The researchers from the University of New Haven used an alcohol extract derived from stevia leaves, which was then administered to a biofilm of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that acts as a causative agent for Lyme disease.
Their findings indicated that the extract was “very effective” in disrupting the biofilm, resulting in a reduction of 40 percent in the bacterial mass. This was better than the results achieved from the administration of antibiotics which led to an increase in the biofilm's size.
The antimicrobial properties of stevia originate from its pair of glycosides, steviol, and stevioside. Studies show that stevioside is potent against Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pathogenic bacteria that are often transmitted through food. Stevia extracts are also effective against the pathogens that cause dysentery and cholera.
Stevia's sweetness works to its advantage against microbes. To protect themselves, biofilms close their nutrition tubes when they make contact with conventional antibiotics. In the case of stevia, these tubes remain open, allowing the plant's antibiotic phytochemicals to rush in and destroy the bacteria.
Lyme disease is a serious medical condition that can affect the heart and the nervous system. When left untreated, it can have harmful complications. The Infectious Disease Society of America recommends a two- to four-week therapy involving doxycycline. Cefoperazone, daptomycin, and combination medications are also popular treatments for the disease.
However, there are several problems with these drugs. For one, studies show that germs are continuously changing and adapting to medications. As a result, antibiotic drugs are becoming less and less effective in killing disease-causing microbes.
In fact, up to 20 percent of people with Lyme disease may experience joint pain and fatigue for as long as six months after therapy. This condition, known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or chronic Lyme disease, is caused by so-called “persisters” or pathogens that antibiotics failed to kill.
Furthermore, antibiotic drugs are toxic and tend to cause a variety of complications on their own. In contrast, stevia extract has shown no indication of causing any adverse reaction. In tests, it was able to eliminate 100 percent of pathogens, with no viable regrowth after a week and just 10 percent regrowth after two weeks.
Stevia, an herb native to South America, is known as a healthy sugar alternative thanks to its very sweet leaves. Despite being 40 times sweeter than sugar, it does not affect blood sugar levels and actually offers a slew of other health benefits.
Read more stories on natural remedies at NaturalAntibiotics.news.