Top Natural Antibiotics That Keep You Away From Infections; Antibiotics are used to kill or inhibit bacteria growth. Although you might think of antibiotics as modern medicine, they’ve actually been around for centuries. The original antibiotics, like a lot of today’s antibiotics, are derived from natural sources.
- You shouldn’t take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
- Certain foods, plant extracts, and essential oils have antibacterial properties
- Honey is one the oldest known antibiotics.
Hospital antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed “medicines” today. As a result, people have ruined their digestive systems and ironically, have lowered their natural immunity to all types of infections in the future. Get rid of infections without the digestive destruction, with these five powerful natural antibiotics.
Certain plant extracts, essential oils, and even foods have antibiotic properties. For example, some food and vegetable extracts can prevent the growth of bacteria in food.
Sometimes, these properties extend beyond the food and can aid in your personal hygiene. Cranberry extract contains both antibacterial and antioxidant compounds, making it a home remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Herbs can be antibiotics, too. A small sampling of 58 Chinese plants found that 23 had antibacterial properties and 15 had antifungal properties. One 2014 study found that a herbal therapy was just as effective as a chemical antibiotic in treating a small intestine bacterial overgrowth disorder.
Top Natural Antibiotics That Keep You Away From Infections
|Natural Antibiotic||What It’s Best For|
|Oregano Oil||Skin & sinus infections, foot & nail fungus|
|Manuka Honey||Skin or oral infections, immune system boost|
|Cinnamon||Fungal infections (candida, athlete’s foot), immune system boost|
|Garlic||Colds, flu, ear infections, immune system boost|
|Ginger||Prevent foodborne illness, best when combined with other remedies|
|Fermented Foods||Significantly improves immune system and gut health|
|Pau D’ Arco||Candida in the gut, viral & bacterial infections|
Here Are The Top Natural Antibiotics That Keep You Away From Infection.
There are over 40 different oregano species, but the most beneficial one to maximize the therapeutic antibiotic effect you need is the oil produced from wild oregano, called Origanum vulgare. Thymus capitatus, a variety that grows in Spain, is also very powerful.
Quality brands of oregano oil are made from these species. The oil is golden to dark yellow, with a strong spicy odor.
According to Dr. Mercola, the best uses for oregano oil as a natural antibiotic are the following:
Foot or nail fungus. Put a few teaspoons of oregano oil in a small tub water and soak your feet. The oil can also be diluted (one drop of oil with a teaspoon of olive oil) and then apply directly to nails or skin.
Parasites and infections: Dilute the oil as described above and place it under your tongue. Hold it there for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Repeat at least four times a day.
Sinus infections: Put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water or neti pot. Then, slowly inhale the steam.
Honey is one the oldest known antibiotics, tracing back to ancient times. Egyptians frequently used honey as a natural antibiotic and skin protectant.
Honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which may account for some of its antibacterial properties. It also has a high sugar content, which can help stop the growth of certain bacteria.
Additionally, honey has a low pH level. This works to pull moisture away from bacteria, causing the bacteria to get dehydrated and die off.
To use honey as an antibiotic, apply it directly to the wound or infected area. The honey can help kill off the bacteria and aid in the healing process. If possible, opt for raw Manuka honey. This form of honey offers the most health benefits.
You can also ingest honey to aid in the treatment of internal infections. Simply swallow a whole tablespoon or stir it into a warm cup of herbal tea for a soothing treat.
Honey is generally safe to use on the skin or in the body, though you should never give honey to an infant under 1 years old. Instead, consult your doctor for an appropriate alternative.
Cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest and most common spices.
But cinnamon isn’t just any ordinary spice as you may have guessed.
Science has shown that cinnamon can fight off a wide range of dangerous bacterial and fungal infections.
For example, one study found that cinnamon inhibits the growth and mycotoxin production of certain fungi.
This is just a highbrow way of saying, cinnamon kills off fungal infections and stops it from making compounds that cause disease or tissue damage.
Cinnamon is also well known for its countless medicinal benefits including its ability to treat
Acne caused by bacteria
Oral infections & bad breath
There’s really nothing bad to say about cinnamon. It’s delicious AND loaded with health benefits.
Primary Uses: Internal immune booster with powder, external with oil (namely fungal infections like candida or athlete’s foot), best used in combination with other natural antibiotics.
The way I use cinnamon to treat infections largely depends on where the infection is.
Skin-based infections: I use few drops of a high-quality ceylon cinnamon oil. I combine it with manuka honey and lather it in the infected area. This works really great because it’s a “wombo combo” of two different natural antibiotics.
Internal infections: For things like the cold or flu, I combine a high-quality organic Ceylon cinnamon powder with manuka honey or regular raw organic honey. I use this combo twice a day when I notice people getting the cold or flu. This usually helps prevent me from getting sick. Or at the very least, it significantly decreases the length of my colds.
Up first is the natural antibiotic garlic! Garlic has been used medicinally by cultures around the world for thousands of years. In fact, it was used in the 1700s to ward off the plague.
Garlic possesses potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and is able to help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which also supports a strong immune system.
The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is the key component to killing and warding off harmful bacteria. Crush it to activate these compounds, and eat it raw, in a warm tea or in lightly cooked food.
Have you ever wondered why pickled, raw ginger is nearly always served with sushi? This is likely because of historical folklore concerning ginger’s natural antibiotic effects which help prevent food poisoning.
Studies have shown that fresh ginger really does have an antibiotic effect against foodborne pathogens such as salmonella, listeria and campylobacter. Fresh ginger also increases stomach acid production and helps calm indigestion when a meal just doesn’t agree with you.
So, if you are going to eat something that has the potential for foodborne illness such as sushi or raw oysters, always best to eat some fresh ginger (raw and pickled is most potent) too in order to make use of its natural antibiotic properties.
The Master Tonic, a powerful anti-viral and natural antibiotic, includes plenty of fresh ginger as well as fresh cayenne pepper and garlic. This tonic is a highly effective concoction to make and take with you when travelling overseas in order to have a handy formula available that packs the punch of several natural antibiotics synergistically combined and fermented for maximum potency.
Properly made ginger tea is helpful for digestive ailments such as the inability to absorb food properly and an overabundance of pathogens in the gut. Malabsorption of food can cause nutritional deficiencies that lead to disease over time. “Everything good is found in ginger” declares an ancient Indian proverb.
I know…I know…fermented foods don’t directly have antibiotic effects.
But fermented foods are extremely important for a strong immune system (among many other things).
You see, fermented foods like sauerkraut or kombucha contain healthy bacteria. So when we eat fermented food, it boosts and preserves the beneficial bacteria in our gut—this is called our gut flora.
Our gut flora is destroyed by the pesticides in our food, antibiotics, alcohol, and NSAID drugs like Aspirin.
That’s why our gut needs to get an extra dose of healthy bacteria to stay healthy and function properly. But how does this relate to our immune system?
It’s estimated that up to 70% of our immune system is found in the gut. So when our gut flora is imbalanced (and believe me it is for most of us), our immune system becomes weak.
As a result, we get sick much easier and we’re more prone to autoimmune diseases like psoriasis.
Not only does it make sense, scientific studies have also validated the importance of fermented foods.
A scientific review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, for example, explored the evidence of how bacteria in the gut is essential for a strong immune system. They went on to explain
“Probiotic bacteria are shown to promote the endogenous host defence mechanisms…[and] stimulate nonspecific host resistance to microbial pathogens.”
This is just a nerdy way of saying, healthy bacteria can improve your body’s ability to fight off infection. And fermented foods are, hands-down, the best source of healthy bacteria you can get.
Primary Uses: Supports a healthy immune system
This one is pretty straightforward.
Just aim to consume 2-3 different fermented foods every day to give your immune system a significant boost.
Some of the most popular fermented foods include:
Kombucha (a great substitute for soda)
Sauerkraut & Kimchi
Kefir (I like coconut water kefir)
Fermented grains (like real sour dough)
You can make it yourself using lacto-fermentation. It’s a relatively simple process that takes 4-7 days. You can ferment basically anything. And it’s surprisingly tasty!
Overuse of drug-based antibiotics frequently leads to an overgrowth in the gut of a large family of yeasts or fungus known as Candida.
Pau d’arco is a herb that is highly anti-Candida and significantly reduces the resultant sugar cravings that come with it. Repressing Candida and ingesting plenty of probiotics in the form of fermented foods and/or supplements will over time allow beneficial gut microbes to regain control of the gut environment.
While Pau d’arco has been used as a medicine for centuries as one of the best natural antibiotics to counteract fungal overgrowth, science is also validating these anecdotal observations. The Brazilian Journal of Biology found in 2010 found that Tabebuia avellanedae, one tree species that is the source of the Pau d’arco herb, does indeed exert an inhibitory effect on yeasts.
The form Pau d’arco is most often used is as a herbal tea, which I must admit, is an acquired taste! Even after drinking it as needed for the past 2 decades, I still don’t like it much! The good news is that the taste isn’t so terrible that you can’t drink a cup or two for a few days to a week or more. This will help you get back into the routine of healthy eating with sweets kept in moderation if Candida has gotten out of control during off the wagon eating while on vacation or due to a round of antibiotics.
Which of the natural antibiotics on this list are your favorites? What do you use them for and when? Please note that if you absolutely have to use pharmaceuticals due to a very serious infection, repairing the gut after antibiotics is a very important process that should be undertaken immediately.
Be sure to discuss your interest in natural antibiotics with your doctor. They can help you explore your options and help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of each regimen.
You shouldn’t take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. Taking antibiotics for the sake of taking antibiotics can lead your body to build up a resistance to the medication. You can learn ways to help prevent antibiotic resistance here. If your doctor does prescribe you antibiotics, be sure to finish the entire treatment regimen.
However, there is no denying that drug-based antibiotics are tremendously over-prescribed.
This misuse of antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and an unfathomable amount of damage to people’s gut.
While prescription antibiotics do have their place, it’s not always necessary to use them. Instead, it’s perfectly reasonable to use natural alternatives like manuka honey and garlic (oil).
Taking the natural approach will help prevent antibiotic-resistant superbugs from developing. And most importantly, it will save your gut from a lot of unnecessary damage that can lead to serious disease down the road.
Sources and References:
- Lu X, et al. (2011). Investigating antibacterial effects of garlic (allium sativum) concentrate and garlic-derived organosulfur compounds on Campylobacter jejuni by using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, raman spectroscopy, and electron microscopy. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1128%2FAEM.02845-10
- Mandal MD, et al. (2011). Honey: Its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2FS2221-1691(11)60016-6
- Sienkiewicz M, et al. (2011). Antibacterial activity of thyme and lavender essential oils. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313307
- Silva F, et al. (2012). Anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activities of carvacrol, a monoterpene present in the essential oil of oregano. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2012.0102