MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that infect various parts of the body. It is tough to treat compared to common staph infections since it is usually resistant to common antibiotics. Staph is a bacterium that is often present in the body of even healthy people and does not cause any problems. It only affects us when it enters the body through a cut and once there, it causes infections. Even these staph infections are easily treated unless it is an antibiotic-resistant strain like MRSA. Since MRSA is difficult to treat, this infection can become life-threatening at times.
MRSA symptoms vary depending on where the infection occurs. Common symptoms are sores or boils that ooze pus and are painful, red and swollen. It occurs mostly in the armpit, groin, buttocks, or back of the neck. MRSA is spread by skin contact or when an infected object is touched. Hospitals are places where MRSA can spread wildly since patients have weak immune systems.
Turmeric & MRSA Infection
Turmeric has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Test tube studies indicate that turmeric can kill viruses and bacteria. This could benefit in treatment of MRSA infection.
MRSA infections are serious problems that affect the hospital environment. These bacterial strains sometimes survive on eating only antibiotics. This means that they are resistant to any treatment and can affect the health of patients being treated for various diseases. Since these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, it is vital to develop alternative approaches and strategies to treat MRSA infections. Foods which are rich in antioxidants boost the immune system and reduce our susceptibility to infections. Apart from practicing personal hygiene, make sure your food contains plenty of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin A, C, zinc etc. It has been suggested that turmeric contains antibacterial properties that could help treat MRSA infection. In a study of 300 people infected with MRSA, it was found that 262 of these who included turmeric in their diet recovered from their symptoms. More research is required.
Turmeric has plenty of vitamin B-6, manganese, potassium and iron that all have antibacterial properties and this could prevent bacterial infections like MRSA.
In one study, turmeric oil and 3 fractions were tested on various bacteria including staphylococcus aureus. The three fractions were separated using Silica gel chromatography and then their antibacterial activity was tested with a pour plate method. The combination of three fractions and turmeric oil prevent the growth of both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Some concentrations and fractions were more effective than others.
In another study, the antibacterial benefits of curcumin were studied on MRSA bacteria and staphylococcus aureus (s.aureus). S.aureus is a bacterium that was identified before the antibiotic age and this was the cause of various pyogenic infections including septicemia that proves fatal. Initially, s.aureus was treated with penicillin successfully. However, overuse has resulted in antibiotic-resistant strain of s.aureus – MRSA to appear. Since, antibiotics are proving ineffective, new treatment is being looked at, including curcuma longa or turmeric. One study used methanol, water and ethyl acetate turmeric extracts on MRSA. Of these, ethyl acetate was the most potent. It was able to make antibiotics like penicillin work against MRSA. This suggests that acetate curcumin extract could have effective antibacterial activity and inhibit growth of MRSA, therefore preventing various infections – e.g. human mucosal fibroblasts.
There is no dosage of curcumin for specific medical conditions. The usual recommended dosage is 1.5-3g cut turmeric root or 1-3g dried powdered root daily, 400-600mg standardized powder 3 times daily, or fluid turmeric extract, 30-90 drops per day is recommended. Bromelain is often added to turmeric capsules to improve anti-inflammatory effects and help with easy absorption.
Foods containing turmeric are safe for everyone to consume. Turmeric supplements must be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, for it could stimulate the uterus and promote menstrual bleeding. Those undergoing surgery and those with diabetes and gall bladder problems must also avoid these supplements. Consuming excess turmeric products over long periods could diarrhea, nausea, dizziness and stomach upsets. Turmeric could interact with anti-coagulant medications, antacids or diabetes medications.