Dear Stephen,
Do you know if the critters develop resistance to the herbs like they do with antibiotics? Thank you and blessings.



Stephen’s response:
No they don’t. Antibiotics are a “silver bullet”—that is, they are composed of one substance alone. I go into detail about bacteria’s ability to alter their genome, physiology, etc. and their capacities for interbacterial communication to facilitate this in great detail in my book The Lost Language of Plants (see bookstore).

However, briefly, herbs are composed of scores to thousands of substances, many of which possess synergistic functions with the other substances in them. For example, it is rare to experience the kind of side effects with herbs that pharmaceuticals possess. This is because many herbs possess substances that counteract the side effects that a single substance in the herb might possess, e.g. artemisinin vs the whole herb Artemisia annua.

It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, for a bacteria to develop resistance to such complex substances as herbs. The thousands of constituents and their synergistic actions are just too complex as opposed to a single substance like an antibiotic.

Stephen
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