Ancient East Indian spice wipes out superbugs

Researchers recently discovered an ancient East Indian herb could help fight off some the most dangerous germs around. In fact, in lab studies, this ancient herb stopped the dangerous bacteria known as MRSA. Previously, you only contracted this infection in health care settings. But now, these dangerous bacteria are popping up outside of hospital settings–in places like gyms.

I’ll tell you all about that important study in a moment. But first, let’s back up and talk about the emergence of these so-called superbugs.

No one ever wants to get sick. And you may think an “antibacterial” agent is just what you need to combat germs. But these agents actually contribute to the proliferation of dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs in the first place. (Plus, as I reported last month, many “antibacterial” products still contain triclosan, a dangerous chemical linked to bone abnormalities and liver failure, among other problems.)

Back in 2001, a New York Times science writer named Gina Bari Kolata interviewed me about the dangers of “antibacterial” agents. I told her these soaps and sanitizers were contributing to the emergence of dangerous, resistant bacteria.

And, indeed, that’s what happened.

But when my comments appeared in the Sunday New York Times, the old-line physicians with whom I had to work at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia chastised me. Not long after, I finally “washed my hands” of them all.

The truth is, we already knew–even back then–that antibiotic drugs led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I called it turning “magic bullets” into “friendly fire.”

You see, most antibiotics are actually mild agents that don’t have the ability to kill bacteria outright. They simply prevent the bacteria from multiplying, allowing the normal immune system to take over and clear the infection. But then bacteria naturally adapted and grew resistant to the antibiotics.

So–I simply made the next logical conclusion. If antibiotics breed resistance through normal bacterial adaptation, then antibacterial agents would also breed resistance and create some really resistant superbugs.

The fact is, these superbugs are a natural, inevitable, predictable consequence of the old, outdated “germ theory” of disease. This theory ignores the role of the host, the natural microbiome, healthy immunity, and nutritional status.

Even worse, the accepted treatment model focuses on equally old and outdated antibiotic drugs, which actually disrupt the normal probiotic microbiome and the immune system. The old treatment model also completely ignores nutrition and host factors.

Truthfully, the Centers for Disease Control helped create these “nightmare bacteria.” And the agency’s outdated medical theory and practice reveal the urgent need to return to more natural approaches.

Thankfully, some researchers do see the potential to fend off bacteria using natural approaches. In fact, the new study I mentioned earlier found that the ancient East Indian spice curcumin–commonly known as turmeric–might counter the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In this new study, turmeric actually reversed antibiotic-resistance in the “flesh-eating” super-bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. Plus, it possessed superior potency to re-sensitize methicillin-resistant Staph aureus–more commonly known as MRSA– to antibiotics. In fact, turmeric caused damage to the MRSA cell walls. Plus, it even permeated the cell walls to damage the contents of the MRSA cells. The study’s authors said turmeric appears to have a “remarkable antibacterial effect.”

As a regular Daily Dispatch reader, you know I write a good bit about turmeric. It’s a natural polyphenolic flavonoid extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. Of course, we have known for a long time that this golden spice has many health benefits. Today, it’s used as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, together with Boswellia and Ashwaganda, in higher-quality joint supplements. More recently, research found turmeric has many brain benefits and can help prevent the onset of dementia.

Clearly, turmeric could also play an important role in truly complementary medicine, if mainstream medicine would pay attention to the emerging science. It could help restore the effectiveness of antibiotics that would otherwise be useless against the CDC’s nightmare bacteria.

The only question is whether CDC and NIH will finally wake up from their own nightmares to take natural solutions seriously.

In the meantime, you can take turmeric/curcumin for its many health benefits. I recommend a supplement with a 450 mg daily dose.

You also have a few other natural ways to help avoid harmful germs lurking everywhere this winter…

First, make sure to wash your hands often with plain, old soap and water.

Second, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a natural, herbal hand sanitizer when you can’t get to a sink. (To learn more about which herbal hand sanitizers I recommend, make sure to check out the April 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started so you won’t miss this important report.)

And last but not least, make sure to keep your immune system healthy with 5,000 IU daily of a high-quality vitamin D liquid supplement, and a daily vitamin B complex.


  1. “Curcumin Reverse Methicillin Resistance in Staphylococcus,” Molecules 2014, 19(11), 18283-18295