Beware of the Superbugs!
Untreatable superbugs are not science fiction—they are very real. Every year, some two million people get sick and about 23,000 die from a superbug, according to the CDC. A superbug is a bacteria that cannot be killed by multiple antibiotics. Doctors are now calling them multidrug-resistant bacteria.1,2
The number one cause of this urgent worldwide concern is overuse of antibiotics. Remember, some bacteria can multiply every ten minutes, giving them an accelerated natural selection boost to pass antibiotic-resistant traits to their offspring.
Antibiotic Resistance Threats
The issue is such a concern that in 2015, the White House released a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.1,2
Prevention efforts have reduced deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 18% overall and nearly 30% in hospitals, the CDC revealed Nov. 13, 2019, in an update of its Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States report.
Sadly though, by adding fungi to the list of superbugs, risk of infection by a superbug has gone up! Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi still cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the United States each year, the CDC report found.3
That means someone in the United States contracts an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, on average, and every 15 minutes someone dies, according to the CDC.3
The Ayurvedic Approach to Parasites + Microbes: Krimi
Krimi is the term used for both visible and invisible microbes found in our foods (like milk, butter, and others), utensils, water, soil, and body. Numerous microbe-residing locations are described in Ayurvedic texts, including infectious contact with animals like birds.4,5
In detail, they describe microbes that live on our foods and in our guts.
They blame proliferation of bad bacteria or krimi (parasites and microbes) on poor hygiene—a concept 2,000 years ahead of its time!4
Ayurvedic texts made outstanding original contributions to biology and medicine, while describing diseases of krimi roga. In addition to internal herbal and mineral treatment of krimi, the texts mention three fundamental principles for dealing with microbes:
- Krimi Apakarsana: Physical removal of krimi.
- Nidana Parivarjana: Elimination of cause of infestation.
- Prakriti Vighãta: Modify prakriti (nature or body type) and habitat of krimi, including gut of the human host.
This a fascinating insight still not on the radar of medical science today. Instead of killing bacteria, as we do today, with drugs and harsh herbs, they suggest to: remove them physically, remove the cause of infestation, or alter the nature of the bacteria and environment of the human gut where the infestation is—amazing!6
They go on to suggest the prakriti (nature or basal makeup) of the human host, as well as the parasite, can be suitably modified with diet and lifestyle, herbal and mineral support, along with immune-enhancing Ayurvedic procedures.
So What Can We Do for Krimi Health?
Today, volumes of science suggest stressful environments, highly processed foods, chemicals, pesticides, pollutants, and imbalanced diets can severely compromise a healthy microbiome.7
Modern Ayurvedic practitioners are trained not to “treat disease,” just as we have seen here in the approach to krimi. Instead, we are trained to support the healthy environment of the individual’s gut, change their diet and lifestyle seasonally, and let the body boost immunity naturally with foods, herbs, roots, and flowers.
In Ayurveda, we support immunity by supporting a healthy lifestyle; changing the gut environment; resetting digestive strength; detoxing seasonally; and changing diet with appropriate foods, spices, herbs, roots, and flowers in season.
Delaying Aging + Slowing Superbugs
Companies like Google and others are investing in longevity rather than disease: “In a jaw dropping study published in the October 2013 issue of Health Affairs by top scientists at USC, Harvard, Columbia, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and other institutions found that investing in delaying aging would have a much greater impact on life expectancy than investing in diseases of aging directly.8
This study demonstrated that even modestly slowing the aging process would mean an additional 5% of adults 65 and over would be healthy, rather than disabled, every year from 2030 to 2060. By contrast, research on fatal diseases would generate almost no increase in the overall number of healthy older adults.8
The study concluded that an investment in delayed aging would increase the number of healthy adults 65 and over by 11.3 million in 2060. But investing in fatal diseases of aging would not.”8
Perhaps if we treated bacteria in this way (thinking about prevention and creating a healthy internal environment), overuse of antibiotics and the growing number of antibiotic resistant bacteria would be dramatically reduced and we would all live much longer. New research proves an ounce of prevention truly is a pound of cure.