Do you remember your last experience with antibiotics?
The constant fatigue, the digestion problems and just knowing how it destroys your gut bacteria and immunity – Have all developed an antibiotic-phobia in me.
Granted, pharmaceutical antibiotics will destroy most kinds of bacteria (though in recent years this single benefit is in serious decline), and in rare occasions it’s unavoidable.
The price you have to pay, well, in my eyes – Makes it completely not worth it.
What’s that price?
1. Pharmaceutical antibiotics kill all types of bacteria in your body. They kill the good bacteria in your gut along with the disease-causing bacteria.
2. The healthy gut microflora, which gets attacked by antibiotics, is 70-80% of the immune system. Antibiotics interfere with your immunity (and now you’re more susceptible to any rude virus that drops by).
3. Because of antibiotics overuse, super-bugs have developed which are resistant to all but the most powerful drugs (whose side effects are often dangerous).
Do Natural Antibiotics Really Work?
Natural antibiotics have been used for thousands of years, and now clinical research is finally catching up and discovering the ability of some powerful foods and herbs, able to eradicate the most virulent bacteria.
From Strep Throat to UTIs and Sinus Infections – You don’t have to look further than your kitchen to find the most powerful natural antibiotics – Waiting for you to use them – Without making you sicker later.
How to Use Nature’s Antibiotics
Some of the foods and herbs you’ll find below can be consumed in their original state.
Some gain higher potency when made into tea or tinctures or extracts. Others are best used as essential oils or made into vegetarian non-GMO capsules.
In this post you’ll find the complete list of natural antibiotics, how to and when to use them, and the research to back them.
The Complete List of Natural Antibiotics
1. Oregano Oil
Oregano is one of the world’s greatest sources of the powerful phenol component Thymol. Thymol simply destroys microbes.
One in vivo study showed that a combination of monolaurin and oil of oregano was effective against staph infections in mice (60% survival rate), even slightly more so than vancomycin (50% survival rate), a type of antibiotic.
It’s such an effective antibiotic that some poultry farms use it to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals.
Best for – Sore throats, strep. Throat, upper respiratory diseases (sinus infections, for example), but can be used for any bacterial or viral infection.
How to use – First, it’s important not to confuse Oil of Oregano with common oregano that is used as a spice for cooking.
Common oregano is typically Origanum Marjoram, while Oil of Oregano is derived from Origanum Vulgare.
When you buy oregano oil, make sure that the oil is derived from the proper potent oregano plant, and that the carvacrol concentration is at least 70%.
An adult can take up to 8 drops mixed in a glass of water, 3 times a day. It is very potent, so do not attempt to take without water.
(More on the amazing benefits of Oregano Oil – HERE).
2. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, made from the Manuka Tree in New Zealand, is much more than a great natural sweetener.
Manuka Honey has strong antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant pathogens (Source).
Used topically, it can disinfect minor cuts and scrapes and relieve burns by applying directly to the affected area and can be used as a healing mask for acne prone skin.
Used internally, it can be used to fight infection and inflammation.
Though studies found that most honey has antibacterial activity, Manuka honey seems to be especially potent due to a compound called methylglyoxal.
Studies have confirmed methylglyoxal’s activity against a wide range of bacteria, including MRSA.
Best For – Cuts, scrapes, sore throat, respiratory system diseases, bacterial infections.
How to Use – For topical use, apply 3 times a day on the affected area. Internally, it is generally recommended to take 1-2 teaspoons half an hour before meals.
Recommended: This is the only Manuka Honey I use. It’s approved by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA).
Goldenseal is one of the five top-selling herbal products in the United States and is one of the most powerful antibiotic herbs.
Goldenseal is complication-prevention at its best. It contains the active component berberine, which literally prevents bacteria from “sticking” to our cell walls.
Bacteria can come to the party, but they can’t get in.
Hailing from the northwest United States, Goldenseal is a potent antibiotic, well-known to help treat sore throats as well as digestive infections which can cause diarrhea.
Best For – Upper respiratory infections, digestive infections, UTI.
(See the top 3 natural antibiotics for a UTI here)
How to Use – Golden Seal dry powder tastes like sand from the beach, but luckily you can get it in capsule form in an extract, which means you’ll need a few drops.
For sore throat, a few drops locally can stop it dead in its tracks. If you use the powder form, you can gargle 1/2 tbsp of Goldenseal with a pinch of salt – 3 times a day.
For general use, various types of goldenseal dosing can be used, each taken by mouth three times daily, including:
0.5 to 1 gram tablets or capsules, 0.3 to 1 millilitres of liquid/fluid extract (1:1 in 60% ethanol), 0.5 to 1 gram as a decoction, or 2 to 4 millilitres as a tincture (1:10 in 60% ethanol).
Note: Goldenseal, like its good friend the Echinacea, can not be taken internally for more than 2 weeks.
Recommended – Herb Pharm Goldenseal Extract
Echinacea was recently shown to be one of the best natural antibiotics in a study at the University of Munchen in Germany.
I’ve been using the great Goldenseal-Echinacea combo for years with great success, so I was delighted to find a scientific report that validates Echinacea amazing benefits.
Best for – Any bacterial infection, great for strep. throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory system diseases.
How to use – Echinacea is most powerful in tincture form. You can either use it alone, or get a tincture combining Goldenseal with Echinacea, like this one.
Note: Do not take Echinacea for more than 2 weeks. After that, it may weaken your immune system, much like pharmaceutical antibiotics.
5. Oregon Grape
Like Goldenseal, the Oregon Grape contains berberine, which can stop bacteria from adhering to the walls of the intestine and urinary tract.
Oregon Grape can be a great antibiotic alternative for UTI and digestive tract conditions like infectious diarrhea.
Best for – Digestive infections, stomach ulcers, GERD, bowel cleanse, psoriasis (topically).
6. Coconut Oil
Did you know? Populations that eat a lot of coconut are among the healthiest people on the planet.
The fat in the Coconut contains a large quantity of lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride.
In our body, lauric acid turns into a monoglyceride with antibacterial properties, which can also be found in breast milk.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Best for – Bacterial infections, viral infections, fungi, weight loss, metabolism improvement, skin care, the list goes on and on.
How to Use – To get the most benefits from coconut oil, you should only use raw, unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil.
Internally, you can take as much as 3 tbsp of coconut oil per day, even more. Since coconut oil tastes so great, you can add it to your rice, your soups, anything as long as you don’t heat it up.
Topically it can be used to relieve sun burns real fast, relieve dry skin caused by anything, mild cuts and scrapes, bug bites relief and much more.
Recommended – This is the only Coconut Oil I use. It’s raw, virgin, unprocessed and tastes delicious.
Garlic is way more than a culinary spice or a surefire way to ruin a hot date.
One of the active compounds, Allicin, has been shown in studies to kill the super-bacteria MRSA, which is becoming an increasingly larger threat to the human race due to resistance to antibiotics.
Best for – Any bacterial, viral and fungal infection.
How to Use – Garlic is most potent chewed or crushed raw. You can eat up to 2 cloves per day.
If you can’t stand the taste, you can buy it in capsule form, but make sure the active components have not been destroyed in the process.
For ear infections, simply take 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic and mix with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Leave to steep for 30 minutes, then strain. Once strained, put a drop or two in each ear every hour for a few days.
Most people report great relief in only a few hours.
For internal use, crush 1 clove of garlic and add to your meals twice a day.
If you’ve heard of frankincense and myrrh, it’s probably thanks to the biblical account of the birth of Jesus.
…and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh
Myrrh is a reddish resin that comes from species of the genus Commiphora, which are native to northeast Africa and the adjacent areas of the Arabian Peninsula.
Myrrh has antibacterial, anti fungal and pain relieving components and is commonly recommended for bacterial oral infections (such as mouth sores), bronchitis and sore throat.
Best for – Respiratory system infections, mouth sores, bacterial infections.
How to Use – Myrrh can be taken internally (as extract) and used externally as a gargle or wash for wounds.
Note that Myrrh should only be used during the acute phase of the illness and is not suitable for long-term internal use.
Recommended – I always keep a bottle of this Myhrr extract in my medicine cabinet.
Thyme essential oil is an effective disinfectant and natural preservative.
It’s been used for thousands of years but clinical studies haven’t confirmed its ability to be a natural antibiotic…except in the case of acne.
Thyme oil (taken internally) was proven to be MORE effective than Benzoyl Peroxide – Without the side effects (burning sensation, skin irritation).
Best for – Bacterial acne.
How to Use – The general therapeutic dosage of Thyme tincture is 6 – 18 ml per day.
Recommended – Fushi Well being Thyme Tincture.
10. Olive Leaf
In the Middle East, olive leaf tea has been used for centuries to treat sore throat, coughs, fevers, high blood pressure, cystitis (bladder infection), and gout (foot inflammation), and to improve general health.
In clinical studies, Olive Leaf extract was found to have antimicrobial activity against Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori and Staphylococcus aureus [including meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA)].
Best for – Sore throat, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, gout, stomach ulcers, viral infections, bladder infections.
How to Use – Olive leaf can be used either as tea or in the form of a tincture (much more concentrated).
Recommended – Herb Pharm Olive Leaf Extract (Olea europaea trees).
Cabbage was proven to have anti-microbial properties which can kill all kinds of diseases naturally.
The antibiotic properties of cabbage are increased once it has been fermented as well. So eat your sauerkraut every day.
Also, the RBCS Group indicates cabbage has been found to combat H. Pylori bacteria, which has been identified as a major cause of stomach ulcers.
Cabbage may also be beneficial for prevention of bladder infections and obstructive jaundice.
Best for – Stomach ulcers, bacterial infections, bladder infections.
How to Use – You can add raw cabbage to your salad or green juice and you can eat it fermented (even better). Both are delicious.
Here’s how to easily make organic fermented cabbage (natural antibioic AND pro-biotic!):
Horseradish, according to NYU Langone Medical Center, was proven back in the 1950′s to have antimicrobial properties.
It’s one of the best antibiotic spices around.
Germany has approved it as a supportive therapy for certain infections such as urinary tract infections, respiratory infections and sinusitis, and it is regarded as one of the best antibacterial foods.
Best for – UTI, sinusitis, sore throat, upper respiratory infections.
How to Use – This spicy food can be difficult to eat in large quantities, but you can take in the form of tincture or powdered in capsules.
Turmeric, the bright yellow root is far more than just a culinary spice.
It is one of the most thoroughly researched plants in existence, and for good reasons.
Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 6400 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.
A few studies have shown it to be effective against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Best for – Everything. Seriously.
Another east option is to take a high quality Curcumin supplement.
Turmeric can be used as a topical paste to treat skin infections, acne, and muscle pain.
I simply make a paste by adding water (and some Manuka Honey) and apply directly in the infected area.
Recommended – Europharma Terry Naturally Curamin.
Not only is ginger a culinary marvel, its health benefits are stunning.
It’s been shown to be more effective against staph infections than antibiotics—and without the adverse effects.
Compounds in this plant called gingerols have been found to be effective against at least several gram-negative pathogens as well as a number of pathogens found in the mouth, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Studies suggest that Ginger can kill cancer cells, reduce brain inflammation, ease or cure gut problems such as ulcers, colitis and acid reflux.
Best for – Upper respiratory infections, nausea, gut infections, acid reflux, Cancer.
How to use – Fresh ginger root can be added to anything from your green juice to any food you cook. You can add to a thumb size piece to your juice.
Alternatively, you can use organic Ginger powder (1 tbsp in water) or take it in the form of a supplement.
15. Lemons & Limes
A number of studies have found the antibacterial properties of lemons.
Data published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, reveals:
Lemons containe both coumarin and tetrazine, both effective against a number of pathogens.
Lime has potent antibacterial activity against multiple drug resistant E. coli.
Best for – Stomach infections, upper respiratory infections.
How to Use – Gargling lemon juice when ever I feel a sore throat coming – Stops it dead in its tracks. Lemons and limes should be used raw only to get the benefits.
You can squeeze up to 3 lemons and drink to treat colds, the flu, sinusitis, any upper respiratory problem.
The Strongest Natural Alternative for Antibiotics?
I know it would be much simpler if you were just told which one of these natural antibiotics is the strongest, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
We are different.
What works for one person may not work as well for the other. You’ll have to try a few of them and see which one works for you best.
Now that you have your complete list of natural antibiotics, you can safely treat your bacterial infections with the help of nature’s pharmacy – Without side effects, without harming your gut microflora and without spending so much money on antibiotics.
Before you use any of these top natural antibiotics, please consult your doctor to make sure they are safe for you, especially if you are taking any kind of medication.
What about you? Have you ever tried one of these natural antibiotics? Which one works best on your experience?
To your health & happiness,
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog..