In a time of growing antibiotic resistance, researchers are eager for alternatives. Atlanta ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave has embarked on a project to collect and study plants and herbs that may yield compounds useful in the development of new treatments.
Rather than killing microbes, as antibiotics do, the plant-based remedies could deter bacteria from amassing and give the immune system a better chance to clear an infection.
“Ever since Fleming discovered penicillin, we’ve been in the mindset that we need to kill microbes,” Quave says. “What we need to do is find a balance.”