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Antibiotics and Chinese Medical Herbs

On a radio program about children’s ear infections a pediatrician, and a practitioner of Oriental Medicine were asked by the interviewer, “What causes ear infections”?

The pediatrician talked about exposure in the day-care centers, or contact infection from siblings, while the Oriental Medicine practitioner (Dr. Jake Fratkin) suggested that, “Children who use antibiotics have a higher incidence of a repeat infection within six weeks than those who don’t use antibiotics.”

Fratkin went on to say that, “children who never take antibiotics rarely get ear infections,” and offered the following key points:

  • Children who take antibiotics have repeat infections; partly because ear infections become drug resistant very quickly, and because antibiotics directly injure the immune system.
  • While intending to target pathogenic bacteria, antibiotics also wipe out beneficial intestinal bacteria.
  • Antibiotics interfere with the production of white blood cells, which weakens the immune system and impedes the body’s ability to combat infection.
  • Dr. Fratkin also pointed out that, “all common epithelial infections of the nose, throat, ear, lungs, skin, urethra and bladder can be successfully treated with Chinese herbal medicines.” A strong point when you consider, “that many common epithelial infections are viral rather than bacterial”— and antibiotics have next to no impact on viral infections.

    So keep in mind, that while there are special circumstances where the use of antibiotics are necessary, there are many more instances where they’re being used unnecessarily, and harming the immune system.

    In his experience, Dr. Fratkin found that Chinese medical herbs are an effective alternative for treating many common infections.


    Note: This article was excerpted and adapted from Pediatric Ear Infections,” by Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD, L.ac.


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  • The Consequences of Excessive Use of Antibiotics
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    IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.