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The word antibiotics is derived from two Greek words: “Anti (against) and “Biotics (life), and was invented by Alexander Fleming in 1928 to treat infections. 


These medicines are powerful drugs that destroy bacteria (microorganisms) or their growth and include antibacterials, antimicrobials, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics.


These broad-spectrum medicines have their place in treatment programs but do have side effects, most notable if you suffer from compromised immunity, yeast infections, allergies, and other underlying health issues; these can result in diarrhea, nausea, gas, bloating, constipation, change in appetite and hunger, difficulty digesting, food intolerances, yeast infections, etc.


The cornerstone of Ayurvedic health is the strength of digestion (Agni), and these powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics can interfere with and weaken good bacteria. Without this, our lines of defense diminish, and digestion, metabolism, and absorption weaken.


Ayurveda recognizes many foods and herbs with potent antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects, such as garlic, honey, cranberries, ginger, oregano, cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, thyme, tulsi, neem, guggulu, goldenseal, echinacea, and myrrh.


A concept that benefits overall gut health, digestion, assimilation, and elimination is the use of probiotics and prebiotics found in foods; below is a bit about these:


Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms (bacteria) that naturally live in your body and support digestion. Small amounts of these can reduce harmful bacteria and increase good bacteria.  Some good source of these are Takra (ayurvedic buttermilk), kefir, kimchi, miso soup, tempeh, cottage cheese, sauerkraut and kombucha.  Nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and berries can also feed the bacteria in your gut.


Prebiotics are substances that the body cannot digest as nourishment for the cells, but they go to the lower digestive tract and become healthy bacteria. They are found in plant foods like apples, green vegetables, beets, barley, bananas, berries, burdock, cabbage, chickpeas, fennel, flaxseeds, grapefruit, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks-onions, legumes, oats, pomegranate, and watermelon.

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