Seven natural antibiotics for all occasions
According to statistics, 1 out of 10 people have side effects from taking medications (in particular, antibiotics), which harm the digestive system. And 1 out of 15 people is allergic to antibiotics.
With the steady increase in drug-resistant bacteria, scientists are increasingly “looking to nature” during the development of new drugs. Some natural substances have antibacterial properties and are safe to use.
Here are seven natural antibiotics that have formed the basis of many scientific studies.
Cultures around the world have long recognized garlic for its preventative and healing properties.
Studies have confirmed that garlic can be an effective remedy against many forms of bacteria, including Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Garlic has even been considered a multidrug-resistant anti-tuberculosis drug.
Since the days of Aristotle, honey has been used as an ointment that helps wounds heal, prevent, or stretch an infection. Today, health professionals have found this useful in the treatment of chronic wounds, burns, ulcers, bedsores and skin grafts. For example, a 2016 study showed that honey dressings can help heal wounds.
The antibacterial effects of honey are usually associated with the content of hydrogen peroxide. However, manuka honey fights bacteria, although it has a lower hydrogen peroxide content.
A 2011 study reported that honey inhibits approximately 60 species of bacteria. It also suggests that honey successfully heals wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Also, honey can help wounds heal by providing a protective coating.
The scientific community also recognizes ginger as a natural antibiotic. Several studies, including those published in 2017, have demonstrated the ability of ginger to fight many bacteria.
Researchers are also studying the ability of ginger to combat seasickness and nausea, as well as lower blood sugar.
Healers have used echinacea for hundreds of years to treat infections and wounds.
A study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology reports that Echinacea purpurea extract can kill many different types of bacteria, including streptococcus pyogenes. They are responsible for streptococcal throat, toxic shock syndrome and necrotic fasciitis.
Echinacea can also fight inflammation associated with a bacterial infection.
5. Hydrastis (Canadian yellow root)
Hydrastis is usually consumed in tea or capsules to treat respiratory and digestive problems.
However, it can also fight bacterial diarrhea and urinary tract infections.
In addition, a recent study confirms the use of this plant for the treatment of skin infections.
Important: A person taking prescription drugs should consult a doctor before taking Hydrastis, as this supplement may interfere with treatment.
Hydrastis also contains berberine, an important component of natural antibiotics. This alkaloid is not safe for infants, pregnant women, or while breastfeeding.
Cloves are traditionally used in dental procedures. Studies now find that clove water extract can be effective against many different types of bacteria.
Some people believe that oregano boosts the immune system and acts as an antioxidant and may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Although scientists have not yet confirmed these claims, some studies show that oregano is one of the most effective natural antibiotics, especially in oil.
The risks of natural antibiotics
Amounts and concentrations of active ingredients vary among natural supplements. While cooked garlic is usually safe to consume, studies show that concentrated garlic can increase the risk of bleeding. This can be dangerous for people undergoing surgery or taking blood thinners. Garlic concentrates can also reduce the usefulness of HIV medications.
Colloidal silver should be avoided – this substance consists of microscopic pieces of silver suspended in water. It is recommended for the treatment of various diseases, including bubonic plague and HIV. However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, this can be dangerous, and no credible research supports its use. Colloidal supplementation may affect the effectiveness of antibiotics and drugs used to treat the hyoid thyroid.