Prescription medicines are growing by-the-dozen every year. Especially antibiotics are on the rise. Unfortunately, some of them are less effective too. In fact the OTC antibiotics are turning out to be ineffective. Of course, in serious cases, these medications might be the saving grace, but not much otherwise.
Are you wondering if there are natural medicines available in the market? Why not! It is high time you started thinking about taking NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS (fact is, you already have some in your kitchen).
What is Natural Antibiotic?
The good part of a natural antibiotic is that they are derived from natural sources. E.g, plant extracts, essential oils, even foods. Herbs can be antibiotics too. Full of nature’s blessings, and no side effects. All you need is a bit of time and patience for them to show you how they are far superior to artificial antibiotics.
Here is the list of Natural Antibiotics:
I have “curated” the following list of Natural Antibiotics for you that come with no prescription. After all, it’s good to realize we have another promising caretaker backing us – Nature!
Garlic has anti-bacterial properties. It is safe to ingest, just 2 cloves a day is an acceptable dosage. Raw garlic has “allicin” (a compound which has much the same properties as penicillin). Garlic, hailing from the onion family is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, and antioxidant.
How to Use: Garlic works best when you consume rushed fresh cloves and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before consuming. Can’t stand the taste of raw garlic? Then buy it in capsule form (but make sure the active components of garlic are intact and haven’t been destroyed in the process).
Note: Garlic is even useful in getting rid of internal parasites and worms.
2. Colloidal silver
C. Silver is a natural antibiotic which reduces the oxygen level of one-celled bacteria. Thereby, stopping them to multiply.
How to Use: Colloidal silver is used as an ‘extract’, and is effective in treating bacterial infections of the mucous membranes. External uses include gargling, and ear infections like swimmer’s ear and skin.
Note: Colloidal silver (used for centuries) is a mixture of silver particles which are suspended in fluid.
‘Tis one of the best natural antibiotics (according to a study at the University of Munchen, Germany). Best for bacterial infection, great for sinus infections, strep. throat, upper respiratory system diseases.
How to Use: Best when taken in tincture form. Either use it alone, or get a tincture by combining Goldenseal with Echinacea.
Note: Avoid taking Echinacea for more than 2 weeks. Because after the 2 week period, it may weaken your immune system (just as pharmaceutical antibiotics do).
4. Manuka Honey
Made from Manuka Tree (New Zealand), Manuka Honey is more than a natural sweetener. It has a strong antimicrobial activity against pathogens.
How to Use: Use it topically by applying it 3 times a day on the affected area. For internal intake, take 1-2 tsp half an hour before meals.
Note: Manuka Honey is best for treating cuts, scrapes, sore throat, respiratory system diseases, and bacterial infections.
Goldenseal is one of the most powerful antibiotic herbs. It has ‘berberine’ which prevents bacteria from sticking to your cell walls.
How to Use: Take Goldenseal powder in capsule form (since the dry powder tastes like beachy sand). For sore throat, gargle 1/2 tbsp of Goldenseal powder with a pinch of salt. Do it 3 times a day.
Note: Like Echinacea, Goldenseal cannot be taken internally for more than 2 weeks.
Neem tree is wedded to India. In fact, its oil has been used for more than 2,000 years in the field of Ayurveda.
How to Use: Massage neem oil on the affected parts of the skin to combat bacterial infections – like acne and dermatitis.
Note: Neem is safe, if taken orally, for under-10 weeks. Taking it in large doses or for longer period may harm your kidneys and liver.
7. Pau D’Arco
Pau d’arco which comes from the inner bark of the Lapacho tree has powerful antifungal benefits.
How to Use: Usually prepared as a ‘tea’, Pau d’arco gives an antibiotic benefit which affects your body’s harmful bacteria.
Note: Pau d’arco can delay blood clotting. So, it may not be safe for those suffering from bleeding disorders or those going in for surgery.
When you know the benefits of onions, you will forget the tears it brings on chopping! Onion has antibacterial properties, and sucks illness, sickness, and toxins out of the body.
How to Use: Have a few “cut” onions placed in the house. It will remove tons of bacteria from your living space!
Did you know, honey was used as an antibiotic long before synthetic antibiotics came in the world? Honey is good in multiple jobs – healing skin rashes, scratches and burns, cleaning bacteria from the oral cavity, stops bleeding gums, and treats ulcers and blisters.
How to Use: Choose high quality honey (Manuka honey has more of antibacterial properties and power).
Note: Honey should be in its raw form, not pasteurized.
Anti-bacterial in nature, cabbage can kill all kinds of diseases naturally (without any artificial help). In fact, cabbage is best for stomach ulcers, bacterial and bladder infections, and obstructive jaundice.
How to Use: Munch raw cabbage in your salad or green juice.
11. Fermented Foods
Probiotics are one of the best things to have happened. They boost and preserve the natural gut flora (which is good bacteria). They also have antioxidants which your body processes in a far better way than supplements.
How to Use: Adopt items like probiotic yogurt, apple cider vinegar, raw pickles, and kim chi (a Korean cabbage dish). These are bang-on ways to improve the balance in your intestines.
Note: A balanced gut helps maintain overall wellness and prevents cancer.
This is a powerful spice. Derived from the “dried” fruit of the pimento tree, it is also called Jamaica pepper (has other names too). Why this name, becos allspice is about dried brown berries (which look like large peppercorns). They smell and taste like a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
From health angle, allspice lowers inflammation and reduces pain in parts of the body – whether it is getting relief from muscle aches, arthritis, gout or even hemorrhoids.
How to Use: Herbal tea made with allspice and the oil extracted from this spice has beneficial plant compounds, vitamin A, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin C.
Note: Allspice essential oil can be applied on wounds and skin infections.
The essential oil of Thyme is a good disinfectant and natural preservative. It is best used for treating bacterial acne.
How to Use: Recommended therapeutic dosage of Thyme (in tincture form) is 6 – 18 ml per day.
Note: Thyme oil has been found to be more effective than Benzoyl Peroxide (without the side effects of burning sensation, or skin irritation.
Talking of herbs and spices, Mint plant can be used to make your own natural antibiotic ointment. Several mint family plants are used as culinary and medicinal herbs to counter infection. Members of the mint family include thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, basil, lavender, peppermint, and spearmint.
How to Use: Down with a cold or flu-like illness? You can make broth-based vegetable soup, and add thyme, rosemary, and oregano before serving.
Did you know basil is a strong antibacterial and antioxidant food? And that it offers the same protection against bacteria and infections, but naturally. Plus, it is well-known for its immunity-enhancing.
How to Use: The oil of basil has proven and strong anti-microbial properties. So include the oils of basil in your cooking.
Other than that, basil can be used in multiple ways: Eg, with sautéed vegetables; in sauces; for flavoring of meat, fish; as part of dressings; in herbal teas; and more.
Cinnamon stick warms the body, facilitates digestion and is used for its antibacterial properties.
How to Use: Cinnamon can be taken in the form of “tea”, or added to food or used as a supplement. Daily use of Cinnamon helps prevent bacterial and viral infections and strengthens white blood cells.
Has been used for antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Is good for throat – respiratory problems and digestive complications.
How to Use: Make sage tea by putting 1 tsp. of powdered sage or finely chopped fresh sage in a cup of boiling water. Let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Then, drink it hot.
Note: Sage is UNSAFE FOR PREGNANT women. So, avoid it if you are in few months of your pregnancy or expecting pregnancy in upcoming months.
Used for cough, digestion problems, fluid retention, and high blood pressure, Chervil is a natural antibiotic. The juice of chervil is very effective in curing gout, pockets of infection, and eczema (a skin condition).
How to Use: You can take Chervil in the form of tea, or add it in salad.
Note: Know this? Chervil has a fine reputation for treating eye disorders, detached retina and cataract.
The Rosemary leaf of the mint family is an aromatic herb. It boosts memory, improves mood, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, protects the immune system, stimulates circulation, detoxifies the body, and protect the body from bacterial infections.
How to Use: Rosemary oil can be used for skin irritations (like eczema) and joint problems like arthritis by gently rubbing it on the affected area.
Note: Preggie women shouldn’t use Rosemary in large amounts (except for cooking) and should also avoid the essential oils.
20. Lemon balm
Lemon balm offers antibacterial and antiviral properties, when taken in oral or topical forms.
How to Use: Take it in the form of infused teas 2-4 times daily or take it as a tincture of 2-3 mL (roughly 20 drops) 3 times daily.
Note: Lemon balm also comes in capsule-form. Ideal dosage is 300-500 mg taken three times daily or as needed.
Oregano is one of the world’s greatest sources of Thymol – a powerful phenol component which destroys microbes. Best for sore throats and sinus infections.
How to Use: Mix up to 8 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water, and take it 3 times a day. Since it is very potent, take it with water only.
Note: When buying Oregano oil, make sure it is derived from the potent oregano plant, and that the carvacrol concentration in it is at least 70%.
Most of us know and use cumin seeds in cooking. But when antibiotics fail, cumin seeds are your ultimate defense.
How to Use: Include raw and roasted Black Cumin Seeds in your cooking. You can also use Black Cumin Seed Oil.
Note: Did you know Cleopatra used cumin seeds as a beauty treatment?
Now this is a natural antibiotic used as a food preservative, and comes with antispasmodic, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The essential oil extracted from its leaves gets you instant relief from toothache and arthritis.
How to Use: Tarragon essential oil can be used as a warm compress. Or add few drops to your bath tub for treating pain and inflammation of joints.
Note: Avoid using Tarragon essential oil for children who are below 2 years and for pregnant women.
Why leave ordinary people like us, even dentists’ use clove oil as an oral antiseptic. Clove oil brings relief from toothache, that’s why. But, clove is most effective when it is used to produce oil.
How to Use: CHEW a CLOVE for a few minutes. It will stop that pesky toothache completely within 2 Hrs.
Note: Clove oil has many antifungal effects. This oil kills more than 60 types of bacteria, 15 types of fungi, plus several viruses.
25. Bay leaf
It is a potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral agent. It detoxifies the body, slows down the aging process, and is good in flavoring soups and stews.
How to Use: At the time of cooking, use Bay leaves as whole.
Note: Pregnant women are advised against taking Bay leaf.
26. Chili Peppers
The word ‘Red hot peppers’ is enough to acquaint you with the most powerful Natural Antibiotic Ever. Kills any infections. ANY!
How to Use: Spice up your meals, by combining chili peppers with some olive oil. Use it as a salad dressing.
Note: See to it that you have your gloves on (when adding hot peppers). Because the tingling doesn’t come off easily from the hands. Also, since it has strong smell, it can stimulate your sinuses. You can eat some orange, lemon or lime after you consume chili peppers. This will reduce the burning sensation.
Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent, Marjoram is packed with all these functions. It’s an aromatic herb in the mint family, used to fight against many common illnesses and cosmetics too.
How to Use: Want to enhance your digestive system? Take 2-4 cups of marjoram tea every 2 hours.
Note: Alternatively, you can also rub the oil of Marjoram into your skin to get relief from cramps, sprains, toothache, or other ailments.
28. Caraway seed:
Both the caraway seeds and its oil strengthen the stomach, bring relief from flatulence/gas and acid reflux, treat gingivitis and tackle bad breath.
How to Use: Suffering from indigestion? Brew the crushed caraway seeds in tea. For flatulence, you can take 1-4 drops of the essential caraway oil on a lump of sugar.
Note: Caraway seeds have 20% protein. This makes it excellent for vegetarians, vegans, and those who wish to avoid animal products.
Also called Dhaniya or Cilantro, Coriander is used in the treatment of skin inflammation and disorders, indigestion, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, high cholesterol levels, anemia, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, and blood sugar disorders. It also benefits eye care.
How to Use: Add a small amount of coriander to your diet. It will keep your bones healthy and strong for many years.
Note: Coriander oil is used in a number of eye care products (its antimicrobial properties makes it a good remedy in shielding the eyes from contagious diseases like conjunctivitis).
Dill is a natural antibiotic. Rich in calcium, the Dill leaves cure arthritis, bone issues and osteoporosis. It also prevents diarrhea due to its rich fibre content. Dill leaves are used to flavor soups and curries.
How to Use: Try out the combo of Dill leaves, cucumber and yogurt. It will give a cooling effect to your body, reduce discomforts in stomach (and also release intestinal gas after meals).
Note: Owing to its diuretic property, dill leaves can sometimes release more of urine (than usual).
Yet another popular spice, nutmeg relieves pain, soothes indigestion, does a body detox, boosts skin health, fights sleeplessness, increases immunity. It also prevents leukemia, and improves blood circulation.
How to Use: Add nutmeg as a ‘spice’ in your cooking. Pronto! You will feel relieved from pain as a result of wounds, injuries, strains, and chronic inflammation.
Note: Avoid consuming too much of nutmeg as it can cause seizures, vomiting, and irregular heart palpitations.
Meet the Queen of Spices – Cardamom. It offers gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, relief from cardiovascular issues, and improves blood circulation.
How to Use: Boil Cardamom and cinnamon in water. Then, gargle with it every morning to control painful sore throats.
Note: Chew on cardamom pods and seeds. That’s your natural ‘breath freshener’.
You might be surprised to know the uses of cayenne pepper – it is used to cure multiple ailments such as heartburn, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, flatulence, sore throat, hemorrhoids, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, etc.
How to Use: Apply cayenne pepper directly to the sore gums. It will ease out pain from a sore tooth.
Note: Combine cayenne pepper with lemon juice and honey. Your cayenne tea is a great morning beverage to do body detox.
Call it ‘star anise’, or whatever, this star shaped fruit is an exotic spice in Indian as well as Chinese cuisines. It can also be drunk as a tea. Talking health, anise has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, antifungal uses, improves digestion and cures joint pain and rheumatism.
How to Use: Add anise to rice and pulao, non-veg dishes like chicken, pork, sea food or mix it with tea. With just a touch of anise, you can prepare curries, jams and shakes. You can sweeten and flavor soups with Anise, as well.
Note: Avoid using too much of anise as its flavour can get overpowering.
This is something we all will love – because fennel seeds, stems, flowers, leaves, roots or bulbs are all edible. The bulbs are white, except for the places where the bright looking green stems arise.
How to Use: Use it ‘fresh or dried’ in cooking. Or include it in salads or side dishes.
Note: Raw fennel bulbs have 100 g of calories, so with one serving of fennel, you can STILL LOSE WEIGHT!
Hey, did you know mustard is not just a food condiment, it is nutrient-rich, and anti-cancerous too? By the way, its far healthier than ketchup. Mustard (or mustard oil) have been used for treating stomach and intestinal disorders and diabetes, stimulate vomiting, and as a massage oil to improve blood circulation, and skin texture.
How to Use: Sarson tel ki maalish – when done on the body stimulates muscles and joints and overcomes dryness of skin, too. Works on kids and adults.
Note: Heard of Mustard seed foot baths? They treat stubborn colds, sudden chills, and poor circulation effectively.
Why is parsley seen as a ‘garnishing’ element – I wonder! Because it is actually a powerful antibacterial herb. Parsley is used as a wonder remedy to treat ear infections, cancer protection, builds immunity against asthma, diabetes type 2 and colon cancer.
How to Use: Add parsley to your recipes – and this includes gravy dishes made with lentils, chicken, mussels and mushrooms.
Note: Excessive intake of parsley can cause side effects – severe headaches, loss of equilibrium, kidney damage, seizures and abdominal swelling.
38. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV contains malic acid, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s a great skin detox and hair conditioner.
How to Use: To make your hair shine, take an old shampoo bottle. Fill it with 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. Now pour this on your hair (once you are through with shampooing). Do it 3 times a week for best results.
Note: Since ACV is rich in potassium, it gets you stronger bones, teeth, and regulates blood pressure levels.
39. Horseradish Root
It’s good for lungs and sinuses. Why? As horseradish opens the sinus channels and stimulates circulation (thins the mucus, thereby solving the problems of colds and flu). Also helps treat Urinary tract infections, cold, flu, bronchitis, parasites in intestines and skin disorders.
How to Use: To loosen your sinus congestion, grate and peel 6-inch horseradish root into the juice of one lemon. Add 1 tbsp of raw organic honey. Now seal it in an airtight jar for 24 hrs. Take 1 tbsp of this concoction (undiluted) 3 times a day to soothe your throat and reduce sinus congestion.
Note: It is advisable to take horseradish fresh (or it will lose its potency and impact). Also, try and use it raw, because you know what, cooking will destroy some of its beneficial substances. Average daily intake of horseradish should be 1/2 to 1 tsp (approx. 3–5 grams) three times a day.
40. Habanero Peppers
Keep your Tobasco sauce away! For here comes Habanero Peppers, one of the spiciest peppers on this planet. Has high quantity of capsaicin, which stimulates blood flow and ushers relief from sinus congestion, lowers cholesterol, fights obesity. Habanero Peppers are also high in vitamin C.
How to Use: Make your battle against bacterial infections successful by taking Habanero chilli sauces.
The humble haldi – turmeric is nature’s blessing. It is a natural antiseptic which has antibacterial and antibiotic properties that treat everything from minor cuts and wounds to skin ulcers and even eczema.
How to Use: Apply turmeric as a face mask to clear acne scars, or use it to heal wounds, reduce pain and inflammation.
Note: You can also take turmeric extracts of 400 to 600 mg dosage, three times daily or as directed by physician.
42. Grapefruit Seed Extract
This time no spitting of the seeds. Grapefruit seed extract has a wealth of health benefits. From antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties to treating of earaches, throat infections and diarrhea.
How to Use: Fungal infections bothering you? Take GSE in the form of a capsule at a dosage value of 100 mgm. Or take 5-10 drops of the extract in water three times daily.
Note: Clear the confusion – Grapefruit seed extract is from a grapefruit while grapeseed extract, (or grapeseed oil) is from a grape.
43. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Rejoice! Because our best (and ancient) home remedy coconut oil is a natural antibiotic as well. It is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Good for both internal consumption and external use.
How to Use: Just 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil helps in protecting your body from viruses and bacteria.
Note: Hurray! Extra-virgin organic cold-processed and cold-pressed coconut oil is the ultimate healer.
Precaution to Take Natural Antibiotics
It goes without saying that natural antibiotics are powerful and effective, safe and with zero side effects.
You just have to turn to your refrigerator, pantry or cupboard and bingo, you have some of the finest antibiotics for grabs!
- When using a natural essential oil, do test out the oil on a small area of your skin (for allergy-check prior to use).
- Some people may experience a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. For instance, with Garlic. So stop taking garlic 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Sometimes supplement companies use misleading labels with products that have very little of Echinacea. So, read carefully! Also, avoid taking it if you are suffering from diabetes, HIV, liver troubles. Echinacea can also cause a rare allergic reaction in some people.
Final Words about Natural Antibiotics:
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. This is the prime reason why antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” have developed. It means drug-based antibiotics are causing more harm than good.
With a battery of natural antibiotics in your home, kitchen garden, and like-minded places, its time you made a switch-over to the natural ingredients. They are and can be your biggest rescue.