5 Of The Most Highly Regarded Natural Antibiotics

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5 Of The Most Highly Regarded Natural Antibiotics
5 Of The Most Highly Regarded Natural Antibiotics. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Image 1 &2 – pixabay(PD); image 3 – stocksnap.io (PD); image 4 © Thomas Then – Wikipedia – lic. under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The first chemical compound with antibiotic properties to be isolated was called penicillin and was identified in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. It can be used to treat relatively mild conditions such as acne, as well as potentially life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia.

Before manufactured antibiotics, people relied on natural remedies and many people are unaware nowadays that there are many plants and some minerals that have remarkably potent natural antibiotic qualities.

Originally, all medicines were developed from natural resources and herbalists have a wide array of remedies to choose from that have natural antibiotic qualities. Plants have long been humanity’s primary medicines and they are remarkably inexpensive as well as readily available. But did you know that herbal medicines are still used by 80% of the world population for primary health care? They have stood the test of time for their safety, efficacy, cultural acceptability and their lesser side effects. [1]

Here are five of the most highly regarded natural antibiotics:

1. Garlic

Garlic is recognized not only as a spice but also as a substance which exerts a control on microorganisms. Garlic extract has a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial activity against many genera of bacteria and fungi. The principal active ingredient is called allicin and it is a key component to killing and warding off harmful bacteria. [2]

2. Colloidal Silver

Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results. It has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host. [3]

3. Honey

Honey is an ancient remedy for the treatment of infected wounds which has recently been rediscovered by the medical profession. The antimicrobial activity in most honey is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide and can combat bacteria that cause life-threatening diseases to humans. [4]

4. Echinacea

Echinacea is widely used to fight infections, especially the common cold, the flu, and other upper respiratory infections. [5]

5. Oil Of Oregano

Carvacrol is the key antimicrobial ingredient in oregano oil which is known to destroy the bacteria membrane. It eradicates the pathogenic bacteria without killing the good ones. [6]

The Problem Of Antibiotic Resistance: Herbs To The Rescue?

The simple effectiveness and easy access to manufactured antibiotics worldwide has led them to be overprescribed and also incorrectly used – leading to the problem of antibiotic resistance. [2] In short, bacterial colonies build up a tolerance to the manufactured medicines used against them by evolving, leading to fully resistant strains.

This is a global problem with serious consequences: According to a report by the World Health Organization in 2014, antibiotic resistance is no longer regarded as a prediction for something that will happen in the future but is a reality that is here and now: There are now bacteria that are now resistant to all manufactured antibiotics. This is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. People can help tackle resistance by using antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor and never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions. [3]

What’s fascinating is that herbal and natural antibiotics have not been found to lead to antibiotic resistance. Hence it is believed that herbal medicines may come to play a vital role in helping to lessen or reduce microbial tolerance in the years ahead. Interestingly, eucalyptus essential oil sprays are already being used in hospitals in Australia for cleaning for this very reason, as they have been found to be effective against MRSA (Staph superbugs that have become resistant to manufactured antibiotics).


[1] Kamboj. V. P. (2000) Herbal Medicine. https://iisc.ernet.in/~currsci/jan102000/GENERALARTICLES.PDF

[2] Adetumbi, M. (1983) Alliumsativum (garlic) — A natural antibiotic. https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0306987783900403

[3] Searle, Alfred B. (1920) The use of colloids in health and disease. https://archive.org/details/useofcolloidsinh00searuoft

[4] Mandal, Manisha (2011) Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

[5] Tierra, M. (2007) Echinacea: an effective alternative to antibiotics. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18285309

[6] Di Pasqua, R (2007) Membrane toxicity of antimicrobial compounds from essential oils. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17497876

[7] NHS (2014) Antibiotics. https://nhs.uk/conditions/Antibiotics-penicillins/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[8] The World Health Organization. (2014) WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health. https://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/amr-report/en/

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