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Health

Natural antimicrobials

Since before, nature has been taken as a pharmacy at hand, on whose shelves we find products to cure diseases and prevent infections.

Juan José Marcén Letosa, specialist in Clinical Microbiology, explains that over the years, regardless of development, “in ancient documents there are references to anti-infective treatments, and popular knowledge persists in the use of food and simple substances with antiseptic power, which that increased laboratory tests to detect the antimicrobial action of plants, minerals and certain microbes. "

Many years ago, certain properties were already known, so traditional disinfectants were sulfur or thyme. Today, however, some of the substances that we find as bactericidal and antimicrobial are:

Garlic, a study by Spanish researcher José Pedro López Pérez, explains that garlic has antibacterial, antifungal (and even anticancer) properties, due to the presence of alliin, which is transformed into allicin, a powerful antimicrobial "in vitro".

Hot water is considered an effective and non-selective method of disinfecting surfaces in contact with food. The water should be more than 90 degrees centigrade.

Thyme, a study published in Scielo, aimed to evaluate the in vitro antimicrobial efficacy of thyme essential oil; the final result demonstrated the effective inhibition of bacteria in the study object, thyme (thymus vulgaris) is used by many companies as an antimicrobial agent in the production of fresh cheese.

Wine has a strong antimicrobial action, which according to Marcen, is not only due to alcohol (some bacteria are inhibited with 50% alcohol) but due to malvidin (red pigment of wine) that they describe as more powerful than phenol. Phenol is widely used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and clinical industries as a powerful fungicide.

Honey, this sweet and viscous fluid is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers or from secretions of living parts of plants. The bees collect, transform and combine it with the invertase enzyme, which contains the bees' saliva and store it in what we know as honeycombs, where it matures. Research in Mexico has verified that honey has many therapeutic uses, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. In addition, it helps to heal and prevent infections in wounds or superficial burns.

Salt, in ancient Egypt, embalmers knew the antiseptic properties of salts (natron: sodium carbonate and bicarbonate) and in their mummification processes they enhanced them with aromatic resins such as frankincense and myrrh.

 

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