Plants have been used as a source of therapeutic agents in traditional medicine since ancient times.
The bioactive compounds that plants contain have antimicrobial agents that have been used for centuries to fight infections.
As a result of the over-use (abuse) of antibiotics today, the increase in resistant bacteria against existing antibiotics has spurred many studies focusing on these antimicrobial agents derived from plants.
In essence, we are returning to where we should have been all along.
Ancient Roots Versus Modern Superbugs
Let’s visit a country that has used, and is still using, bioactive compounds from plants. Ethiopia.
Plant medicine has been used in Ethiopia since recorded time, and about 80% of the total population relies on traditional remedies as a primary source of health care.
Researchers from Ethiopia’s College of Medicine at the University of Gondar have determined that a combination of honey and ginger extract powder inhibits the growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae – some of the most lethal “superbugs” known.
In Ethiopia today, allopathic medicine is becoming more prevalent, and this has brought an increase in the use of antibiotic drugs to treat infectious diseases. These antibiotics have now introduced the development of resistant pathogenic bacteria strains like Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus.
The researchers want to know why, and how they can return to their natural roots to stop this increasing resistance in Ethiopia.
Ginger And Honey
Ginger has several ethno-medicinal and nutritional values as a spice and flavoring agent in Ethiopia, and elsewhere around the world.
Traditionally in Ethiopia, ginger is used to treat nausea, vomiting, asthma, cough, palpitation, inflammation, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, constipation, indigestion, and body pain.
Ginger is also used for treating the common cold, stomachaches, cough, fever, and influenza.
The Ethiopian honeys have been found to produce antibacterial effects on susceptible and resistant strains of bacteria.
Mixtures of ginger rhizome powder and honeys are also used to treat different types of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in their traditional medicine.
This study focused on the type of interactions of antimicrobial agents in mixtures of honey and ginger rhizome extract. This combination using mixtures instead of individual ginger or honey appears to be a key factor in its curative factors.
How Does This Affect You?
Knowing this research information can be helpful to anyone who has used too many antibiotics in their lifetime. Plus, adding fresh ginger and honey to a hot drink or in a protein smoothie is beneficial to general health and wellness, unless certain allergies to honey exist.
I add fresh ginger and local honey to my morning smoothies. According to this research, this is a global health benefit.
If you do not keep fresh ginger in the fridge, keep a food grade oil from ginger in the cupboard.
Ginger’s Health Benefits
The research on the health benefits of ginger have shown that:
- Ginger can help relieve nausea.
- Ginger may reduce fat storage.
- Ginger may contribute to healthy inflammatory response.
- Ginger has been shown to improve upper gastrointestinal symptoms.