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WHY THE CURE FOR MRSA COULD BE DIRT



By: Liz Bestic

A natural herbal supplement could be the latest weapon against the potentially deadly hospital virus MRSA.

The supplement, which contains natural bacteria or soil-based organisms (SBOs) found in soil and in the food chain, is thought to act as a natural antibiotic and boos the immune system - allowing it to fight the infection which is immune to traditional antibiotics.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is just one of many conditions, ranging from Crohn's disease to cancer, that advocates believe can be treated with SBOs.

SBOs release enzymes which kill molds, yeasts, fungi and other parasites that prevent plants from growing. They also produce nutrients and growth hormones which, when absorbed by plants, help to stimulate growth and reproduction.

Years ago, when we ate plants in their more natural state, the bacteria worked as a natural antibiotic in the human body. However, because of intensive use of pesticides and fungickles, we no longer get this beneficial effect.

In the body, SBOs work by secreting proteins which stimulate hte liver to produce more white blood cells and antibodies, thus boosting the immune system.

They are like probiotics such as acidophilus or bifidobacteria, already used for a range of stomach disorders - but they are more robust in the acidic environment of the stomach. In the gut they produce essential vitamins and hormones, and help the digestive system to break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins and deal with waste.

Experts have carried out research into their role in protecting the body against Crohn's disease and even cancer, but recently British herbalists have been using them to tackle the growing problems of MRSA.

Jill Davies is a herbal practitioner in Norfolk. She has been using SBOs extensively with her patients for the past five years. In cases of MRSA, she uses a combination of SBOs and herbs such as golden seal and chamomile tincture. 'SBOs can reinstate protective bacteria in the small and large intestine,' she explains.

One patient, June Blythe, 55, from Norwich, took the supplements after having an operation to remove a birthmark and contracting the potentially deadly superbug MRSA while in the hospital. She believes they cured her.

June says: "Within 48 hours of being discharged from the hospital I had developed a high fever and full-blown septicemia. The next day, the left side of my body had blown up like a balloon." June returned to the hospital to ask for a blood test, but they sent her home, saying the results would not be ready until later. "That night I was literally banging my head against the wall in pain," recalls June. "I was boiling hot and there was a terrible pressure in the site where the birthmark had been removed.

"The next morning everything was so painful I felt quite giddy and sick. I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and all of a sudden the wound just burst. "I was absolutely terrified. I was sure I had MRSA, but nobody was owning up to the fact. It was only after I had a private test that it was confirmed."

June was hospitalized and give intravenous antibiotics, but they did not do the trick. Eventually, she discharged herself from the hospital and set about finding her own remedy. On the internet she came across details of SBOs.

"To be honest I didn't care whether SBOs killed or cured me - I was at my wits' end," She says. "I took a double dose straight away and within a month I was beginning to feel the benefits. "I was very lucky to have a fantastic GP who agreed to give me blood tests and swabs every month to see whether the situation was improving. In the eighth month my tests were all clear. I was ecstatic."

Now June takes a 'maintenance dose' of two capsules a day. "They have truly healed me," she says.

The potential of SBOs is being researched widely in America. Dr Raymond Reiker, head of research at the Melrose Centre in teh U.S., says 'In the U.S. We have seen how SBOs have helped people with a range of illnesses, from IBS and Crohn's disease to MRSA.'

Dr Peter Rothschild, an immunologist at the University of Puerto Rico who conducted several studies into SBOs but who sadly died last month, believed that without them to aid digestion, our bowels can become toxic waste dumps.

Autopsies reveal that most of us carry between 20lb or more of undigested food in our colons, which leads to chronic "self-poisoning" and could be a trigger for IBS, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.' he siad. 'Once the SBOs are in teh bloodstream, they lieterally "de-scale" the guy.' Clinical microbiologist Dr Geoff Ridgway, from the University College London

Hospital, however, is more sceptical. He says: 'SBOs do contain standard protective mechanisms. What medical science has done is extract the active chemicals - which we know as antibiotics. 'The problem with supplements is that they are not standardised and people don't know what is in them. It is entirely possible that such a concoction may have an anti-MRSA activity - however, it won't be specifically against MRSA, but against similar bacteria.'