Sometimes ‘old-fashioned remedies’ make more sense, like using a topical treatment for localised infection.
Recently I went to a GP because I had a blind cyst in my ear lobe. Naively I expected that he would lance it, but he said they didn’t do that kind of thing anymore and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. Don’t get me wrong, antibiotics are an indispensable weapon in the fight against potentially fatal disease, but most people are now aware of both the personal and population wide consequences of unnecessary antibiotic use. And it seems like the nuclear option to use a systemic anti-bacterial to treat a small local area of infection.
I applied a poultice of ground herbs called San Huang Xi Ji and after three days the cyst was gone.
The next time I went to a GP it was because I thought I had an ingrown toenail, and expected to get a referral to a podiatrist. But because the tissue next to the toenail was inflamed an antibiotic was again prescribed. San Huang Xi Ji was not the ideal poultice to use, but I had some ground up so that’s what I went with. Four days of application overnight relieved the inflammation.
The picture isn’t of my ear, and nobody wants to see my toenail.
As if to order, The Guardian is running an article on anti-biotic resistance this weekend, it seems to be a major concern of England’s chief medical officer.