“Biocides” is likely a term you’ve heard before referring to “natural antibiotics.” Biocides are a term that refers to these substances such as essential oils, colloidal silver and even some herbs used with the intention of killing bacteria or fighting an infection. Are they natural? Yes. But just because they are natural, it is still important that we use biocides judiciously.
Although natural, biocides are just as vigilant as antibiotics at killing bacteria. This means the good as well as the bad bacteria. It’s often the case that people new to natural medicine start by “trading in” their antibiotics for biocides. That’s often the gateway to natural medicine that eventually leads to homeopathy, but it’s not where you want to rest your efforts.
Often when people hear me say this, they think that I’m against essential oils and herbs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! I use these in my home as well, alongside homeopathy and with discretion. I share tips on how this can be done later in this blog, but let’s get a few things straight first:
Do I use essential oils? Yes. I love “feel good” oils like lavender.
Do I rely on biocides to kill infections? Only in a pinch, as I share below.
An example of how I’ve used biocides in a pinch:
When we were in Idaho recently, my son came down with a nasty ear infection. He probably needed a good week, week and a half to get over it naturally with homeopathy, but we didn’t have the time. (Sometimes the remedies act quick, but sometimes your body just needs TIME). I did miss my flight home to buy him more time, but I couldn’t stay another week, so I resorted to using colloidal silver in his ear.
It’s WAY better than resorting to an antibiotic, so there is a place for biocides like silver water or (internally ingesting) essential oils, just as long as it’s not your first choice, and as long as you are aware that it is a missed opportunity for your body to learn from the disease. (I’ll share more on this point below.)
You may laugh to hear me say, “I resorted to Colloidal silver” but that’s true. At the end of the day, colloidal silver or ingesting essential oils should be the last choice used only in moments when you don’t have a remedy on hand or time to let a remedy act. In other words, it definitely can work in a pinch, but that’s not the desired outcome—and definitely should not be what you reach for every time!
Biocides are not homeopathy, but are better than using allopathic drugs, which come with major side effects because of the isolated chemical compounds that are a lot more volatile. I think everyone should have colloidal silver in their house, because undoubtedly the day will come when you can’t find the right remedy and the last thing you want to do is force yourself to take an antibiotic.
Back to the point about biocides being a missed opportunity for your body to learn from a disease. True health and healing means your body knows how to complete the healing process. The more it does this naturally, the more practice it gets and the more able it is to respond appropriately to disease. I have a great video on this that discusses this cycle. The body can not complete the healing cycle when you intercept it by using a biocide that kills an infection for the body. When the body properly completes the cycle of healing it gets the important practice it needs to learn how to heal.
Yes, sometimes the body does need assistance, but what we want to reach for in these moments is homeopathy. Homeopathy doesn’t kill bacteria for us, it is not a biocide. It signals the vital force to rise to meet the challenge of the illness. Homeopathy gives the body the information or nudge needed to heal on its own. The goal is to educate the body and not suppress symptoms with biocides.
Where do herbs and essential oils fit in?
I do own an essential oil kit, but they didn’t always work for me! They weren’t deep acting enough to release my deep, chronic autoimmune stuff. I will say now that my constitutional remedy has balanced my overall health, I respond better to oils in a way that I’ve never felt before. When I use lavender, it really does settle me.
I recommend that anyone with a chronic condition get a constitutional remedy from a licensed Classical homeopath. This will allow you to start rooting out the chronic issues, like I did, so you can more effectively use essential oils for acute issues. The process of getting a constitutional remedy requires a consultation with a homeopath, which is when the homeopathy “takes your case.” The Classical homeopath helps identify a remedy that addresses your unique set of symptoms based on how they are expressed, so this is a very individualized process. A constitutional remedy brings your entire body into balance, not just one symptom, although it does tend to prioritize your biggest concerns. If you don’t have a Homeopath, you can visit PaolaBrown.com/homie where I provide several directories to highly qualified homeopaths.
I know, the idea of a natural antibiotic sounds amazing! The problem is when you’re reaching for those biocides for everything and not letting the body learn to overcome illness. Mega dosing on oils to “kill” things is also killing your good bacteria. The other major problem with this is that your body is never going to learn anything! The infection is likely to return because the root cause is not being addressed, and you’ll have to continue taking the biocide repeatedly.
Once you have started working with a Constitutional homeopath, you can discuss using herbs and essential oils to mitigate issues in the interim. The constitutional will address the “big issues” but this can take time. A good example of how I have woven herbs in with my constitutional is in the case of my hormonal anxiety. Herbs like passion flower and skullcap have been very helpful in mitigating my hormonal anxiety while I used a constitutional remedy for my deep, chronic issues.
Another example is when you are on a constitutional and an acute illness pops up. This was the case for me with Covid. After I got through Covid I started having “Covid hair,” where MASSIVE amounts of hair fell out. My constitutional remedy wasn’t really targeting that, and so I used horsetail capsules. By the time I was about half-way done with the bottle, my hair stopped falling out.Note that in both of the above examples I didn’t use mega doses of herbs. I also focused more on using herbs that were considered gentle. Beware that herbs should be used with caution because they can throw things off if used too heavy-handedly. Some herbs and essential oils can cancel your constitutional remedy as well. Be sure that your homeopath guides this process.
What about vitamins and supplements?
The purpose of supplements should always be to strengthen the terrain. Replacing whole foods and healthy food choices with vitamins is not ideal. Not all vitamins are created equal either. When you can get your vitamins in whole food form, you should. For example, rather than taking vitamin C, consider rose hips or alma berry, plants high in vitamin C.
Foods are meant to be consumed whole, and contain cofactors that help them be digested and assimilated. Colostrum is a good example. I know a lot of people who have tried different brands of colostrum, but they all isolate components of colostrum and the don’t actually keep the colostrum WHOLE, RAW and complete, which is essential for proper digestion and assimilation. I’m of the thought that nature figured it out better than we ever would, so I prefer to keep it whole. There are other whole food supplements you can consider as well, like beef liver.
There is a time for supplements. Oftentimes our bodies need supplements to help us heal. When used judiciously and as whole foods, they can be used alongside a constitutional remedy.
For those of you who are ready to move away from biocides and start to learn more about homeopathy, I recommend my Intro to Homeopathy class. It includes more information on the risks of suppressing symptoms (rather than teaching the body to heal), and includes the information every mom needs to start to administer homeopathy!