Sometimes antibiotics are a necessity. However, most prescribed chemical antibiotics can be very detrimental to the body – especially to gut health – which in turn can make our bodies more susceptible to illness. It becomes a downward cycle for your immune system and physiology.
For example, antibiotics should not be taken for viral infections like colds, flus, coughs or sore throats and can actually do more harm than good. In fact, antibiotics only treat infections caused by some bacteria. They don’t work for those illnesses caused by viruses. Most sore throats and acute respiratory infections, and many earaches, are also caused by viruses.
Here are 9 natural antibiotics that are can be used for a range of health problems – and thankfully they are effective and safe.
Goldenseal. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is not only a folk herb, but a useful antibiotic known mainly to treat sore throats and digestive infections. The Native Americans used Goldenseal to soothe the linings of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts by clearing bacterial invasion. A few drops taken orally can help wash away a sore throat.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). Anti-fungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial are some of the benefits this natural antibiotic brings to the table. But please note, some of the GSE on the market contains Triclosan and Methyl Paraben – both dangerous substances that should not be ingested. Do your research on brands that is pure organic GSE.
Oregano Oil. The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study that evaluated the antibacterial properties of oregano oil against 5 species of harmful bacteria and this potent oil was found to have some powerful antibacterial agents – most effective against E. Coli. Meaning, oregano oil should be taken to promote gastrointestinal health and to prevent deadly food poisoning. Other researchers from Pakistan published another study in the journal Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia showing oregano oil’s ability to kill cancer cells. Oregano oil can be used instead of harmful antibiotics for a host of health concerns. It’s one of the most potent natural antibiotics and should be a staple in your medicine cabinet.
Oregon Grape. Cultivated mainly in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon grapes (Berberis aquifolium) contains a compound called berberine, which can stop bacteria from adhering to the walls of the intestine and urinary tract. Oregon Grape Tea is used to flush out a urinary tract infections and can be used in dried capsules or a liquid tincture to treat digestive disorders like infectious diarrhea.
Andrographis Paniculata. This Asian herb with thousands of years of traditional use is now being proven through modern research as being able to disrupt bacteria from combining with other bacteria to make a colony. It helps to essentially break up this bacteria “community.” As a result, it is beneficial to treat symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections and sinus problems. Numerous studies report its ability to reduce upper respiratory infection symptoms, such as fatigue, sore throat, cough and headache. It is known as a herb of detoxification and is said that pairing it with Siberian Ginseng makes it the most potent.
Probiotics. Technically, probiotics are not an actual “antibiotic,” but studies show that healthy gut bacteria is key in building a strong immune system which can boost up your protection against infection. Additionally, if you have taken antibiotics in the past, you may want to look into boosting up your probiotic intake to repopulate your digestive tract with healthy bacteria.
Turmeric. Studies show that turmeric can fight antibiotic resistant bacteria and effectively blast infections. It is also antimicrobial, antifungal, and extremely anti-inflammatory. Other interesting facts about this super herb: it was shown in studies to be more effective than prozac for depression and to work better than NSAIDs for rheumatoid arthritis!
Manuka Honey. The sweet goodness of Manuka honey is already being used in hospitals for wound care – by placing the honey directly on gauze to cover the wound. Although studies show most honey has antibacterial activity, Manuka honey seems to be especially potent due to a compound called methylglyoxal. Studies have confirmed its activity against a wide range of medically important bacteria, including MRSA.
Ginger. According to researchers from Ethiopia's College of Medicine at the University of Gondar, a combination of honey and ginger extract powder inhibits the growth of certain superbugs such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae—some of the most lethal 'superbugs' known to man.
What are the natural remedies you use instead of antibiotics? Share with us below.