MRSA is a bacterial staph infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to most antibiotics. The infection causes cellulitis on the skin and is commonly referred to as a "flesh-eating" bacterium. If left untreated, MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus may destroy large portions of the skin and muscle tissue below; and may become life threatening. Because the bacteria resist treatment by most antibiotics, some people are choosing to use natural remedies. Alternative treatments for MRSA may produce side effects, so consult your health practitioner before starting herbal or other remedies.
Pay attention to any boils or breaks in the skin that do not heal. Keep skin clean around these areas.
Report any wounds or possible infections on the skin to your health practitioner, especially if you see redness and swelling around the wound. If you notice red lines extending from the wound up your extremities or heading away from the wound, seek medical attention immediately.
Make Pau D'Arco tea and drink it frequently as soon as you notice any wound or break in the skin that is not healing normally. Pau D Arco is the bark of a South American tree whose active ingredient is called lapachol, which has been used by South American Indians for a multitude of ailments, including strengthening the immune system and fighting infections of all kinds. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it may eradicate bacterial infections such as MRSA, according to the University of Colorado at Denver.
Make a tea or decoction by boiling one tsp. Pau D'Arco or lapachol in one cup of water for 5 to15 minutes, suggests the University of Colorado at Denver. Strain and drink one cup of the mixture, two to eight times daily. Pau D'Arco should not be consumed during pregnancy. It may have blood-thinning effects and should not be taken by people using blood-thinning medicines, unless under the supervision of a health practitioner.
Take the Japanese herbal tonic known as Hochu-ekki-to. The tonic may help to control symptoms of MRSA, according to Medline Plus. Hochu-ekki-to contains several herbs used in Eastern medicines, including ginseng. Follow label directions for frequency and dosing. One or more of the ingredients may produce side effects so consult your health practitioner before using Hochu-ekki-to.
Take echinacea extract in juice or water. University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 500mg to 1,000mg orally, three times daily; however, it is best to consult a health practitioner for individual dosing in the case of a MRSA infection.
Add echinacea to your MRSA treatment plan. Echinacea is a cleansing herb, used for thousands of years in both Eastern and Western medicine as an immune enhancer and to clear the blood of various poisons, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Traditionally echinacea was used for the treatment of wounds and other serious bacterial infections, such as diptheria and cellulitis. Anecdotal evidence points to its ability to control MRSA infections.
Use echinacea topically in a 15percent solution or cream and apply to the affected area. Echinacea is available in health food stores.
Make tea from dried echinacea by steeping one tsp. of the herb in one cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink throughout the day. Consult a health practitioner for appropriate dosing. Do not use echinacea if you are pregnant or taking immunosuppressive drugs.
Lapachol or Pau D'Arco has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties, according to the University of Colorado at Denver.
Medline Plus reported that Hochu-ekki-to was found to reduce MRSA symptoms in urinary tract infections after a 10-week treatment program; however, stated that additional research is needed on the effects of ginseng on its own.
The above herbal treatments may produce side effects or allergic reactions. If new symptoms develop after using any of these herbs, stop taking them and consult your health practitioner.