These essential oils, herbs, and foods can act as natural antibiotics, too! Learn the possible substitutes to over-the-counter antibiotics below.
13 Natural Antibiotics for Infection and Other Diseases That Harm the Gut and Health
Why You Need a Substitute for Antibiotics
Typical antibiotics destroy both bad and good bacteria in their bid to make you healthy, so get rid of illness and maintain gut health with these natural antibiotics!
It won’t be long before it’s that time of year many of us are plagued with various illnesses, from the flu to the common cold to sinus infections and other less-than-pleasant conditions.
When these illnesses arise and aren’t alleviated in a couple of days, many people turn to harsh antibiotic drugs to help take care of the problem.
This, however, is not a good option for our bodies. While at times an antibiotic drug may be absolutely necessary, they should be avoided as much as possible.
They destroy all of the bacteria in our gut, including the good, healthy bacteria our bodies need to function as they were designed.
When all of our beneficial bacteria have been wiped out, we start to experience some unpleasant symptoms, from gas and bloating to digestive and immune issues.
Furthermore, insufficient good bacteria and intake of too many prescription antibiotics can lead to:
- Antibiotic resistance
- Reduction in vitamin absorption
- Damage of the digestive lining, which can lead to leaky gut
Instead, nature has provided us with a number of natural antibiotics that help kill off the bad bacteria while keeping the good bacteria unharmed. That way the flora balance of the gut is not thrown off.
Best Natural Antibiotics to Have
Let’s take a look at some of nature’s topmost potent antibiotics:
1. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil (or oil of oregano) is one of nature’s best antibiotics. In fact, some sources even say oregano oil is superior to prescription antibiotics but without any of the negative side effects!
Oregano oil works especially well for bacterial infections. It has two powerful compounds: carvacrol and thymol.
Both have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties: Carvacrol is the main component of oregano oil that promotes healing and is one of the main reasons for oregano oil’s potency.
Research has shown that this compound can help improve a number of issues, including bacterial infections, fungal infections, viruses, inflammation, candida, allergies, and tumors.
2. Colloidal Silver or Colloidal Gold
Colloidal silver is a great alternative to antibiotics and has been used for centuries. It was actually discovered in the early 1900s by the founder of a pharmaceutical company, who discovered it was very effective at killing even the deadliest pathogens.
Colloidal silver is made up of silver atoms suspended in distilled water that doesn’t contain any ions. These silver particles are so small that they are able to penetrate on a cellular level.
They can, therefore, kill many different kinds of pathogens, including bacteria, fungal spores, parasites, and viruses.
Not only does colloidal silver help get rid of these pathogens, but it also helps promote the quick healing of damaged tissues.
Sunwarrior's Immune Shieldfights pathogens (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic) by interrupting the metabolic reactions and inhibiting cellular replication with ionic silver and trace minerals.
Immune Shield contains natural Fulvic Acid, which delivers the silver to your cells
Garlic is a very strong antibiotic with antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. It can help remove bad bacteria from the body.
Aside from this, garlic is also very high in naturally occurring antioxidants that eliminate free radical damage, which therefore helps support the immune system.
Garlic contains allicin, the component of garlic primarily responsible for killing and removing harmful bacteria.
Echinacea is an herb that does wonders for the immune system. It has been used for centuries to treat a number of infections and bacterial related illnesses.
It is particularly helpful for combating the cold and flu because of its ability to kill off the most dangerous forms of bacteria.
5. Manuka Honey
This honey is one of the best-tasting natural antibiotics around! This remedy can be applied topically or ingested.
It is able to kill off a number of pathogens, including flesh-eating bacteria. This honey also helps protect against the damage caused by bad bacteria.
In addition, manuka honey helps heal inflammation. Interestingly, hydrogen peroxide is the part of honey that gives it most of its antibiotic qualities.
The difference between regular honey and manuka honey is manuka honey also has methylglyoxal (MG), a very strong antibiotic.
6. Coconut Oil
An all-around plant, coconut oil is also one of the most powerful natural antibiotics. It is highly effective in treating skin infections such as eczema and yeast infections due to Candida albicans.
In a 2019 study, virgin coconut oil (VCO) acted as a skin barrier that trapped the body’s natural moisture. It then prevented the skin from drying out, which could worsen skin infections and conditions.
As one of the antibiotic foods, however, VCO also suppressed inflammatory markers that lead to such infections.
7. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like kefir and apple cider vinegar are staples to a healthy diet for a reason: they’re great natural antibiotics.
Kefir, for example, can work against common foodborne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Staphylococcus aureus can cause upper respiratory tract infections, while E. coli can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms. These can be life-threatening to certain high-risk groups like children and seniors.
Research from 2018 showed kefir prevented the growth or multiplication of these types of bacteria in less than three days.
8. Grapefruit Seed Extract
The extracts from grapefruit seeds may also be a potential antibiotic. A 2012 test-tube experiment cited how it could work against more than 60 different types of microorganisms, including gram-positive bacteria.
One of the essential oils that acts as a natural antibiotic, grapefruit seed extracts can make these pathogens vulnerable. Stripping them of their defensive layers allows the body’s immune system to control and kill them.
What are gram-positive bacteria? These are bacterial cells that have a thicker layer of cell wall than negative-gram bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria appear purple in a stain test.
9. Tea Tree Oil
Many plants work as natural antibiotics because of their antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). They act as their defense mechanisms against pathogenic threats from fungi to viruses.
Fortunately, they can pass on these benefits to people as extracts or essential oils. Some of these plants that function as natural remedies for infection is tea tree oil.
An essential oil from an Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia, it showed promising effects against some of the most dangerous types of bacteria. These are those that showed bacterial resistance.
In other words, these pathogens do not respond to common but powerful conventional antibiotics. When they don’t die, they can spread within the environment, threatening more lives.
In a time-kill experiment, tea tree oil’s antibacterial activity could work against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which may cause dermatitis and infections to the joints and bones.
This characteristic also makes tea tree oil a possible treatment against urinary tract infections (UTIs).
10. Frankincense Oil
Like oregano essential oil and tea tree oil, frankincense oil may also be one of your reliable home antibiotics. It could be your defense against Bacillus cereus.
It is one of the disease-causing bacteria present in foods, especially starchy ones like rice. When it contaminates the food, it releases toxins that may lead to poisoning.
Ginger is perhaps one of the low-key, natural antibiotics there is. Studies showed it’s excellent in relieving a sore throat.
It is also an all-natural antibiotic that works against a variety of bacterial strains as well as fungi. It may even function as a natural remedy against viral infections such as common colds.
One of the natural alternatives to antibiotics, ginger is also promising when it comes to managing chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and even some forms of cancer.
12. Aloe Vera
Sexually transmitted diseases or STDs require an extensive conventional treatment as some of the pathogens that cause it can be aggressive. In some cases, natural remedies for STDs may also work.
For early symptoms of genital herpes, aloe vera can be helpful. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, men treated with a hydrophilic cream with the plant’s extract experienced a shorter recovery time than the control group.
The cream with aloe also treated more patients than the placebo. Most didn’t have serious side effects, while the recurrence rate was low.
As one of the natural antibiotics, aloe vera has properties that inhibit bacterial activity. The skin also absorbs the plant’s extracts well, allowing it to work promptly.
What works similar to garlic antibiotic or raw honey? The answer is cloves!
Also known as Eugenia caryophyllata, cloves are one of the antibiotic herbs that can fight against microorganisms that trigger gum disease. With it, you can even make an all-natural toothpaste with tea tree oil or spearmint.
With its natural anti-inflammatory properties, you can learn how to fight infection without antibiotics.
It can inhibit the growth of E. coli and other microorganisms that hurt the gut. It also contains some amount of fiber for better gut health, along with the ROF Easy Going colon cleanse.
There are a number of tinctures available that include not only these natural antibiotics but those that boost the antibiotic effect, such as turmeric, cayenne, goldenseal, olive leaf extract, or tea tree oil.
Dr. Weston warns about the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics in this video from Sunwarrior:
Before you reach for that prescription, try instead to heal the true source of the problem: the bad bacteria.
Not all bacteria are the same. Killing all of them will be just as hard on the body as having too much of the bad.
Do you know of other natural antibiotics? Share your list in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 29, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.