Every year, there are a rapidly increasing number of good reasons to avoid antibiotics so the best question to ask is “How?” Here’s why and how to use natural antibiotics which you most likely already have hiding in your pantry.
The Health Implications of Antibiotics
By 1940, antibiotics had come into widespread use causing both doctors and people to gradually forget about natural antibiotics for resolving infections. This change in medical practice has, in recent decades, led to the overuse of antibiotics and the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs such as the “TDR”(totally drug resistant) strain of tuberculosis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections particularly in babies and children.
The over-reliance on prescription antibiotics to resolve infections has also triggered an epidemic of children and adults with compromised gut function and autoimmune diseases of all kinds due to an imbalanced intestinal environment and resulting leaky gut syndrome.
You may have heard or read that if we are not careful and over use antibiotics for infections then we may head towards an antibiotic resistance crisis. A time when antibiotic treatment for a life threatening infection is ineffective possibly causing death. Super bugs become antibiotic resistant even to new and strong antibiotics. Simply put, if an antibiotic is used long enough, bacteria will emerge that cannot be killed by that antibiotic. Infections exist today that are caused by bacteria resistant to some antibiotics. The existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria creates the danger of life-threatening infections that don’t respond to antibiotics.
There are several reasons for the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One of the most important is antibiotic overuse. This includes the common practice of prescribing antibiotics for coughs, colds and flu. Even though antibiotics do not affect viruses, many people expect to get a prescription for antibiotics when they visit their doctor. Although the common cold is uncomfortable, antibiotics do not cure it, nor change its course. Each person can help reduce the development of resistant bacteria by not asking for antibiotics for a common cold or flu.
Some people are becoming allergic to taking antibiotics for infections and are suffering from side effects which may include:
- soft stools or diarrhea
- mild stomach upset
- severe watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps
- vaginal itching or discharge
- white patches on the tongue
- allergic reactions including shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the lips, face or tongue, fainting or a skin rash.
In an article on news.com.au “Babies given antibiotics in the first two years of life are more likely to develop allergies as adults, according to an extensive analysis of past clinical studies involving nearly 400,000 people.” The findings, presented that day at the European Respiratory Society annual meeting in London, point to a clear association with the risk of eczema or hay fever later in life.
Lead researcher Fariba Ahmadizar of Utrecht University said antibiotics most likely disrupted the body’s immune system by impacting on microbes in the gut negatively affecting immune responses.
The latest research involved trawling back through 22 studies conducted between 1966 and 2015. After pooling the results, Ahmadizar and his colleagues found an increased risk of eczema due to early life use of antibiotics of 15 to 41 per cent, while hay fever risk increased by 14 to 56 per cent.
The association with allergies was stronger if patients received more than one course of antibiotics early in life. Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, who was not involved in the research, said the findings added weight to evidence of the long-term downside from antibiotic use.
Natural Antibiotics Hiding In Your Kitchen!
The good news is that are several excellent natural antibiotics which can be used by those who have proven to be allergic to pharmaceutical-grade antibiotics. These can also be used as the first line of defense against those seasonal ailments that require a fortified immune system. You probably have them in your home, in your pantry, fridge or fruit bowl. You can grow them in a pot or in your garden, buy them in the supermarket or at the markets or at the Health Food store. Not to mention the cost in comparison to doctor visits and prescriptions!
Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Never is this more true than providing what your body needs to fight infection.
1. Garlic (and onions )
Of all the natural antibiotics, garlic is my favorite. It kills the pathogens, not just bacteria but also fungus and viruses too without harming beneficial gut flora. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even antiviral qualities. It also promotes the growth of healthy intestinal microflora by acting as a prebiotic (food for probiotics).
For thousands of years, garlic has been as an antibiotic taken internally and used externally to treat mild illness to serious diseases. Infections such as colds, coughs, throat and chest infections and skin infections can be much improved or obliterated with the addition of garlic. While prescription antibiotics kill everything in their path, good bacteria as well as bad bacteria, garlic only targets the bad bacteria. Garlic is a powerful antifungal agent known to kill pathogens in the body. Garlic also fights worms and parasites.
The most powerful duo ever is the combination of garlic and onions. Onions are a close relative of garlic, and the two tend to go hand in hand. Onions are also powerful stimulators of the body and are known to fight flu viruses as well as clear out congested sinuses.
See the ‘hot spiced elixer’ recipe, at the end of this article! If you don’t enjoy the taste, there are garlic supplements available as well. “Aged” garlic supplements such as Kyolic aged garlic extracts give the best results.
If you are looking to consume garlic for natural antibiotics purposes, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 2 to 4 cloves of garlic or 600 to 1,200 mg of aged garlic extract daily. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD suggests consuming a whole head of garlic a day when using for natural antibiotic purposes.
Ancient Romans used honey on the battlefield to treat wounds and prevent infection. Civilizations all over the world continue to consider honey one of the best natural antibiotics, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, and antiseptics known to man after thousands of years.
An enzyme found in honey releases hydrogen peroxide. This process helps your body fight infection and prevents the growth of bacteria. Soothing to the digestive system, honey removes toxins from the blood and helps your liver operate more efficiently. A great boost to the immune system, consider combining honey with cinnamon to strengthen your white blood cells! Raw, organic honey is the best option since most pasteurization methods kills the antioxidant effects.
New Zealand’s Manuka honey has been proven to have the highest levels of antioxidants and curative powers. Manuka honey has an antibacterial component that sets it apart from other honeys. This activity is stable and doesn’t lose its potency when exposed to dilution, heat or light. Manuka honey has been found to be effective against a range of bacteria including Helicobacter pylori (which causes most stomach ulcers); Escherichia coli (the most common cause of infected wounds) and Streptococcus pyogenes (which causes sore throats). Manuka honey is antimicrobial and antiviral. It is also an antioxidant that can help to increase vitality and immunity. Trials have indicated that manuka honey can heal wounds and skin ulcers that haven’t responded to standard treatments.
“…clinical trials have found that Manuka honey is effective against more than 250 strains of bacteria, including:
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
- VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
- Helicobacter Pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers)
Not all Manuka honeys are equal, so it can be hard to know what you’re getting. Active Manuka honey has stronger properties than regular Manuka honey. The team at the Waikato Honey Research Unit are refining testing methods to identify and rate the potency of different Manuka honeys.
There are no known side effects of active Manuka honey when used internally, unless you are allergic to honey. Honey in general is not suitable for babies under 12 months of age because it is a known source of the bacteria spores that cause botulism. Diabetics should also avoid or limit their intake of honey due to the high glucose content. Occasionally, when active Manuka honey is used on an external wound, it can sting because of its high activity level. In this case, use regular Manuka honey instead.
- Take a spoonful of active Manuka honey every couple of hours for a sore throat
- Spread active Manuka honey on wounds and ulcerations to fight infection and promote healing
- Take a tablespoon of Manuka honey 3 times a day to for relief of Helicobacter Pylori
3. Oregano Oil one of the greatest natural antibiotics
Oregano oil is considered to be far more superior than prescription antibiotics, without the side effects. Oil of oregano is anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It can be used internally and externally in the treatment of wounds, respiratory problems, digestive upset, and even the common cold. Every home should have a bottle of oregano oil.
Packed with antioxidants known as phenols and flavonoids, it heals but also strengthens your immune system. It has the highest content of phenols among all aromatic plants It has natural fungicide and antiseptic properties that kill a wide variety of pathogens, breaking through the cell membranes of disease-causing microbes like nothing else could.
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. Look for quality brands of oregano oil that are made from these species. The oil should be golden to dark yellow, with a strong spicy odor.
It can be effectively used as one of the great natural antibiotics to prevent and treat infections such as:
- Yeast infections: Bacterial vaginosis, Candida albicans.
- Parasitic infections: Giardisis, flatworms, tapeworms, ringworms.
- Urinary tract infections: E.coli, proteus, chlamydia, mycoplasma.
- Food poisoning: Salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, shigella, botulism, norovirus.
- Lung infections: Streptococcus, haemophilus, staphylococcus, mycobacterium.
- MRSA infection (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus)
How To Use Oregano Oil
- Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to a diffuser or vaporizer, and inhale deeply to relieve nasal congestion, sinus infections and lung infections.
- Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and gargle or sip to relieve a sore throat.
- Mix 1-2 drops of oregano oil to a small capful of coconut oil or aloe vera gel, and apply on skin infections, acne, cold sores, nail fungus, shingles or psoriasis skin condition. Do not use oregano oil on broken or sensitive skin as it may burn. Use a clean cotton pad with every application to avoid spreading the bacteria.
- Add 3-4 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and drink 2-3 times a day before meals to boost your immune system, when you’re feeling under the weather.
- Add 1 drop of oregano oil on your toothbrush with toothpaste, for killing bacteria that cause bad breath.
4. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has both antibiotic and antiseptic properties. Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to help with everything from scrubbing floors to killing parasites. A chemical-free astringent, ACV can be used topically to disinfect and sterilize. These fermented apples have long been used as medicine. In fact, many of the remedies that Hippocrates used involved just honey or apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is super rich in potassium. Potassium is necessary for strong bones, teeth, and the regulation of our blood pressure levels. A lack of potassium has long been known to cause hair loss, brittle nails and teeth, runny noses, and sinusitis. As well as being known as one of the available natural antibiotics apple cider vinegar will also help your body naturally detox.
5. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has naturally occurring anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is packed with antioxidants. Safe to use internally and externally, coconut oil is one of the most versatile and unique gifts from Mother Nature. Essential oils with antiseptic properties like Lavender, Tea tree or Oregano can be added to Coconut oil and applied to grazes and skin infections. Add 15 drops of essential oil to about a tablespoon of coconut oil.
6. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a mixture of silver particles suspended in fluid that have been used for centuries as a natural antibiotic. In the 1970′s, Dr. Robert O. Becker at Syracuse Medical University began to intensively research colloidal silver. He discovered that silver not only kills bacteria, but it actually killed bacteria that were resistant to all known antibiotics with no undesirable side effects.
Colloidal Silver disables the enzyme that single-cell bacteria require to multiply. Deprived of their oxygen supply, the bacteria and viruses are destroyed. Colloidal Silver should be used externally or as a gargle for throat infections. Because it is a heavy metal it can become toxic if taken internally so long term internal use is not encouraged. Ingestion of colloidal silver can damage the delicate gut microbiome by killing beneficial bacteria. Short term external use can be very effective to kill bacteria in wounds and on the skin.
7. Pau d’Arco
Pau d’Arco is another broad spectrum natural antibiotic which possesses particularly strong anti-fungal properties. It can be quite effective in treating Candida Albicans overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract. Pau d’arco is a tree bark that is found in the South American rainforest and high in the Andes. It has been observed to be unusually resistant to many of the diseases that often occur in those climates.
With similar effects to garlic, Echinacea is well tolerated and able to stimulate the immune system by naturally boosting infection fighters in your blood stream. Native to North America, Echinacea has been used for centuries in tribal medicine to treat pain and sickness.
Unlike garlic, this antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral solution is generally used at the first signs of illness and should not be taken for more than ten days. It is available in liquid and capsule form.
9. Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract is another potent broad spectrum antibiotic alternative.
In the early 1900’s, oleuropein was isolated from olive leaf extract as this phytochemical was thought to give the olive tree its resistance to disease. According to Dr. Ronald Hoffman MD, founder and Medical Director of the Hoffman Center in New York City, olive leaf extract as a healing modality was first realized in the 1800’s for malaria. Olive leaf extract may be best known for it’s ability to reduce fever even due to severe illness. Dr. Hoffman suggests the use of olive leaf extract for long standing infections or candida. He suggests two 500 mg capsules (20% oleuropein) three to four times per day, preferably with meals.
Researchers from the Netherlands then learned that elenolic acid, a component of oleuropein, acted as a broad spectrum natural antibiotic, which safely and strongly inhibits the growth of not only bacteria, but also viruses and fungi.
10. Cayenne Pepper and Chili
Cayenne pepper also called capsicum is a strong spice used for thousands of years for its healing power and antibiotic effects. Science is now actually validating its use as a natural antibiotic as well. It is important to properly use a carrier oil such as olive oil and thoroughly dilute cayenne pepper essential oil because capsicum is quite burning upon initial contact with the skin.
Cayenne pepper is very effective to use as a home remedy for strep throat. Make a gargle with warm water, sea salt and ½ teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, or try it in an antibiotic elixir.
Chili peppers are also one of the most powerful natural circulation stimulants around. They are antimicrobial, and fight off disease due to their antibiotic compounds as well. Chilies are also powerful pain reducers as well as expectorants and decongestants.
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 food borne 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 food borne 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.
Horseradish is often thought of as merely a food flavor enhancer, but it has been used as medicine for hundreds of years. This is another powerful tool when you want an expectorant, sinus decongestant, and pain reliever all in one. Horseradish is powerful, especially for your sinuses and lungs. This underestimated food, opens up your sinus channels, helps with colds and flu and is a great antibiotic. Use horse radish to help clear UTIs.
Turmeric is the most potent spice of them all! Powerful anti-inflammatories provide super healing power while numerous antibacterial agents fight infection.
Turmeric is one of the best super spices out there. This orange miracle of a spice:
- Helps cleanse your body.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Is antibacterial and antifungal.
- Is protective against cancer.
- Is healthy for your heart.
- Is good for your brain health (can even help prevent dementia).
- Is powerful at helping with depression.
Prescribed antibiotics kill all bacteria, both good and bad, reducing your bodies natural ability to fight infection and ward off illness. We are actually designed to heal ourselves in most cases. Adding natural food medicines to your life, can help to keep your body healthy and in balance.
Louise’s Elixir Recipe
There are many different sources of infection, including bacterial, viral, parasitical, fungal, and more. Therefore, it is always advisable to receive an informed opinion from a healthcare professional about the likely source and seriousness of any infection. This blog provides information about the effectiveness of natural antibiotics and how you can use them to support the health of yourself and family.
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