Antibiotics are medicine used to treat and prevent bacterial infections. When used properly, they can either kill or inhibit the growth of infectious bacteria. Different types of antibiotics work against different types of bacteria and some type of parasites. Doctors prescribe an antibiotic depending upon the specific germ (bacterium or parasite) that is causing the infection.
Antibiotics have become one of the most over-prescribed medicines today. This is dangerous because overuse and misuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance. Many foods act as natural antibiotics and are effective in treating many health issues. Plus, they do not kill off the ‘good’ bacteria required by the body. Here are the top 7 natural antibiotics:
OIL OF OREGANO: oregano oil may be an effective treatment against drug-resistant bacteria. Carvacrol, a chemical component in oregano oil, helps reduce infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics. It also contains antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic and pain-relieving properties.
TURMERIC: Turmeric’s antibiotic properties are used to help destroy bacteria that cause diseases and promote the body’s natural defenses. In addition, it helps prevent bacterial infections in wounds. the antimicrobial activity of curcumin, which is an active ingredient in turmeric; against helicobacter pylori showed positive results.
GINGER: Ginger is a popular antibiotic in india and is consumed by many just like turmeric. Ginger’s natural antibiotic property helps prevent and treat many health problems caused by bacteria. Fresh ginger has an antibiotic effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella. It also has an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.
NEEM: Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another natural antibiotic. Neem helps fight the bacteria that cause pimples and acne. Unlike antibiotic medicines, neem fights bacteria without causing bacterial resistance over time. In addition, due to its antibacterial nature, neem keeps different types of oral problems like cavities, plaque, gingivitis and other gum diseases at bay.
HONEY: Honey is considered as one of the best natural antibiotics. It also contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Honey has the ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it. The unique combination of hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols help kill bacterial cells. To get the antibiotic benefit of honey, always use raw, organic honey.
OLIVE OIL/OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT: The natural antibiotic effect of olive oil/ leaf extract can treat different types of bacterial infection. They have both anti-fungal as well as anti-bacterial activities. Olive leaf extract has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it exhibits free-radical scavenging abilities.
ECHINACEA: Echinacea is a natural antibiotic that can treat wounds and bacterial infections. The herb also strengthens the body’s defense system so it can fight several infections.
Note: Unless directed by your doctor, do not take this herb internally for more than a week or 10 days. Plus, this herb may not be suitable for people suffering from autoimmune disorders.
These natural antibiotics alone may not be sufficient for treating serious infections, though. For serious infections like typhoid, tuberculosis and others, it is best to use these natural antibiotics as an adjunct treatment along with the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.