“Disarm” antibiotic-resistant superbugs with this ancient Indian spice

You may have seen more cases of the dangerous and potentially deadly methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus—more commonly known as MRSA—on the news lately. In fact, a healthy, high school wrestler in Pennsylvania recently contracted it!

Of course, in the past, you only contracted this serious, antibiotic-resistant superbug in a health care setting—like a hospital or nursing home. But now, these dangerous bacteria are popping up just about everywhere. Including schools and homes, where it can linger on surfaces for months!

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers to help protect ourselves. But as I warned almost 20 years ago, these products actually promote the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs!

Fortunately, cutting-edge research shows an ancient East Indian herb could be the answer. I’ll tell you all about that important research in a moment. But first, let’s back up and talk about the emergence of these so-called superbugs and the reason why the CDC’s so-called “solution” will eventually cause more harm than good…

Antibacterial agents fuel the fire

You may think you need to constantly use “antibacterial” soap or hand sanitizer to combat all those nasty germs circulating around—especially at this time of year.

However, as I just mentioned, these agents actually contribute to the proliferation of these dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs! I actually started warning people about this problem over two decades ago. I even told a New York Times science writer I know, Gina Bari Kolata, about it back in 2001 during an interview!

And here’s how I came to that conclusion…

We already knew—even then—that antibiotic drugs had led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At the time, I called it turning “magic bullets” into “friendly fire.”

Remember, most antibiotics don’t outright kill bacteria. Instead, they simply prevent the bacteria from multiplying, allowing your normal immune system to catch up, take over, and clear the infection. But over time, something unexpected happened: The bacteria naturally adapted and grew resistant to the antibiotics.

So—I simply made the next logical conclusion. If antibiotics breed resistance through normal adaptation, then antibacterial agents would also breed resistance and create some “super”-resistant superbugs.

Of course, when my comments appeared in the paper, the old-line physicians with whom I worked at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia chastised me. (Not long after, I finally “washed my hands” of them and left that post.)

The sad fact is, these superbugs are a natural, inevitable, and predictable consequence of the old, outdated “germ theory” of disease.

That theory completely misses the importance of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome, the environment in your gut where healthy bacteria thrive. It also ignores the importance of “host factors,” maintaining a healthy immune system and diet. Worse yet, the accepted treatment for these superbugs—which involves prescribing even harsher antibiotics—completely disrupts the microbiome and the immune system. Not to mention, we will eventually run out of antibiotics strong enough to combat them all!

Truthfully, the CDC helped create this nightmare and has done very little to stop it. But, thankfully, some researchers do see the potential to fend off bacteria using natural approaches…

5,000-year-old East Indian spice thwarts MRSA

As I mentioned at the very beginning of this Dispatch, new research shows that curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the ancient East Indian spice turmeric, might help counter the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

For this new in vitro study, researchers treated four different strains of MRSA in a laboratory with curcumin.

It turns out, the curcumin basically “disarmed” MRSA in two key ways:

  • It caused damage to the MRSA cell walls.
  • It permeated the cell walls to damage the contents of the MRSA cells.

Together, these actions were enough to re-sensitize MRSA to antibiotics. The study’s authors concluded that curcumin appears to have a “remarkable antibacterial effect.”

Of course, as you may recall, curcumin has many other health benefits as well. (Remember, unlike drugs, which are designed to work for only one purpose, if at all…natural plant extracts typically work for a variety of conditions.)

In fact, curcumin is commonly used as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, together with boswellia and ashwagandha, in high-quality joint supplements. And more recent research shows turmeric can also protect the brain against dementia. (Learn more in the November 2019 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter, [“Spice up your life with this natural memory and mood booster”]. Not yet a subscriber? Become one today!)

In my view, curcumin could also play an important role in combating the superbug disaster. But only if the CDC finally wakes up to take natural solutions seriously…

In the meantime, I strongly urge you to start supplementing with curcumin year-round, starting today! I recommend 400 to 450 mg daily. And to further bolster your immune system, you should also supplement with 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily.


“Curcumin Reverse Methicillin Resistance in Staphylococcus. Molecules, 2014;19(11): 18283-18295. doi.org:10.3390/molecules191118283