In the article the pros and cons of antibiotics, we discuss the dangers of pharmaceutical, or man-made antibiotics. The abuse of these drugs has created these “supergerms” that are resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics on the market today. The abuse takes the form of taking common antibiotics for all the wrong reasons, such as for colds and the flu that are linked to viruses, not bacteria. It also arises from not completing a prescribed course of antibiotics, taking too much antibiotics, and the widespread use of them. There are many differing opinions on how and why this is occurring, but to keep this simple, we will acknowledge the problem exists and is widespread today.
There are, however, other possibilities which have natural antibiotics properties and still continue to be effective against these drug-resistant supergerms which come from natural sources such as foods, spices and herbal extracts. These substances rarely cause the harmful side effects like allergic reactions as their prescription counterparts do. In some rare individual cases, some allergic reactions do occur, but these are much rarer than similar reactions caused by antibiotic drugs, and the cause is known immediately. Alternatively, these natural antibiotics do not cleanse the body of the trillions of friendly probiotics that play a critical role in immune system health. They also play a role in stimulating the body’s natural immune response, as we have found in studies of ancient Chinese and American Indian herbal treatments.
Garlic is the most popular of natural antibiotics. It has long been known to kill harmful viruses, bacterial, fungi and parasites. The active compound in garlic is allicin, which is similar to penicillin which was the first man-made antibiotic and was discovered in 1928, were also natural medicines. Penicillin was derived from the penicillium fungi and even though it is commonly known to cause allergic reactions, however, it is relatively safe. The more recent antibiotics are primarily produced synthetically, with tendencies of being more powerful, and naturally, they also tend to create more severe side effects.
One of the great things about garlic is that it works good against a wide range of harmful bacteria. It is the natural antibiotics equivalent of what is termed a “broad spectrum antibiotic”. Modern day broad spectrum antibiotics tend to be both very powerful and costly drugs that can cause some very serious side effects. On the other hand, garlic is both a gentle and inexpensive food that does its job effectively without producing any of the harmful side effects commonly associated with their man-made counterparts.
It is best to eat the garlic raw to enjoy the maximum natural antibiotics benefits of garlic. How is this accomplished you ask? In China and Malaysia for example, many Chinese restaurants serve finely cut raw garlic as a table condiment, in much the same way as they would serve raw chilli, with soy sauce, and you would dip your meats and other foods into it. Chinese spring rolls and a Hokkien dialect noodle dish called lor mee also have raw garlic added. The Chinese also eat raw garlic pickled in soy sauce. You can also suck raw garlic cloves, much like as you would a lozenge, by placing them either inside the cheeks or under the tongue. The taste is mild, unlike the strong pungent effect of biting or chewing raw garlic. In fact, the taste is so mild that I get tempted to bite it, and that is when it’s pungency unfolds!
So these are some ideas on how to eat raw garlic. But if you dislike the taste, just swallow some down with hot water or hot soup. Alternatively, garlic oil capsules, which are commonly sold in local health food stores or health stores like GNC and Vitamin Supply, also derive many of the benefits of garlic, including its properties as a natural antibiotic. Another option are aged garlic supplements, and these are believed to be particularly effective, more so than their counterparts, regular garlic capsules.
If you choose to keep garlic in a form you are familiar with, cooked garlic also retains some of the properties of raw garlic. This includes its properties as a natural antibiotic. This means you can continue to use garlic regularly in your cooking, especially when you are down with infectious diseases like the flu.
Echinacea is a American Indian herb popularly used in North America and in Europe to treat sore throats, coughs and other flu-like symptoms. Echinacea is believed to work much like garlic in fighting bacteria, fungi and viruses and also stimulating the immune systems functionality, so it makes for a good addition to our list of natural antibiotics. It is also sold in health stores as a liquid medicine, tablet or capsule, as well as a herbal tea. Because of its popularity, several scientific studies have been done on echinacea, but the results have been inconclusive. Some studies show that it reduces the severity of colds and flu, while others show that it produces little impact. I have found that to treat cold and flu symptoms, it is best used in combination with golden seal. You can usually find combined them in capsule form at your local health store.
Supporters of echinacea do acknowledge that it is no “magic herb”. It is said to be most effective when taken in the early stages of colds and flu and when taken regularly, every few hours, over several days. They further advise that echinacea should not be taken for more than 10 days, as it will lead to overuse and will make it much less effective.
Propolis is resinous substance bees collect from tree buds. Bee propolis contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which are thought to be the active ingredients.
Propolis has a long history of use as a natural remedy for wound infection and other illnesses. Preliminary studies suggest it may be active against bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms when applied topically.
Propolis is available many forms, including tablet, capsule, ointment, powder, extract, cream, lotion and other cosmetics. It’s available as a nutritional supplement in health food stores and online. It is also found in small quantities in honey. Propolis shouldn’t be applied to the eye area. Repeated use of propolis may make people more prone to developing allergies.
Umeboshi is commonly described as pickled sour “plum” although it is actually a type of apricot. It is similar to what the Chinese call sng buay. It is salty and sour.
This pickled plum – pickled in salt and usually with a medicinal herb called shiso – has important medicinal qualities. It is particularly helpful for:
Discharge problems – anything coming out from the body, such as runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting as well as excessive urination, perspiration, period, etc.
Digestive problems – indigestion, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, etc
Infections – including bacterial and viral infections.
The above are just broad categories of ailments that can be helped by taking this amazing natural antibiotics pickle. The complete list is about a hundred different illnesses. This pickled sour plum is so useful as a natural remedy that the Japanese actually have a saying: An umeboshi a day keeps the doctors away.
Why is it so good? There are two ways of understanding the value of this traditional home remedy.
In terms of chemistry, the explanation is that umeboshi makes the body system alkaline. It is, in fact, one of the strongest alkalizing foods. The blood and other body fluids (eg saliva) of a healthy person are supposed to be slightly alkaline and sickness usually occurs when the body condition becomes acidic. Thus, by restoring the body’s acid-alkali balance, umeboshi helps to restore health.
Olive leaf extracts
Olive leaf has been shown to be one of the natural antibiotics and to assist or boost the immune system’s ability to fight off illness, improve cardio system, and increase energy. Olives and olive oil are a staple in the healthy Mediterranean diet. Olive Leaf has all the same healthful qualities without the fat, and in higher concentrations.
Olive leaf acts beneficially in 4 major areas:
1. Immune System Support
(For optimal health and protection)
2. Antioxidant Protection
(Highly Antioxidant for free radical scavenging)
3. Energy Booster
(Build lasting energy reserves without caffeine)
4. Cardiovascular Heart health
Powdered goldenseal root makes an excellent umbilical cord treatment for newborns. Sprinkle it directly on any wound, or make a paste with a small amount of water for injury or cut that is festering. Goldenseal powder tea serves as an excellent gargle and mouthwash, and can be used as an eyewash for a stye or pinkeye. The price may seem high, but a little goes a long way. Available at your local co-op or natural foods store. If you have a tiny tin to fill with it – like a lip balm tin – it only takes up a tiny amount of space for such a great natural antibiotic.
Tea Tree Oil
One more of the natural antibiotics, Tea Tree Oil is a powerful antimicrobial and remedy for fungal infections, the oil of the melaleuca tree of Australia is a versatile natural first aid treatment. Use topically for any wounds, athlete’s foot, or even ringworm, but be sure to keep it away from your eyes – it’s strong stuff. It may also irritate genitals, so be careful where you choose to use it.
Tea tree oil is also said to be effective against lice, so it may keep you from using the harsh drugstore treatment if your kids bring it home from school. Be sure to buy 100% Tea Tree Oil, or a lavender and tea tree blend, not tea tree oil blended with a carrier oil.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is another natural antiseptic, and can relieve pain or irritation on the skin. When we travel, we like to know that we’ll be able to wash up even without running water, so we use a plastic spray bottle filled with water and lavender oil, using the mist to wet and scrub our faces and hands – it works great for traveling with kids. Headaches in mom and pop can be lessened by rubbing a drop of lavender oil into their temples.
We don’t not guarantee the effectiveness of any of these natural antibiotics substances, but they have been used by cultures for centuries. We also ask you to check with a physician before taking any of these, especially if you are taking other medications.
I am sure that there are plenty more natural antibiotics out there, but we hope our small list helps you to fight off those nasty bugs! Peace my friends!