You may have gathered by now that I am not a fan of routine antibiotic use. Antibiotics are over prescribed and the overuse of antibiotics causes problems such as……
- Poor gut health among individuals and therefore poor immune systems —> read more about that here.
- Antibiotic resistance and the creation of what we now call “super-bugs”
- Researchers believe that antibiotic resistant bacteria is the number one threat to the health of society (not anti-vaccination parents)
Antibiotics prescribed by medical professionals are not the only way we are being exposed to antibiotics either. Did you know your food, even your fruits and vegetables, are being contaminated with antibiotics? What does that mean? It means you don’t even need to be prescribed antibiotics to be getting them.
Let’s talk about super-bugs. A super-bug is a strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria. MRSA and C.Diff may ring a bell. Super-bugs have become multi-drug antibiotic resistant through the overuse of antibiotics. They are exposed to the antibiotic, which doesn’t totally kill it and then they come out the other side stronger and well-adapted. The same issue is happening among livestock. And to make it even scarier, these super-bugs among livestock are easily transferable to humans, especially with today’s standard of farming.
So what is a person to do?
Let me clarify by saying that I do believe antibiotics have a place. They can save lives, without a doubt! The issue here is misuse and overuse. Sepsis? Antibiotics. Ear infection? No antibiotics.
The widely accepted protocol seems to be bacterial=antibiotics and viral= no antibiotics. But there is more to this. First of all, are we testing people for bacterial versus viral infections? Or is a lot of it a guessing game by the provider? When it comes to things like the common cold, sinus infections, ear infections, coughs etc. it usually comes down to a guess based on symptoms and observation.
The most important thing I want to share here is that there are alternatives to antibiotics! So even when you have a bacterial infection it does not mean run out and get antibiotics. There is ALWAYS something you can try at home first and there are quite a few natural “antibiotics”.
Natural “antibiotics” are unique in that they do not target all of your bacteria. Antibiotics go in and destroy all your bacteria, good or bad. This makes natural antibiotics a wiser option when trying to save your microbiome and preserve your overall immune health. They also give the added benefit of being antiviral and anti-fungal.
Here are my top 5 natural antibiotics.
- Oil of oregano: The two active ingredients in oregano are thymol and carvacrol. These ingredients give oregano powerful antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties. Oil of oregano is a great item to keep on hand. It can be used for sinus infections, yeast infections, UTI’s, parasites, strep throat, bronchitis, croup, food poisoning, the common cold, influenza and more!
How to take it: Oil of oregano is not the same thing as essential oil oregano. NEVER ingest essential oils unless under the care of a licensed clinical aromatherapist. And never attempt to swallow oregano EO, you will end up burning your throat and esophagus. The essential oil oregano can be used topically, as long as you follow safety guidelines (read more here).This is a good brand to look for. Check out this blog post on how to take oil of oregano and how to give it to kids. Please consult your physician for dosing guidelines if using with children. Oil of oregano should be taken like an antibiotic, meaning no longer than 7-10 days, maybe 14 days.
- Garlic: The joke among our family is that the vampires will never be coming for mom! And it’s true. I cook with garlic daily. If I feel anything coming on I will incorporate fresh, raw, organic garlic. Considered a broad spectrum “antibiotic” it is even thought to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus (MRSA), mycobacterium tuberculosis and salmonella. It has powerful antiviral properties making it a powerful competitor against viral meningitis, herpes, viral pneumonia, and influenza. It also can kill fungi, yeasts, molds and parasites.
How to take it: You can purchase in a capsule form but I like to use fresh, raw garlic (organic and grown in the U.S. is best). You can peel, lightly crush and then swallow the clove like a pill or chop up and eat it on something like toast. For children this gets harder, one option is to hide half a clove in a smoothie. For ear infections you can use garlic oil directly in the ear. Read more about that here.
- Raw honey: The medicinal usage of honey is found in some of the oldest medical literature and it’s powerful antimicrobial properties are still being researched. Honey is even being utilized in allopathic medicine. There is a protein that bees add to honey, called defensin-1, that is thought to be responsible for some of its healing properties and it has even been shown to combat antibiotic resistant infections. Honey is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.How to take it: Due to the risk of botulism, honey should not be given to babies under the age of one. It is best to purchase local raw or manuka honey. You really can’t over do it on dosing….well I mean I guess you could if you tried. But realistically an adult can take a few spoonfuls a day and a child can take a couple spoonfuls a day. You can mix in water but it needs be very lukewarm water to help preserve the healing properties. Honey also makes for a great wound care ointment.
- Cayenne pepper: Like honey and garlic, the use of cayenne’s medicinal properties trace back quite some time. It is a great spice to keep in your pantry for cooking and for your health! Antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties make this a powerful spice! The active ingredient in cayenne is Capsaicin, which not only gives it heat but its healing properties as well. Capsaicin also is known to be a strong anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It also increases blood circulation, which promotes healing.
How to take it: More than likely this is going be an adult only option because it is hard to hide the taste of cayenne and let’s face it broccoli is a struggle for most of us. It is best to take cayenne in a tincture or its powdered spice form, not capsules. As soon as I feel that tickle in my throat I will make myself a warm glass of water with 1/4 tsp of cayenne, honey and lemon. It usually knocks the sore right out of my throat. Cayenne is great to use if you have strep throat as well. Caution: Cayenne does have blood thinning properties, so please consult your doctor if you are prone to clotting disorders or take prescription blood thinners.
- Biocidin®: I was first introduced to Biocidin in the form of a throat spray, given to me by my chiropractor years ago. But I didn’t know how powerful this stuff was. I was re-introduced to it a few years later by my child’s pediatrician. Biocidin is a broad spectrum botanical formula. It is an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. It can be used for a number of ailments. Biocidin – Head To Toe sheet is a list from the company showing some of the things Biocidin can treat. I love keeping the throat spray on hand for sore throats and strep throat.How to take it: Dosing is going to be based on weight and which specific product you have. The website has complete dosing information. https://biocidin.com/
I lied there are 6……
- Monolaurin: A chemical made from lauric acid, which is found in breast milk and coconut milk. Coconut is 48% lauric acid and converts to monolaurin in the body. A powerful substance that can kill stuff like H. Pylori, MRSA, herpes, influenza, candida and even HIV. Excellent for boosting immunity as well as fighting bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Monolaurin can kill viruses that have a lipid (fat) membrane and incorporates itself into the cell membrane of gram-positive bacteria, destroying the membrane and therefore the cell. Monolaurin also boosts immunity by increasing your number of T-cellsHow to take it: You may think that taking coconut oil by the spoonful is the best way, but you would need to take quite a bit. It is best to purchase monolaurin in capsule or pellet form.
A couple more notes on natural antibiotics….
The sooner the better. Natural antibiotics will not work as fast as prescription antibiotics. It is best to start your natural antibiotics at the onset of your symptoms. The longer you take to get serious about treating naturally, the longer it takes to work and the higher chance it wont work.
Just take all of the things. If I catch my symptoms right away I will usually start with some garlic and a cayenne pepper drink with honey. If it hits me hard I will do oregano as well. Biocidin is very effective and you probably don’t need to take anything else with it.
Zhang, H., Zhou, Y., Huang, Y., Wu, L., Liu, X., & Luo, Y. (2016). Residues and risks of veterinary antibiotics in protected vegetable soils following application of different manures. Chemosphere, 229–237.
Al-Waili, N., Salom, K., Al-Ghamdi, A., & Ansari, M. J. (2012). Antibiotic, pesticide, and microbial contaminants of honey: human health hazards. TheScientificWorldJournal, 930849.
**DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnosis or treat, as I am not a doctor. Please consult with your physician before starting any new vitamins, diets, or remedies. And always do your own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe.**