I am not a doctor and the information in this article is not meant to be construed as medical advice. Also I am not affiliated with the companies of any products mentioned in this article.
I’d already had one abscess caused by MRSA drained at the emergency room , and it had been about a year since my last outbreak. I began to get small bumps under my right arm, somewhere I hadn’t had an outbreak before. I immediately started using essential oils and heat on the bumps and was able to get them under control, and took the OnGuard capsules for another 3 months and everything seemed alright. It was about another year before I had yet another outbreak. This one would be the worst of them all.
My Worst MRSA Outbreak
My husband and I spent three weeks travelling in August 2017. We drove through Utah, Arizona, and California. We visited friends and family along the way, some we hadn’t seen in years. It was the first big trip we’d taken in 4 1/2 years, and overall it was a relaxing trip and we definitely needed the break. But about halfway through, we both got sick with what we thought was allergies. In hindsight, I think it was actually a bad cold. (I was still sick with it 2 weeks later.) We were at my mom’s with only a couple of days left til we drove home, when an abscess started to form on my right knee. Fortunately it stayed rather small and drained on its own.
But then another one began to form on the back of my right leg, just below my knee. I’m sure that I was run down from travelling(including not eating great on the road), and being sick. My immune system was down, allowing the MRSA to flare up again.
By the time we left my mom’s, it was red and hard. I knew what it was. Once we got home, I tried the heat treatment and the essential oils. After about 4 days, I started to run a fever and could hardly get off the couch. At this point the abscess had been growing for about 7 days. The next day, my fever was 102 and I knew I had to go to the emergency room. By now the abscess covered almost half of the lower part of my leg and I could barely walk. Once again, they made an incision and drained the abscess. The doctor gave me more antibiotics and told me to come back the next day to have it checked. I reluctantly took the antibiotics, since they were short-term and I don’t take them often.
When I returned to the doctor for a follow-up, there was still a pocket that hadn’t drained, so a second incision was made. And I had to come back again the next day. This picture was taken the day after the second incision was made. The black marker shows how much area the abscess had covered. By now my fever had broken. At least this time it was looking better. I had to go back in twice over the next week for follow-ups. The doctor told me I should see a primary care doctor and they would probably put me on low-dose antibiotics for an extended period of time. I definitely didn’t want to do that, so I needed to do more research.
Herbs and Vitamins for MRSA
One of my favorite books for research is Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D., Mark Stengler, N.M.D., and Robin Young Balch, N.D. The tagline on the cover reads, “A self-care guide for treating health problems with natural remedies including, diet, nutrition, supplements, and other holistic methods.” It’s a valuable resource, so naturally it was the first place I turned for help with my MRSA problem.
I learned that garlic is useful for its antibacterial properties. A good probiotic supports the immune system. Echinacea and goldenseal daily enhance immune function, helping your body to fight the infection. Goldenseal fights off bacterial, viral and fungal infections without producing resistance. (Goldenseal should not be taken for more than two weeks; after the two week period I switched to an echinacea supplement.) Vitamin E is also good for the immune system and nourishes the skin.A multivitamin is also a good idea for general health regardless. Pau d’arco is antimicrobial and is effective at fighting bacterial infections such as MRSA. Ashwagandha is an herb that is effective at fighting many infections, including MRSA.
Essential Oils for MRSA
Essential oils are also an excellent resource for fighting MRSA. In part 2 of this series I detailed the effectiveness of DoTERRA’s OnGuard against MRSA. (OnGuard is the same as Yong Living’s Thieves Oil or Now’s Nature’s Shield. I personally use Nature’s Shield, as it costs significantly less while still being a high quality oil. You can find it here, from Amazon. Or you can mix your own. The Prairie Homestead has the recipe here. If you mix your own, be sure to use only eucalyptus radiata for internal use. Any other form can be dangerous to ingest.) I have used the oil topically as well as internally. I also learned that tea tree oil is very effective against MRSA due to its antibacterial properties. MRSA colonizes in the nose, so I use a nasal spray with tea tree to kill off the colonies. You can also mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil and apply inside the nose with a q tip. Use about three drops of tea tree oil per one ounce of carrier oil. I also wash with a tea tree soap and add the oil to my laundry to keep the infection from spreading to my husband.
My MRSA Prevention Routine
This is the routine I follow every day based on my personal research:
- Echinacea, 400 mg daily for immune support
- 1 multivitamin daily for general health
- Garlic, 500 mg daily for its antibacterial properties
- Probiotic, 25 billion for immune support and maintaining a healthy balance
- Ashwagandha, 450 mg daily to fight infection
- Taking OnGuard/Thieves/Natures’s Shield daily
- Tea tree nasal spray twice daily to keep MRSA colonization under control
- Washing with a tree soap or body wash daily
- Adding tea tree oil to my laundry to keep infection from spreading
- Adding tea tree oil to my hand soap and washing my hands often
If this sounds like work, it is. But once I got in the habit, it became routine. And the trade-off is worth it. I haven’t had an outbreak in 4 months and hopefully I won’t have anymore.
Have you had an experience with MRSA? What treatments work for you? Let me know in the comments!