13 Proven Natural Antibiotics That Don’t Require a Prescription (Science Based)

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13 Powerful Antibiotics That Don’t Require a Prescription

Antibiotics are a group of medicines that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites, and they are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the US.


Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria and they don’t differentiate between good or bed bacteria. As a result, every time you swallow antibiotics, you kill the beneficial bacteria within your intestines. Good bacteria in the gut help people in many ways, including helping make vitamins and boosting immunity. Some researchers think that killing them off with antibiotics may be contributing to an increase in chronic health conditions such as obesity, asthma and cancer. (1, 2, 3). If you do need to take antibiotics you should also take probiotics which will help to restore the good bacteria in your gut.

Nature has several other highly effective substances with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, all able to protect the human body safely and with deep healing powers.

Here are 13 natural antibiotics still in use around the world. I would like to note that this article is not intended to replace medicine, a doctor’s care or medical treatment.

1. Goldenseal is a Natural Antibiotic

Goldenseal is used by many people as a homemade antibiotic. Goldenseal is easily grown in the United States and has become a popular natural method of killing bacteria.

Medicinal uses of goldenseal include treating digestive problems, UTIs, eye infection and canker sores. It’s also sometimes mixed with echinacea to alleviate cold symptoms. The berberine found in it can destroy bacteria, parasites, and even strengthen white blood cells. (4,5)

How to use goldenseal as a homemade antibiotic:

There are several forms of Goldenseal including pills, extracted liquid and glycerites. The most popular method of ingestion is mixing liquid extract to wash over your skin since it doesn’t absorb effectively when taken orally.

Precautions
Ask your doctor before taking goldenseal if you’re currently on any other type of medication. It may cause irritation of the skin and increase it’s sensitivity to sunlight in some users. Avoid using it if you have high blood pressure.

2. Oregon Grape (Berberine) is Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral

Oregon Grape (Berberine) is a natural antibiotic that functions like its close relative goldenseal. Medical practitioners are beginning to shift toward this herb because it’s less difficult to produce. The alkaloid berberine is the most effective ingredient in the root. It helps digestion and can kill a variety of harmful microbes that cause viral sickness. (6)

Use – People tend to use this supplement in tincture or tea form. The root can be chopped into hot water and actually tastes pretty good thanks to the alkaloids.

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Precautions
The dried root shouldn’t be exposed to much light or heat and should be thrown away after a year of storage. Some people experience nausea after the first few doses.

3. Andrographis Paniculata is a Strong Herbal Antibiotic

The root and leaf of this South Asian plant has a commonplace in relieving cold symptoms. It’s also been used to treat insect bites, hemorrhoids and a wide variety of infections. The active ingredient in most andrographis supplements is called andrographolide. (7,8)

How to use Andrographis Paniculata as an herbal antibiotic:

The best bet for this supplement is to search for capsules and tablets containing no less than 20% andrographolide. Look at the recommended dosage on the label.

Precautions
Don’t use the product for longer than three months. If you experience diarrhea, upset stomach, or a headache stop taking it immediately.

4. Manuka Honey is Naturally Antibacterial

Some people call Manuka honey a natural penicillin because it’s naturally antiseptic.

Interestingly enough, this natural antibiotic comes from New Zealand bees that pollinate the Manuka bush. It can be used to repair infected tissue, reduce cholesterol and treat diabetes. Methylglyoxal is the compound identified as the active ingredient and primarily responsible for the antibacterial action of Manuka honey. The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) level in Manuka products measures the concentration of methylglyoxal and should be no less than 10 UMF for medical benefit. (910, 11, 12)

Use – You can apply Manuka honey directly to a wound or burn for optimal results.

Further reading: The 10 most amazing Manuka honey health benefits and uses.

Precautions
Manuka honey may elevate blood sugar or cause an allergic reaction. It also interacts negatively with chemotherapy medication.

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is Antimicrobial

Tea tree oil is extracted from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree is now becoming a widely-used natural health remedy thanks to its versatility. The most recurrent use is treating cuts, acne, toenail fungus and infections.

Studies have shown that tea tree oil is antibacterial and it works effectively in both infection preventing and healing bacterial issues. (13).

Use – You can find tea tree oil in many products such as hair products, lip balms, lotions, soaps, and pure essential oil. It shouldn’t ever be taken by mouth. (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

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If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

Precautions
Test the oil on a small area of your skin to check for allergies prior to use.

6. Garlic is a Very Strong Natural Antibiotic

Studies confirmed that garlic is a very strong natural antibiotic that can also add flavor to your meals. (20)

Garlic is used as an alternative to antibiotics because it fights heart disease, cold symptoms, boosts your immune system, and has effective antibacterial properties. Research found that some sulfuric compounds in garlic contribute to heart health, but the main medical component in garlic is allicin, a chemical that also contributes to its trademark smell. (21, 22. 23, 24, 25)

Use – The most popular way to use garlic is by adding it to your dishes, eating it raw or in powdered form. There are also garlic oils, extracts, and freeze-dried tablets. Find more information in my articles how to use garlic as a medicine and avoid these 6 common mistakes when using garlic as an antibiotic.

Precautions
Some people who take too much garlic may experience a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odor and diarrhea. These side effects are often worse with raw garlic. Also garlic might prolong bleeding, so stop taking garlic at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery. It can also interfere with certain medications.

7. Echinacea can Fight off Infections

Native Americans have used echinacea as a way to fight off infections and treat injuries for over 400 years. Medical studies have confirmed that echinacea is an effective alternative to antibiotics.

Studies have revealed its ability to lessen pain, diminish inflammation, act as an antiviral and antioxidant. The glycoproteins, volatile oils, flavonoids, and alkamides in the root all help treat athlete’s foot, UTIs, ear infections, and injuries that heal slowly. (26, 27, 28, 29)

Use – Echinacea is available in tinctures, pills, extracts, and ointments. It’s commonly found in capsules and tablets mixed in with other natural health supplements. The root, leaves and flowers can also be steeped into hot tea. See here the recipe for echinacea tea to boost your immune system.

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Precautions
Some supplement companies use misleading labels with products that contain very little echinacea so read carefully the product label. Avoid taking if you have diabetes, HIV, liver troubles or multiple sclerosis. Echinacea can also cause a rare allergic reaction in some people.

8. Pau D’Arco

This supplement is extracted from the wood and bark of the Pau D’Arco tree. Evidence suggests that Pau D’Arco can help treat intestinal worms, ulcers, yeast infection, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The main chemical extracted from the tree for medical purposes is called lapachol.

How to use Pau D’Arco as a homemade antibiotic:

Pau d’arco is sold as tablets, dried bark tea and tincture. The chemicals that give pau d’arco its medicinal effects don’t dissolve well in water, so a tea is not recommended.

Precautions
Exercise extra caution when using this natural antibiotic. High doses can result in serious diarrhea, nausea and internal bleeding. It interferes with medications that slow blood clotting, so talk to your physician before using a Pau D’Arco product.

9. Ginger

Ginger is a common staple in the culinary world that has a prevalent presence in holistic medicine as a natural antibiotic.  (30, 31)

Ginger is considered an effective way to ward off nausea caused by motion sickness or pregnancy. The phenol compounds like shogaols and gingerols are the main medicinal component in the root that contribute to the anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as lowering cholesterol. (32, 33, 34, 35, 36).

Use – Ginger is best known for its use as a spice in the kitchen. You can also find ginger extracts, tinctures, capsules and essential oil. A popular method is brewing hot ginger tea, and you can find in my previous article how to make anti-inflammatory and pain relief ginger turmeric tea. You can also find more information in my previous article on how to use ginger as a medicine.

Adding ginger to your diet is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Precautions
Pregnant women should consult with a doctor before taking a concentrated amount of ginger as in ginger supplement (ginger is considered safe when used in amounts found in food), and ginger should not be given to children under 2 years old.

Ginger may also interact with certain prescription medications. For example it may not be safe if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning drugs. Therefore talk with your doctor before taking it.

Further reading: Ginger Should Be Avoided By These People.

10. Olive Leaf Extract

Medical studies have confirmed that olive leaf extract has strong antibacterial activity. (37)

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The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the olive tree are packed with natural health benefits. Olive leaf extract can treat infections, both viral and bacterial, and also increases healthy bacteria in the stomach. (38, 39)

The polyphenol called oleuropein and fatty acids found in the plant are the main components in medical use.

Find more information in my article about the health benefits of olive leaf including how to make your own olive leaf tea.

Use – Olive leaf extract is most effective as a pill, topical cream, and liquid extract. It can be applied directly to the skin or consumed with a suggested maximum dose of 60g per day.

Precautions
Generally it’s one of the safest options on this list. The pollen created by the plant will sometimes irritate people with seasonal allergies. (40)

11. Oil of Oregano is Naturally Antimicrobial

The leaf of the oregano plant has been used for a variety of medical purposes. Scientific studies have shown that oregano oil has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. (41) Oregano oil also has antiviral properties. (45)

Its main use is in respiratory health by treating symptoms of coughing, asthma and bronchitis. When the carvacrol is extracted from oregano it has the potential to fight off parasites, eliminate bacteria and alleviate acne. (42, 43, 44)

Use – Oregano oil can be mixed with hand sanitizer, vaporized into the air, rubbed onto the skin, or taken in pill form. 600 mg a day is sufficient for stomach parasites.

Precautions
Oregano is relatively harmless when found in recipes for cooking. In medical amounts it can cause upset stomach if too much is taken and can interfere with medications containing lithium. Also pregnant women should avoid taking it. There’s also potential for allergic reactions.

12. Turmeric (curcumin)

A relative to ginger, turmeric has a lineage of antibiotic use. (46)

It’s been suggested to help with stomach ulcers, indigestion, heart disease, and viral as well as bacterial infections. The curcumin found in the root of the plant is the main source of antioxidant and antibiotic benefits. (47, 48, 49, 50, 51)

Use – Turmeric root can be consumed raw but is most commonly dried and powdered. The powder can either be ingested in a drink, sprinkled onto food, or simply found in a capsule. There are also tinctures dissolved in alcohol and liquid extracts of turmeric. Find more information in the article about the health benefits of turmeric, including a recipe for a golden milk.

Precautions
Turmeric is considered a generally safe herb but when used too much it can cause an upset stomach and even ulcers. If you have surgery scheduled within two weeks turmeric should be avoided because of the blood thinning properties. Also taking turmeric by mouth in medicinal amounts is likely unsafe in pregnancy.

Further reading: Turmeric Should Be Avoided By These People.

13. Virgin Coconut Oil

The saturated fats found in coconut oil contain antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties which strengthen your immune system. Coconut oil can further benefit the skin by treating and preventing skin infections and also helps in treating various skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and many more. (52)

Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties which help to fight indigestion-causing bacteria, fungi and parasites, and has been effectively used to prevent and cure candida. Some of the most promising research in recent years has been in the area of using lauric acid or monolaurin, both derived from coconut oil, in treatments for antibiotic resistant super germs. (53)

One medical study was conducted at Georgetown University in 2005 and found the these substances in coconut oil can inhibit the growth of many pathogenic microorganisms. (54) Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil, has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics. (55)

Find more information in the article about the many health benefits of coconut oil.

Use – Coconut oil can be added to smoothies, hot drinks, stir fries, baked goods or as a spread on a toast.

Precautions
Always opt for organic, virgin coconut oil and avoid all the refined stuff. Coconut oil is safe for most people if used in amounts commonly found in foods, and despite the many health benefits of coconut oil, like many things in life, moderation is the key. This means that up to 3 tbsp. daily per adult is an appropriate dose.

Mother Nature gives us great natural alternative to antibiotics – next time the you feel unwell try these natural alternatives to antibiotics. if you are pregnant or breastfeeding please consult with your doctor before using any of these herbal antibiotics.

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15 Responses to 13 Proven Natural Antibiotics That Don’t Require a Prescription (Science Based)

  1. Marcie says:

    Trying to heal a tattoo that I have had a reaction to the ink (purple ,I am on a steriiod cream it keeps it at bay and then it flares up Im hoping something herbal I seen the coconut oil or even hemp any suggestion ,,,,, grateful for any

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Marcie, there are various of herbs with antibiotic properties that you can apply to the skin, such as coconut oil, Manuka honey or diluted tea tree oil in a carrier oil.
      Apply it on the skin and cover with a bandage. If you see that the situation does not improve or becomes worse, go to see your doctor, as you may need something stronger.

    • Di says:

      Hey I had the same problem steriod creams and tablets don’t help. Finally I asked a tribal what they use and she suggested neem. If you can buy neem oil from a natural health care store it will sort you out in a week.
      Though I must warn you that you might lose the purple colour.

  2. Melissa says:

    I have an intolerance to ginger. Is it likely that the same could be said for turmeric? I tested positive for producing antibodies to ginger. Also, would I be likely to have an intolerance to pistachios, as I have also tested positive to reacting to cashews? T

    Also wondering if I should stop having garlic, as I have fibroids causing excessive bleeding. Thanks

    • Jenny says:

      Ginger and turmeric are from the same family so I would talk to a doctor about this issue. Foods in the same Family share a similar molecule structure inside and can cause you to react to several or all foods in that family (although it doesn’t have to – it’s not black or white). Same goes for cashews and pistachios – why taking any risk? it’s best to be on the safe side and see what your doctor says. As for garlic and fibroids – I haven’t seen references that garlic can worsen fibroids.

  3. David peters says:

    Do you have any suggestions on what to do about severe allergy problems with sinuses? I wake up in the morning with my head feeling very stuffed up, and our Dr. Seems to be unable to give me anything that helps my situation.

  4. Jojo says:

    Hello,

    I am currently taking antibiotics prescribed to me by my doctor. I really don’t want to take it and I’d prefer something organic/natural. My question is can I skip the antibiotics and just take echinacea or should i call my doctor first?

    • Jenny says:

      There are cases when antibiotics is really needed, for example when the infection is substantial. You always have to consult with your doctor first regarding your specific condition, and follow his/her advice. Don’t do self diagnosis.

  5. karen says:

    Colloidal silver is very effective

  6. Percy Padgett says:

    Plant Nasturtiums and when the flowers die ( after the bees have been pollinating ) you are left with a triple green seed from eachflower about the size of three petit pois. Nip three triple heads off the plant and chew them to a pulp and swallow , with a drop of water if you don’t like the spicyness. Repeat again at night and do this for 3 to 6 days. Nasturtium seeds are Antibiotic and neither you nor the bugs can build up a resistance to them! All down to the involvement of bees. If you want to know more just search the web for Nasturtiom Antibiotic and you will be gobsmacked. You can also nip the seed heads off the plant and freeze them for use in Winter and they are just as good.

    I used to always be at the Docs for antibiotics but I haven’t seen him since for the past 10 years cos I growmy own as do dozens of my friends. By the way in 2003 I nearly died on the test bench in. Hospital, now I’m nearly 72 and fitter than I ever was in mid life.

    All the best. Percy

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