Widely consumed in West Africa for its distinctive spicy taste, the pepper fruit helps fight off infections

Ever since humans discovered the true nature of diseases – that they are not caused by wayward spirits or imbalanced humors – the demand for new treatments that offer protection from infection and cellular damage has been on the rise. According to a study that was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the essential oils of the pepper fruit tree has a promising potential to be one of these treatments.

For years, conventional medicine and its variety of chemical medications were the go-to sources of cures for the modern world. But with mounting evidence of conventional medicine’s limitations and accounts of its treatments’ adverse effects, its reputation as an authority did not go unquestioned.

Take, for instance, the issue of so-called “superbugs,” germs that are hard to kill because they have become resistant to conventional antibiotics. Many experts blame the indiscriminate use of germ-killers and antibiotics for these microorganisms’ augmented ability to survive.

Modern research has called attention to how certain essential oils, such as oregano essential oil, can kill even bacterial strains that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Other essential oils have been found to treat and prevent various conditions effectively while remaining inexpensive and safe.

The authors of the study wanted to know if the essential oils from the pepper fruit tree (Dennettia tripetala) contained antibacterial and antioxidant effects. The plant was already found, in previous studies, to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and insecticidal capabilities. Other inquiries on the essential oils from the plant’s fruit in various states of ripeness were made, but information on the unique components of its unripe fruit oil (UFO) and ripe fruit oil (RFO) remained limited.

To test the plant’s bactericidal properties, the researchers administered both UFO and RFO to different strains of multi-drug resistant bacteria. They also determined the oils’ ability to scavenge free radicals to gauge the potency of its antioxidant effects.

In general, the plant’s essential oils were confirmed to have potent antimicrobial properties. Its UFO was especially remarkable, acting against most of the bacterial strains used in the experiment while requiring lower minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) than RFO. What this means is that UFO is slightly more effective than RFO in killing bacteria.

In contrast, RFO showed greater antioxidant strength than either UFO and vitamin C but performed just below beta-carotene. The researchers noted that both essential oils could scavenge multiple types of radicals but in a concentration-dependent manner.

They confirmed that the prepper fruit tree’s essential oils did possess powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that could make them excellent lead constituents for new treatments, especially against infections.

Natural ways to treat infections

An infection is not something to take lightly. Even minor injuries can become considerable health and safety concerns once infection sets in.

Infections happen when pathogens, such as bacteria, invade the body. The key, therefore, is to inhibit the growth and spread of these microorganisms by using antibacterial substances. Here are natural antibiotics that can be found in most homes:

  • Honey – This is one of the oldest antibiotics known to humanity. It contains sugar and hydrogen peroxide, both of which have antibacterial effects. Its low pH level also inhibits bacterial growth. When applied to wounds, honey can prevent infection and hasten the healing process.
  • Garlic – This pungent vegetable has potent antimicrobial properties. Its extract (which can be made at home by soaking cloves in olive oil) can be applied directly onto wounds.
  • Thyme – The essential oil from this herb works against a wide variety of bacterial strains. It cannot be taken by mouth though and must be diluted with coconut or olive oil before being applied directly to wounds.
  • Myrrh – The extract of this resin is effective against both bacteria and fungi, including Candida albicans.

Learn more about natural treatments against infections at Cures.news.

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