5 Best Natural Antibiotics
A new study suggests that pediatricians write more than 10 million needless antibiotic prescriptions —for conditions like asthma and the flu—annually. According to a recent Fox News article, these bacteria –free ailments do not respond to medications.
Regrettably, the misuse of antibiotics impacts drug resistance. So the same prescribed medications may not work in the future when a child or adult really needs them.
On top of that, many health care professionals believe that taking prescribed antibiotics lowers your body’s defenses to fighting bacterial infections. In truth, each time you take an antibiotic; important “good” bacteria are destroyed. In turn, this leaves your body wide open for “bad” germs that can quickly grow and multiply. Here’s what a few healthcare professionals are saying:
Dr. Adam Hersh, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist in Salt Lake City states:
“Many antibiotics prescribed for children are unnecessary, particularly for conditions caused by viruses, where antibiotics don’t help at all,” he said in a university news release. “Even when an antibiotic is indicated, such as for strep throat or some ear infection, physicians often prescribe an antibiotic such as a Z-Pak, which can be less effective than amoxicillin.”
Dr. Adam Hersh and his colleagues also stated in Pediatrics, “That translates to more than 10 million antibiotic prescriptions each year that likely won’t do any good but might do harm”.
In addition, Dr. Lauri Hicks, a board certified infectious disease specialist in Atlanta, states:
“Antibiotic overuse among children and adults is a serious problem and a threat to everyone’s health”.
Here are a few fast facts collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Children have the highest rates of antibiotic use
- Antibiotic resistance has been named one of the world’s most pressing public health problems
- Each time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed. However, resistant germs may remain and multiply
- Misapplication of antibiotics threatens the effectiveness of prescribed drugs. The best way to control resistance is to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use.
- In the last decade, the number of antibiotic resistant bacteria (known as superbugs) has increased. Countless bacterial infections are becoming resistant to the most common prescribed antibiotic treatments. Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and distresses for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics. When antibiotics don’t work, the result is generally a long-lasting illness or increased doctor visits and prolonged hospital stays. Additionally, there is usually a need for more expensive and toxic medications. In truth, some resistant infections can even cause death
In other words, anti-bacterial products kill the “good” germs that are needed to fight infections.
Even crazier, resistance dynamics was well understood before antibacterial soaps were allowed on the market way back in 1972.
As a Smithsonian article states, “Like all other antibacterial substances, the soaps have begun to confer distinctive forms of resistance on the earth’s bacteria. Our fear of microbes, so thoroughly leveraged by modern advertising, has only hastened the resistance.”
Today these products are still allowed on the market. In actual fact, manufacturers have until 2016 to prove their products’ efficacy, or pull their products off the shelves. That is a very long time from now, especially when it concerns our health.
You’ll find anti-bacterial soap in almost every type of establishment; restaurants, gas stations, mall bathrooms, grocery stores and of course hospitals. Even crazier, children have anti-bacterial soap as a requirement on their supply list for school. Now this really upsets me!
If you are still not convinced about anti-bacterial products then I suggest reading the FDA’s announcement on their 42 year research: FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap
If I have somehow reached you and helped you analyze the effects of using anti-bacterial products; then I suggest that you stop using them entirely. As the Smithsonian states, “Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than conventional soap and water.” Besides, there are countless studies that suggest the soaps might lead to anti-bacterial resistance and other health problems.
If you still believe that you would feel safer using an anti-bacterial soap then I would personally use a natural one. In truth, there are many healthy anti-bacterial products that are quite effective. To name a few:
Compared to typical antibiotics, natural antibiotics are a much better choice. Natural antibiotics are a whole lot healthier. They can offer the same benefits of many synthetic drugs but without the toxic ingredients and side effects. As a matter of fact, the main ingredients are minerals and plant compounds.
Personally, I think Echinacea is one of the best natural antibiotics around. This incredible plant has been used throughout the centuries to fight bacteria, viruses and infections. Other uses include treatment for the common cold, influenza, chronic fatigue and even AIDS.
Moreover, Echinacea does not typically cause side effects. One of the most systematic studies to analyze the safety of Echinacea products was done by Dr. Alyson L. Huntley, Joanna Thompson Coon and Edzard Ernst (2005). Their extensive research concluded that overall, “adverse events are rare, mild and reversible,” with the most common symptoms being “gastrointestinal and skin-related. “ An added note: Some professionals believe that Echinacea may increase the effects of caffeine by raising the risk of side effects such as nervousness, headache and fast heartbeat.
Echinacea contains 9 species commonly called coneflower, all of which have very different chemical compositions. So it’s imperative that you select a species that has medicinal properties. Otherwise, your efforts will be in vain.
There are three main types of Echinacea used medicinally; Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Echinacea augustifolia (Narrow-Leafed Purple Coneflower) and Echinacea pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower).
Furthermore, drinking Echinacea tea or taking capsules will have very little medicinal effect on the body. You would have to drink a ton of tea to benefit from this amazing herb. As well, Echinacea tea consists of leaves, flowers and stems. The healing part of the plant is in the root and the root needs to be at least 2 years old for full medicinal value. Your best bet is to take Echinacea in tincture or extract form. As well, Echinacea should not be taken for more than 10 consecutive days. Please read the label or talk to a healthcare professional for appropriate dosage.
Note: Echinacea is most effective as a preventative. It is best taken when you feel a bug coming on or you’ve been exposed to a contagious germ at work or at home. It is not a “cure all”. Unfortunately, many people warrant Echinacea as ineffective yet they didn’t take preventative measures soon enough. Even still, taking Echinacea may only lesson the symptoms and not remove them altogether. Generally, half of the time I feel a bug coming on I can nip it in the bud and not catch anything. The other half of the time, I catch the bug but my symptoms are far less extreme to other people with the same ‘germ”. E.g. Instead of having the flu for 3-4 days, mine only last 1 day and I don’t visit the bathroom on the hour.
Unlike chemical antibiotics, garlic is an effective natural antibiotic and is also a great antifungal and antiviral.
Garlic can help staph and strep infections. Interestingly, these germs are resistant to traditional antibiotics. Just a few cloves of garlic daily is said to prevent various bacteria and virus related illnesses plus speed recovery of infections.
For garlic to be effective, it needs to be taken raw. Some also believe that it should also be crushed and exposed to air for ten minutes before it’s consumed. Air exposure is said to activate its germ-killing compounds.
Garlic is a very versatile bulb. It can be consumed in a delicious drink e.g. Blend 4 cloves garlic, 1 lemon and two tomatoes. Garlic can also be added to numerous meals or can be roasted for a delightful treat. See the following recipes:
- Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Garlic
- Vegan Roasted Garlic, Potato & Mushroom Soup
- Spinach Avocado Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- Zucchini Mushroom Vegan Pizza with Garlic and Fresh Basil
This incredible herb has been said to help treat a wide variety of infections, chiefly those caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi.
The medicinal properties are derived from the inner bark of the Red Lapacho tree. It is harvested without causing damage to the tree or the environment. Moreover, the tree grows in certain areas of South America where the air has high oxygen content, making their habitat free from pollutants like carbon emissions and pesticides. Please see Natural Cures Not Medicine for reference (Antibiotic Properties of Pau D’Arco).
Okay, back to this miraculous herb. Pau D’Arco or Taheebo has been used for centuries by the Incas and native tribes of South America as a poultice or decoction for treating skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, skin cancers and fungal infections. The natives also used Pau D’Arco to help strengthen the immune system and for treatment of fatal illnesses.
Meyer found that the herb contained xiphoid – an antibiotic with viricidal properties (having the capacity to or tending to destroy or inactivate viruses).
It also contains lapachol – an element known for its antitumor activity.
According to WebMD, Pau D’Arco is also used for diabetes, gastritis, ulcer, liver problems, asthma, bronchitis, joint pain, hernias, boils and wounds. Moreover, since some people regard pau d’arco as a “blood builder and tonic” it is used to treat anemia. WebMD adds that “Pau d’arco is POSSIBLY UNSAFE at typical doses. At high doses, it is LIKELY UNSAFE. High doses can cause severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and internal bleeding. Pau d’arco should be used with caution. Talk with your healthcare provider before you decide to take it.”
To get the most health benefits from Pau D’Arco, it is best taken as a tea. Although consumed in capsule form is also just fine.
Note: Finding Pau D’Arco products can be difficult. Teas that are labeled as Pau D’arco or Lapacho, may not always contain Pau D’Arco (Tabebuia species). In some circumstances, the product contains a related species like Tecoma curialis. Furthermore, some product labels say the product contains the inner bark of Pau D’Arco (thought to be more effective than outer bark by some people), when in truth the product contains the outer bark.
However, it has been utilized as a medicinal for centuries.
- Cherokee: Roots were used as a wash for inflammations, a decoction for general strength and energy, to increase appetite and for dyspepsia (digestive disorder).
- Iroquois: Roots were used as a decoction for liver disease, whooping cough, pneumonia, fever, dyspepsia (upset stomach), flatulence and diarrhea. A goldenseal decoction was also mixed with whiskey for heart trouble. Other roots were combined with goldenseal to make a compound infusion for earaches and as a wash for sore eyes.
- England and America (dating back to 1798): Roots used to treat skin inflammations, as a bitter stomach digestive (stimulate digestion and improve appetite) and for conjunctivitis. Goldenseal was also used for digestive problems, inflammation of the mucous membranes and anorexia nervosa. Other uses include treatment for gastritis, colitis, peptic ulcers, and dyspepsia. As well, goldenseal was used as an overall tonic for the entire body and for inflammation of the upper respiratory system and urinary tract.
Today goldenseal root is recognized as an effective antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and astringent. The roots are used to soothe irritated mucus membranes in the eyes, nose, ears and throat. This amazing herb is also utilized as a preventative for the cold and flu. It is best taken during the first onset of respiratory problems. As well, it may help reduce fevers, relieve excess mucous and congestion.
Moreover, Goldenseal encourages healthy glandular function by increasing digestive enzymes and bile flow.
Consequently, it encourages healthy liver and spleen functions. It is also good for constipation and infections of the bladder and intestines.
A Note on Side Effects: Goldenseal is considered safe for short-term us for adults only and should not be given to infants and young children. The safety of goldenseal in nursing women and people with liver and kidney disease is unknown. Pregnant women should never take goldenseal. Berberine, (goldenseal’s main constituent) has been reported to cause uterine contractions. As well, you should never take goldenseal if you have high blood pressure. Plus, if you have any heart conditions, take goldenseal only under the advisory of a healthcare professional.
Side effects are quite rare, which include nausea, irritation of the mouth and throat, increased nervousness and digestive problems.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of Oregano is said to be an excellent natural antibiotic properties as well as an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, digestive and emenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow).
The health benefits of oregano oil are said to be first discovered in ancient Greece. It was often used to treat bacterial skin infections, as an antibacterial, disinfectant and to protect food from bacteria.
There are many varieties of oregano. It is cultivated in different European regions. However, the medicinal strength is not determined by where it’s grown but by its environment. Generally, a harsh season will produce potent oil. Climate and soil composition will also make a difference in quality.
Types of Oregano: Origanum vulgare the scientific name for oregano. It is the true medicinal plant. Oregano is sometimes referred to as wild marjoram, which is a close relative to sweet marjoram (O. majorana).
According to the Herb Society of America “The genus Origanum consists of over 44 species, 6 subspecies, 3 botanical varieties and 18 naturally occurring hybrids, and includes several types of oregano as well as sweet marjoram (O. majorana) and dittany of Crete (O. dictamnus).”
For further information on the difference between oregano and marjoram read: Oregano and Marjoram: An Herb Society of America Guide to the genus Origanum.
Here is a rundown of different types of oregano (and marjoram) varieties:
- True Oregano (Origanu): A species of Origanum
- Dittany of crete (Origanum dictamnus): Hop Marjoram
- Turkish Oregano/Rigani) (Origanum onites): Pot Marjoram
- Italian Oregano (Origanum majoricum): A hardy sweet marjoram
- Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens): A relative of lemon verbena, not oregano
- Cuban Oregano (Coleus amboinicus): A succulent that tastes and smells similar to oregano
- Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum): more pungent than Origanum vulgare (common oregano)
- Russian Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. gracile): An herb that is grown almost exclusively for culinary use.
- Algerian Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. glandulosum): An herb that is grown almost exclusively for essential oil
Today oil of oregano is used for a wide variety of conditions and treatment such an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic. It is also used to fight infections, colds, the flu, sore throats and digestive issues.
Possible side effects: According to WebMD, enough is known about the safety of using oregano oil in medicinal amounts. WebMD adds that “Oregano leaf is likely safewhen taken in the amounts found in food and possiblywhen taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts. “WebMD states that oregano leaf may cause mild side effects like stomach upset or an allergic reaction in people who have an allergy to plants in the Lamiaceae family. For further reading on possible side effect read WebMD article on Oregano.
Special Note: Always consult a qualified healthcare specialist before using any treatment even with natural antibiotics. This includes natural remedies and herbal teas or supplements. Additionally, the information in this article is not intended as medical advice; it is for educational purposes only.
Finding Organic and Pure Natural Antibiotics
Germ sign: louisa_catlover via photopin cc
Tincture: CINNAMON VOGUE via photopin cc
Good and bad germs: erinaudreychiu via photopin cc
Sanitizer machine: bensheldon via photopin cc
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria: Microbe World via photopin cc
Echinacea: mbgrigby via photopin cc
Wild Echinacea: WyoLibrarian via photopin cc
Mortar and pestle: missy & the universe via photopin cc
Mortar and pestle plus herb jars: Auntie P via photopin cc
Garlic flowers: cobalt123 via photopin cc
Mortar and pestle plus herb jars: Auntie P via photopin cc
Garlic flowers: cobalt123 via photopin cc
Lapacho blooms: Mauricio Mercadante via photopin cc
Goldenseal Root: Forest Farming via photopin cc
Goldenseal plant: tgpotterfield via photopin cc
Oregano plant: Ahmad Fuad Morad via photopin cc