Antibiotics are a type of drug that is designed to kill bacteria. So, what is a natural antibiotic? It refers to plants, herbs, vitamins, or other natural substances that have extremely potent antibacterial capabilities. This means they can aid in the battle against viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic illnesses.
Antibiotics are prevalent drugs that are prescribed to people all around the world. There are times when these drugs can be useful, but they can also cause adverse effects when they are not necessary or misused.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria make it more difficult for these antibiotic drugs to be effective, and we’re seeing a rise in these resistant bacteria more and more often. That’s why natural antibiotics have recently been popping up as an alternative way to treat bacterial infections.
The antibiotic resistance problem has been escalating alarmingly in recent years. Concerned over what the future holds, people are starting to take back their power and make more effort to care for themselves.
1. What Is a Natural Antibiotic?
Natural antibiotics are gaining popularity because of the side effects and possible damage that using synthetic antibiotics can do to your system. Natural antibiotics have also been found to be more effective than synthetic ones for certain types of infections.
Natural antibiotics are a great way to fight infection without resorting to harsh chemicals. There are numerous advantages to utilising natural antibiotics. They are effective at fighting infection while being gentle on the body.
Natural antibiotics also help to boost the immune system, making the body better able to fight off infection. Additionally, natural antibiotics are less likely to cause side effects than their synthetic counterparts.
2. The Most Effective Natural Antibiotics
While much research has been conducted on antibiotic medications, concerns about multi-drug resistance have prompted scientists to reconsider natural substances having antibacterial characteristics.
Many of them are phytochemicals, which are compounds derived from plants including Phenols, Polyphenols, Terpenoids, Essential oils, Alkaloids, Lectins, and Polypeptides.
We’ll look at the ten most frequent natural antibiotic compounds, what they might be good for, and when they might be useful:
2.1. Manuka Honey
Raw honey possesses antioxidant, therapeutic, and antimicrobial properties. As a result, it is excellent for both internal and external healing. Manuka honey is not raw honey, yet it is unique. It has antibacterial properties and is resistant to bacterial infections. It gets its name from a product of the New Zealand scrub-shrub.
The honey produced by bees when pollinating this plant is more potent than typical honey bee honey. This is related to the higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO). Manuka honey can be used to treat wounds, enhance your oral health, soothe a sore throat, and treat ulcers and acne due to its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant characteristics.
The accelerated healing observed following topical honey treatment can be attributed to a twofold influence on the inflammatory response. Most individuals can safely drink manuka honey; take 1 to 2 teaspoons daily to reap any purported advantages.
Because manuka honey contains a lot of sugar, you should limit yourself to no more than 2 teaspoons per day. If you have diabetes or are allergic to bees, see your doctor before using manuka honey.
2.2. Neem Oil
The medical plant neem (Azadirachta indica) is well recognized for its antibacterial, antimalarial, antiviral, and antifungal activities. Some of the historical applications of this tree are revealed in centuries-old writings.
Its flowers were used to cure bile duct diseases, its leaves for ulcer treatment, and its bark for brain illnesses.
Pure neem oil is quite powerful. Neem oil has a long history of use as a folk treatment throughout the world, and it has been used to cure a variety of ailments.
Despite its strong odor, it is high in fatty acids and other nutrients and is used in a variety of beauty products such as skin creams, body lotions, hair products, and cosmetics.
Even though neem products are derived from natural sources, they are not intrinsically safe for human consumption. As a result, when utilizing neem products, it is critical to exercise caution.
There are many different kinds of natural antibiotics, but one of the most effective is garlic. According to a 2011 study, garlic concentrate is beneficial against bacteria. Garlic concentrate or extract can be purchased at your local health food store.
Garlic has strong antibacterial properties that can help kill off harmful bacteria. It also helps boost the immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off infection.
Garlic has been shown in studies to be beneficial against a variety of germs, especially Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Garlic has also been proposed as a treatment for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Raw garlic is mostly safe to consume, but excessive amounts may cause internal bleeding. A dose of up to two cloves of garlic per day is deemed safe. Garlic concentrate or extract can be purchased at your local health food store.
You may make your own by soaking a few garlic cloves in olive oil. If you’re using a garlic supplement, make sure to follow the dosage instructions exactly. If you are on blood-thinning medication, ask your doctor before using garlic as an antibiotic.
2.4. Oregano Oil
When it comes to treating or preventing various illnesses, oregano oil has proven to be a potent, plant-derived essential oil that may challenge antibiotics. It has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects.
Oregano essential oil has also been found in studies to be beneficial against several possibly antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Taking oregano oil supplements or applying them to the skin can help people benefit from its antimicrobial properties.
Carvacrol is the most prevalent phenol in oregano and has been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of a variety of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Thymol is a natural antifungal in oregano oil that also helps the immune system.
Herbalists prescribe oregano oil to treat urinary infections rather than prevent them. The recommended dosage is 500 milligrams of oregano oil four times each day. To properly dilute oregano essential oil, use a carrier oil, as pure oregano oil might irritate the skin. Oregano is also available in extracts, pills, and dried forms.
Echinacea (Echinacea Angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida) is a genus of plants related to sunflowers and ragweed. The leaf, flower, and root of the plant are all utilized in traditional medicine.
People nowadays use echinacea to alleviate symptoms of the common cold and flu, such as sore throat (pharyngitis), cough, and fever. Echinacea may also help to reduce inflammation caused by bacterial infection. Several herbalists prescribe Echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections.
While echinacea may be beneficial for certain types of viral infections, laboratory testing has shown that it can be effective against S. pyogenes the bacteria responsible for respiratory infection and streptococcal toxic shock.
Echinacea is also used to treat a variety of other infections, such as urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, herpes, HIV/AIDS, human papillomavirus (HPV), bloodstream infections (septicemia), tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, ear infection, swine flu, warts, and diphtheria infections of the nose and throat.
2.6. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or EVCO is a very potent antifungal and antibacterial agent, plus it’s loaded with antioxidants you won’t find anywhere else! The fat in extra virgin organic coconut oil contains a particular component called lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted by the human body into monolaurin, which has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil can help you improve your immune system, control thyroid issues, and lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Even better, EVCO has been demonstrated to increase brain function. You can benefit from using extra virgin coconut oil both internally and physically.
EVCO is a natural antibacterial for the skin that can help prevent and heal skin problems while also hydrating. This is especially crucial for skin health because bacteria and fungi cause many types of skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis, and athlete’s foot. Direct application of coconut oil to the skin may prevent the spread of these bacteria.
Several studies have shown that EVCO can help in wound healing. It was shown that applying virgin coconut oil to wounds accelerated healing, enhanced antioxidant status, and boosted amounts of collagen, an important protein that aids in wound healing.
2.7. Golden Seal
Golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a buttercup-family herb. The dried root is frequently utilized in supplements in the United States.
Berberine, an alkaloid found in goldenseal, has been proven in in-vitro experiments to kill several kinds of bacteria and fungi.
Goldenseal extracts have been shown in studies to inhibit methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from damaging bodily tissue and to prevent preventing E. coli from sticking to the intestinal wall.
Goldenseal is also commonly used to treat respiratory infections and common colds. Goldenseal extracts can be found in a variety of medicines, including supplements, tea, cold and flu remedies, and more.
Goldenseal is often used to treat a variety of skin, ocular, and mucous membrane issues, including sinusitis, pink eye, and urinary tract infections. It’s also found in mouthwashes to treat sore throats and canker sores.
Goldenseal is used to aid the digestive system, ease upset stomachs, and destroy microorganisms. It is a natural antibiotic that is frequently coupled with echinacea and touted as immune system strengthening.
2.8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. Aboriginal Australians smash tea tree leaves to extract the oil, then breathe it to treat coughs and colds or apply it straight to the skin for healing.
Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, lice, nail fungus, and bug bites. Terpinen-4-ol in tea tree oil appears to boost the activity of your white blood cells, which boosts antibacterial activity and protects against bacterial infections.
When applied topically, tea tree oil is known to be bactericidal. According to some studies, the oil’s broad-spectrum antibacterial effect stems from its ability to destroy bacterial cell walls.
Turmeric, and particularly its most active ingredient, curcumin, has numerous scientifically proven health advantages, including the ability to boost heart health and prevent Alzheimer’s and cancer. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
As bacterial resistance to most antibiotics has grown common, the function of natural bioactive compounds in treating infections has been rediscovered. Curcumin is a bioactive compound derived from turmeric. Its potential as an antibacterial agent is now being investigated due to its antimicrobial capabilities.
2.10. Thyme Essential Oil
You’ve probably heard of thyme as a herb and food seasoning. In addition to enhancing the flavor of food, the thyme plant (Thymus vulgaris) provides thyme essential oil. Thyme oil possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Several studies indicate the ability of thyme essential oil to reduce or remove foodborne germs, promote heart health, and reduce inflammation in the body, among other benefits.
Before you go out and buy thyme oil, keep in mind that there is no evidence that thyme oil will cure any specific ailment on its own. Thyme oil has a variety of health-promoting chemicals. These substances include carvacrol, thymol, linalool, cineol, camphor, and borneol.
There is some proof that thyme oil is beneficial for reducing acne-causing germs on the skin. When applying thyme essential oil topically, it must be extensively diluted with a carrier oil. Thyme essential oil can irritate the skin and irritate if not diluted.
Thyme oil combined with other essential oils and a carrier oil, together with massage, can be used to treat hair loss. Thymol, which is contained in thyme oil, has antispasmodic properties.
Thyme essential oil has been demonstrated to be useful at reducing coughs and reducing the duration of respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold when combined with primrose.
Despite being subjected to a variety of environmental stresses, vegetables, fruits, herbs, plant extracts, and essential oils have always preserved their ability to combat microbes. Instead of using pharmaceuticals, you can try including these items in your daily diet to protect yourself from numerous bacterial infections.