We are fortunate to have powerful pharmaceutical antibiotics that have been life-changing for many who suffer from serious illnesses. But oftentimes, our everyday infection really doesn’t require that powerful of a medication. And the damage done to your gut flora by human-made antibiotics is not as easily healable as simply consuming fermented foods and probiotics.  

Luckily, long before the genius of humankind, there were natural antibiotics, like garlic, ginger, and onion, which many ailments do respond to. But there are also more powerful natural antibiotics that you may not know much about.

7 Powerful Natural Antibiotics

1. Echinacea

One of nature’s powerful herbs, Echinacea originates in the Rocky Mountain region in North America. This natural remedy is often used to combat cold and flu, and even more severe infections including tonsillitis, strep throat, UTI, vaginal yeast infections, herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, and the list goes on and on.

2. Manuka honey

Manuka honey has also been nicknamed the “healing honey” due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. This dark, viscous nectar has been used by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand for centuries. While consumed as a superfood, the manuka honey is also often topically to directly treat wounds. Manuka honey comes in various forms to treat wounds, even lozenges and creams!

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular spice in South East Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Beyond its flavourful, peppery flavour lie incredible medicinal properties. This spice has been proven beneficial in treating inflammations, wounds, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. A mixture of turmeric and honey, also referred to as turmeric golden honey, is considered one of the strongest antibiotics in Ayurvedic culture. Take 4oz of raw honey, 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of black pepper, and mix well. Just a tablespoon a day of this mixture will help boost your immune system.

4. Cardamom

Another popular spice from Asia, the cardamom boasts a decorative resume. Cardamom has been shown to cure cystitis, nephritis, gonorrhoea, and also help with cardiovascular issues, gastrointestinal infections, and even combating cancer. With strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, you’ll definitely want to keep this spice in your cupboard.

5. Pau d’arco

Pau d’arco, often in the form of bark extract, comes from the lapacho tree native to the Amazonian forest. It has been used by indigenous groups for centuries for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Pau d’arco has been used to treat and prevent a number of conditions: fungal conditions, yeast overgrowth, autoimmune diseases disorders, and tumour growth.

6. Goldenseal

Goldenseal is a popular herb originating from North America. It is often combined with Echinacea to combat cold and flu, but it also has been proven to effectively kill certain bacteria and fungus in test tubes. Its antibacterial properties are most often used to soothe an upset stomach or irregular bowel movements.

7. Oregano oil

Hailed as nature’s most potent antibiotic, the Oregon oil possesses powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal elements. Oregon oil is acclaimed by many doctors, and can be used to treat pretty much anything, from yeast infections, to respiratory infections, to inflammations, to cancer. Its properties are so insurmountable that even doctors haven’t figured out the best way to use it properly. But popular methods, depending on the infection or illness, are diluting it in water or applying it topically.

With the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, these natural antibiotics might be helpful in providing some sort of solution. But it is important to note that some of these natural substances are not suitable for young kids or pregnant women, so remember to always research or consult a professional if you’re unsure.

Did you know about any of these powerful substances? What are your favourite natural antibiotics?

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Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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