a drug that saves 23,000 lives (the number who die of antibiotic-resistant bugs each year) but makes only 2 million dollars in profit, and a drug that does practically nothing but makes 9 billion dollars (Lipitor), guess which one Big Pharma will opt for?
You guessed it. And here’s the really obscene part. There’s a viable answer right under our noses — literally. It’s cheap. It’s readily available. It stops a lot of antibiotic-resistant bugs in their tracks. But no one is researching it, no one is marketing it, and nobody's even talking about it because there isn’t a big profit to be made.
We’re all on antibiotics — whether we know it or not
A hundred years ago you could die from a paper cut. Literally. Scrapes and scratches could result in amputated limbs or worse if they became infected. Ear infections could make you deaf or kill you. Pneumonia, strep throat, and other infections easily treated now were sometimes a death sentence.
Today, antibiotics are prescribed for the most minor issues, without any testing to see if we have a bacteria or a virus. We’re given them “just in case,” because doctors are afraid of being sued if they do nothing.
Antibiotics are routinely added to animal feed on farms. They leave residue in the meat we eat. They make their way into the water table in runoff from factory farms. We flush our unused prescriptions down the toilet. Thousands of pounds make their way into landfills when they’re thrown away by hospitals, and Big Pharma’s manufacturing waste adds more. Much of this ends up in the water.
We’re all on low-dose antibiotics, whether we want to be or not. Like factory-farmed animals, it’s in our food and in our water and we’re exposed on a daily basis. Is it any wonder that bugs like MRSA have developed?
The drugs that still work are the ones we aren’t exposed to on a daily basis. There are a handful of antibiotics reserved for only the most severe cases. And even these are rapidly losing their potency. At this rate, we’ll be back in the pre-antibiotic era in a couple generations. But there’s a possibility that mainstream medicine and Big Pharma aren’t looking at.
The answer to “superbugs” that no one’s talking about
MRSA is one of the most common types of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. It’s the bane of hospitals. About 90,000 people are infected each year — most while in the hospital — and about 20,000 die from it. MRSA is a huge concern. There are multi-million dollar programs underway to discover new drugs to treat it.
However, there’s a whole body of research that suggests the solution to this and other “superbugs” is already under our noses. Dozens of studies from the 80s to the present have found numerous essential oils to be effective killers of MRSA. While the oils most often studied are tea tree and eucalyptus, nearly every oil tested has had been effective. Big Pharma can’t claim that.
And these aren’t just test-tube trials. There are plenty of human studies, and in all of them essential oils did the job. A 1994 workshop at the Royal Society of Medicine in London listed the oils tested and found effective against MRSA as:
- Moroccan chamomile
- Dutch mill lavender
- Italian cypress
- and gully gum
This was 20 years ago. Many of these had been successfully used in a clinical setting when all other options had failed, and more studies have confirmed their usefulness in the years since. So why are we not looking into this?
Because Big Pharma can’t make money from them. They can’t be patented. No one makes money from essential oils but essential oil manufacturers, and they don’t have the political or financial power to make a difference.
What can you do? You can’t stop the superbug epidemic, and neither can I. It would require a crackdown on antibiotics in animal food and a radical change in how we prescribe antibiotics. What you can do is question the need for them when they’re prescribed. Ask if you’re getting them because you really need them or “just because.”
And you can educate yourself about essential oils. Take a class from a provider recommended by the Aromatherapy Registration Council. Invest in a good book—one which doesn’t just tell you how-to but explains the science behind the treatment. And stay tuned for more articles here on the healing properties of essential oils and antibiotic alternatives.