Do you remember your last experience with antibiotics?
It’s what drove me to research the best natural antibiotics – from mother nature.
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.
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Granted, pharmaceutical antibiotics will destroy most kinds of bacteria (though in recent years this single benefit is in serious decline), and on 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).
- 1 Do Natural Antibiotics Work?
- 2 The Complete List of Natural Antibiotics
- 3 The Strongest Natural Antibiotic
Do Natural Antibiotics 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 destroy 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.
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.
Just recently, Oil of oregano was found to be significantly better than all of the 18 currently used antibiotics in the treatment of the mighty MRSA staph infections (source).
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.
How to use Oregano Oil – 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 it without water.
👉 See more about how to use Oregano Oil
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 (Expert).
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.
Recommended: This is the only Manuka Honey I use. It’s approved by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA).
👉 See how to make your own 100% natural sore throat spray (with essential oils, herbs, and honey!)
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 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 that can cause diarrhea.
Best For – upper respiratory infections, digestive infections, UTI.
👉 See the top 3 natural antibiotics for a UTI here
For a 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, cannot 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 Munich 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’s amazing benefits.
Best for – any bacterial infection, great for strep. throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory system diseases.
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 coconuts 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, skincare, the list goes on and on.
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.
Topically it can be used to relieve sunburns 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.
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, antifungal, 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 – this Thyme Tincture.
10. Olive Leaf
In the Middle East, olive leaf tea has been used for centuries to treat a 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 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA)].
Best for – a 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).
The cabbage was proven to have anti-microbial properties that can kill all kinds of diseases naturally.
The antibiotic properties of cabbage are increased once it has been fermented . 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 the prevention of bladder infections and obstructive jaundice.
Best for – stomach ulcers, bacterial infections, bladder infections.
Here’s how to easily make organic fermented cabbage (natural antibiotic 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 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.
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.
You can use Turmeric 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 it directly to the infected area.
Not only is ginger a culinary marvel, but its health benefits are also stunning.
It’s been shown to be more effective against staph infections than antibiotics — without adverse effects.
Science has found that the compounds in this plant (gingerols) are effective against at least several gram-negative pathogens as well as several 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.
Alternatively, you can use organic Ginger powder (1 tbsp in water) or take it in the form of a supplement.
15. Lemons & Limes
Several studies have found the antibacterial properties of lemons.
Data published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, reveals:
Lemons contain both coumarin and tetrazine, both effective against many pathogens.
Lime has potent antibacterial activity against multiple drugs resistant E. coli.
Best for – stomach infections, upper respiratory infections.
You can squeeze up to 3 lemons and drink to treat colds, the flu, sinusitis, any upper respiratory problem.
The Strongest Natural Antibiotic
I know it would be much simpler if I just told you 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.
For me – the most effective natural antibiotic is Oregano oil. I use it all the time.
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 and happiness,