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Friday, July 1, 2011

How Natural Antibiotics in Asparagus Can Fight Infections

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This is great information about asparagus from the daily mail in the UK. Once upon a time a received an email about asparagaus and its magic. I will see if I can’t dig it up for you for another blog. Meanwhile, Read on…….

How natural antibiotics in asparagus can fight infections

Several plants used in traditional folk medicine contain powerful natural antibiotics that fight bacterial and fungal infections, a study has found.

Researchers in India tested extracts from the plants on microbes taken from the mouths of oral cancer patients.

Eight had a significant impact on the growth of the organisms in the laboratory.

Natural antibiotics in asparagus can fight infections

Among the most effective bug-busting plants were asparagus, desert date, false daisy, caster oil, and fenugreek.

Cancer patients were used in the study because they often have impaired immune systems, making them vulnerable to infections by  bacteria and fungi.

Of the 40 patients, 35 had compromised immune systems and low white blood cell counts.

Several extracts were effective against a wide range of organisms, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus which can cause serious infections in humans.

Scientists hope the herbal remedies might point the way to new treatments for drug-resistant microbes such as the S. aureus ‘superbug’ MRSA.

Study leader Dr Jaya Parkash Yadav, from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, India, said: ‘Natural medicines are increasingly important in treating disease and traditional knowledge provides a starting point in the search for plant-based medicines.

‘Importantly we found that the extraction process had a huge effect on both the specificity and efficacy of the plant extracts against microbes. Nevertheless several of the plants tested were broad spectrum antibiotics able to combat bacteria including E. coli, S. aureus and the fungi Candida and Aspergillus.

‘Both desert date and caster oil plant were especially able to target bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are known to be difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics.’

He added: ‘Although the plants tested had a lower potency than conventional antibiotics they offer hope against resistant species. These results are a starting point for further testing in the lab and clinic.’

The findings are reported in the online journal Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials.


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