I don’t know about you, but I’ve always grown up with the idea that you visit a doctor for the reasons of health and well being. Yet, the more I learn about the medications and treatment options available, the more I realise this doesn’t seem to be case for modern medicine. Modern medicine is very much a pharmaceutical affair, dominated by corporations with their shareholders and magic potions that have been whipped up in frankenscience laboratories.

Alexander Fleming

The Discovery of Penicillin

Penicillin was discovered in 1928 and is said to have heralded the dawn of the antibiotic age, being referred to as the first “true antibiotic”. Professor of Bacteriology Alexander Fleming, made the “discovery” at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Returning from holiday on September 3, 1928, Fleming began to sort through petri dishes containing colonies of Staphylococcus, bacteria that cause boils, sore throats and abscesses. He noticed something unusual on one dish. It was dotted with colonies, save for one area where a blob of mold was growing. The zone immediately around the mold—later identified as a rare strain of Penicillium notatum—was clear, as if the mold had secreted something that inhibited bacterial growth.

It was Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and their colleagues at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University who turned penicillin from a laboratory curiosity into a life-saving drug. Their work on the purification and chemistry of penicillin began in earnest in 1939, just when wartime conditions were beginning to make research especially difficult. To carry out a program of animal experiments and clinical trials the team needed to process up to 500 liters a week of mold filtrate. They began growing it in a strange array of culture vessels such as baths, bedpans, milk churns and food tins. Later, a customized fermentation vessel was designed for ease of removing and, to save space, renewing the broth beneath the surface of the mold. A team of “penicillin girls” was employed, at £2 a week, to inoculate and generally look after the fermentation. In effect, the Oxford laboratory was being turned into a penicillin factory.

Discovery and Development of Penicillin (2020)

Modern Antibiotics

What people understand to be antibiotics today, such as penicillin’s, tetracyclines and so forth are produced industrially by a process of fermentation, where the source microorganism is grown in large containers (100,000 – 150,000 liters or more) containing a liquid growth medium.

You will find that the microorganisms used in fermentation are rarely identical to their counterparts in the wild. This is because species are often genetically modified to yield the maximum amounts of antibiotics. Mutation is often used and is encouraged by introducing mutagens such as ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, or certain chemicals. Purification Tanks

Antibiotics are compounds produced by bacteria and fungi which are capable of killing, or inhibiting, competing microbial species.

Discovery and Development of Penicillin (2020)

I’m assuming all of this sounds generally familiar, as that was what I remember being taught in school, well something similar at least. I remember hearing stories of how there were incurable diseases in the world and antibiotics came to the rescue. Even now, BBC GCSE Bitesize is teaching kids that penicillin was the first “true antibiotic”.

Antibiotics are substances that slow down or stop the growth of bacteria. They are commonly prescribed medicines, examples include penicillin and amoxicillin. These can be taken to cure the disease by killing the pathogen, but only cure bacterial diseases and not viral ones. Penicillin was the first antibiotic discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. He noticed that some bacteria he had left in a Petri dish had been killed by the naturally occurring Penicillium mould.

Treating, Curing and Preventing Disease – BBC GCSE BITESIZE

Now Penicillin sounds fantastic and jazzy with it’s big words and scientific processes but in reality it is nothing but a diversion tatctic away from the most powerful medicinal plants known to humans. The evidence would also suggest that Penicillin was in fact not the first true antibiotic as it’s very foundations can be debunked quite easily.

There is evidence to prove that natural remedies are not only better at treating bacterial infections, but are also safer, easily obtainable and don’t come with a plethora of side effects.

There is one particular botanical species which outshines all in respects of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and that is garlic(Allium Sativium), which is closely related to the onion, leek and so on. Now, garlic is important to mention as it does something that penicillin could do from day one, and that is kill staphylococcus. See the Allium family which is home to garlic and onions alike come with high organosulfur compounds which have antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

More recently, garlic has been proven to be effective against a plethora of gram-positive, gram-negative, and acid-fast bacteria. These include Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella, Micrococcus, Bacillus subtulis, Clostridium, Staphylococcus, Mycobacterium, and Helicobacter. It has been documented that garlic exerts a differential inhibition between beneficial intestinal microflora and potentially harmful enterobacteria. The antibacterial activity of garlic is widely attributed to allicin. The cloves of garlic and rhizomes of ginger, extracted with 95% ethanol, suggested to have anti-bacterial activity against multi-drug clinical pathogens and can be used for prevention of drug resistant microbial diseases. Garlic also suggested as a treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014;4(1):1‐14.

The great miracle that was penicillin could have been solved easily with garlic. There was no miracle. In fact, there’s a good chance that the invention of penicillin was the greatest medical diversion of modern times used to move funds out of the taxpayers purse.

Over the past few decades scientific studies have been surfacing which don’t just prove the antibiotic effects if garlic, but also prove it is responsible for a load of other health benefits, specially in high doses.

“Garlic has several different uses, such as garlic volatile oil, garlic powder, and garlic juice for its antimicrobial activity. Main garlic species is A. sativum, which is not only accepted as an ethnopharmaceutical drug but also proved to have therapeutic effects by several scientific research studies. It has been used as food and medicine starting from ancient times in India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Several research studies about antibacterial, antiprotozoal, anticancer, antifungal, and antiviral activity of garlic can be found as the current literature is concerned. The most significant component of garlic is allicin (diallyl thiosulfinate), and its activity is investigated against a broad range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Allicin is not present in fresh clove of garlic, but it is released after crushing and chopping with the alliinase enzyme activity. Alliums, component of garlic, include largely cysteine sulfoxides. Conversion of alliinase to allicin by cysteine sulfoxides transforms to thiosulfates, which are volatile and lachrymatory. Allicin, an organosulfur compound, which prevents lipid biosynthesis, was proved to damage Candida albicans cell wall and cause inhibition of RNA synthesis in bacteria. The antimicrobial activities of allicin and garlic extract investigated a large spectrum against Mycobacterium, Photobacterium, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Escherichia, Helicobacter, Clostridium, Cryptocaryon, Klebsiella, and Bacillus species.”

Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Allium sativumCloves from China and Taşköprü, Turkey (2018)

Now after all of this there will be some questions needed to answer why medicine persists with pharmaceutical medications when there are botanical remedies like garlic can be equally as useful. Surely the botanical route is safer for the environment, has a lower carbon footprint, and is overall better for people’s health?

To do this, would be to scarafice the $50+ billion dollar antibiotic market which currently exists and I’m pretty sure there would be some tension if too much attention was taken away from their products eh.

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