So, what are some natural antibiotics you can turn to in a pinch? Take a look at five of the top all-natural sources with anti-microbial properties you should be aware of.
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Whether you love to cook and know how versatile this spice is or you just have a healthy appreciation for Italian food, most people love garlic for its rich flavor. But did you know that garlic offers some pretty powerful anti-microbial benefits?
Numerous studies have shown that garlic is a powerful remedy to help protect against many different bacteria, fungal, and viral infections, making it one of my top natural alternatives to antibiotics.
Interestingly, it’s the allicin in garlic that provides both these powerful benefits along with the strong odor associated with crushed garlic.
In fact, a 2015 study revealed that garlic helped fight C. albicans (fungus) and MRSA (an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection).
Meanwhile, a 2017 in vitro study confirmed that simply inhaling the vapor of garlic is useful in fighting lung infections caused by some drug-resistant bacterial strains.
Personally, I like to regularly add garlic to sauces, soups, and stews. If you’re interested in taking a garlic supplement, though, speak with your physician first to determine your optimal dosage.
2. Oil of oregano
Studies have confirmed that the compounds in oil of oregano are so powerful that it’s actually been shown to both directly kill and even prohibit the growth of intestinal bacteria, such as E. Coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and others, as well as fungi, such as Candida.
But that’s not all. Oil of oregano is also known to help shorten the duration of viral illnesses such as the common cold and flu. And it’s been shown to decrease the severity of symptoms associated with these illnesses by supporting the health of your immune system.
Finally, oil of oregano is a fantastic supplement to consider taking anytime you’re suffering from a sore throat. Why? Many sore throats are caused by postnasal drip, which is often the result of a viral or bacterial infection upper respiratory infection.
According to a 2011 study, participants with an upper respiratory infection who used a throat spray containing oregano oil combined with other essential oils experienced decreased symptoms within 20 minutes of using the spray.
As always, speak with your doctor before taking this supplement, especially if you’re pregnant or breast feeding.
3. Manuka honey
According to a 2013 review, using Manuka honey not only promotes rapid and improved wound healing, but also relieves pain in burns, decreases skin inflammation, and fights bacterial infections in wounds.
Moreover, studies have shown that Manuka honey is highly effective against many different bacterial strains, including MRSA. In fact, it was shown to completely inhibit it at 50 percent concentration.
Another perk is of Manuka honey is that it can be used as a cough suppressant as well. Just keep in mind that it isn’t safe for children under the age of 1, though it’s best to speak with a pediatrician before use for any children.
You can find manuka honey at most health food stores and online. Common dosages are typically one-half teaspoon under the tongue two to five times daily, as needed, though you can also use it topically.
4. Tea tree essential oil
As with many of the other natural alternatives to antibiotics that we’ve discussed, tea tree essential oil is really an absolute must-have for your medicine cabinet for topical concerns.
You may be surprised to learn this, but tea tree oil is also known to have powerful anti-microbial properties.
As a result, it’s been known to help fight everything from MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a notoriously difficult strain of bacteria to eliminate) to other common strains of bacteria, such as E. coli.
Studies have shown that when compared to conventional treatments, tea tree oil was significantly more effective in treating MRSA carriage.
In fact, one study compared treatment using a 4-percent tea tree oil nasal ointment and a 5-percent tea tree oil body wash with mupirocin nasal ointment and Triclosan body wash in 30 participants.
Of the 15 patients receiving conventional treatment, two were cleared of MRSA while eight still carried MRSA. Meanwhile, of the 15 patients in the tea tree/melaleuca oil group, five were cleared of MRSA and only three still carried MRSA.
The remainder of patients did not complete therapy. Differences in clearance rates were not statistically significant, most likely due to the low patient numbers.
Additionally, tea tree oil has been shown to be an especially effective ingredient in handwashes and hand sanitizers, making this natural antibiotic especially useful during our current COVID-19 era.
Scientists actually conducted a study on its effectiveness due to its known antiseptic properties—and the results were fascinating: A handwash containing 5 percent tea tree oil performed significantly better than soft soap.
You can utilize tea tree oil by mixing it with a carrier oil and applying to areas of concern or by using it in homemade handwashes and homemade sanitizers.
Remember, tea tree oil cannot be consumed and should be used for topical purposes only!
Finally, let’s talk about one of my favorite natural alternatives to antibiotics: turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice derived from the Curcuma longa plant that’s commonly used in Asian cooking. And it’s one compound in turmeric that’s responsible for its powerful properties: curcumin.
Amazingly, curcumin has been found to contain some incredible anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In fact, studies have shown that curcumin inhibited the spread and development against many different bacterial infections, including Streptococcus agalactiae, Staph. aureus, Staph. intermedius, Staph. Epidermidis, and more.
It’s even been shown to be significantly effective in fighting Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection that occurs within the stomach.