Patients sometimes ring me up to say, ‘I had to take antibiotics for my bronchitis/cystitis/infection of some sort, so I stopped taking the herbs for a while.’
There’s a misunderstanding here. Some antibiotics should not be combined with alcohol, but if you are taking herbs in tincture form, you can evaporate most of the alcohol by adding hot water to the tincture and letting it stand for a few minutes.
The herbs themselves will not quarrel with the antibiotics at all: in fact, you can use them to help avoid some of the unwanted effects of antibiotics, like digestive upsets and fungal infections.
Antibiotics are wonderful, and they save lives, but all drugs have their drawbacks. If you need them, back them up with herbs like Calendula, Melissa and Filipendula so that your system can make the most of them without having to suffer side-effects. If you find yourself taking them repeatedly, it’s worth taking herbs to support your immune system and help deal with whatever is making you vulnerable to frequent infections. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but they don’t address the reasons why your body didn’t repel the infection in the first place.