Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacteria found in the lower intestinal tract and vagina. More than one in four women carry it though show no symptoms. It can be deadly to newborns, but antibiotics are usually reserved for pregnancies with a high risk of transmission. However, even with low risk, you may employ alternative therapy such as herbal treatment.
An effective herbal remedy has a two-pronged approach. First, it boosts the immune system, allowing the body to naturally exterminate excess growth. Additional antibacterial herbs then further reduce its presence, minimizing the risk of transmission during birth.
Immune System Boosters
This method is slower, may take two to three weeks before signs of improvement and should be applied daily. There are several herbs that can enhance your immune system.
Astragalus is one of the most common immune system tonics. This herb helps prevent infections and tonify the blood. It is commonly used with ganoderma, which increases the white blood cell count.
Some herbs focus on specific parts of the body to indirectly boost the immune system. Goldenseal root, for example, enhances the spleen’s activity and increases its blood supply. It is commonly used alongside echinacea, which enhances the lymphatic system.
Probiotic supplements are another effective immune booster. In an age where antibiotics are prevalent and indiscriminately destroy both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria (probiotics), our bodies sometimes wind up with a probiotic deficiency. You can find the most well-known probiotic, L. acidophilus, in yogurt. It also occurs naturally in the mouth, GI tract and vagina, where it fights pathogens. Some people choose to treat GBS by topically applying yogurt in the vagina and surrounding area.
GBS lives in the lower intestine and is very difficult to fully eliminate. However, it can be much more easily killed when it ventures into other areas of the body, such as the rectum and vagina. Since transmission involves direct contact, sterilizing the vaginal canal can greatly reduce the risk a newborn will contract the bacteria.
The most popular antibacterial herb is garlic, and the ways you can use it are numerous. Eaten raw, topical applications and elixirs are all popular methods, though you can experiment to see which is right for you. You should always use fresh garlic, and simply adding it to your food will provide its antibacterial properties.
A simple elixir involves a fresh garlic bulb, ground to pulp with honey and apple cider vinegar, each adjusted to your taste. You can also eat raw garlic, followed by a glass of orange juice or other drink rich in vitamin C to help activate its properties. Inserting a bruised garlic lobe into the vagina at bedtime fights GBS on contact.
Tinctures are also a popular remedy. Blends of echinacea, nettle, Oregon grape root and peppermint, mixed by a homeopathic physician, can be quite effective in combating GBS directly.