Used more and more in integrative medicine, natural antibiotic therapy is still an unknown territory and people still find it difficult to understand how to they work. Can natural antibiotics replace the synthetic ones? Should they be taking together with the conventional treatment? How to they work best? We will try to answer all of these questions and many more, in this article.
What is an all-natural antibiotic?
Natural antibiotics are plant-based supplements or herbs that have strong antimicrobial properties. In short, these natural remedies can enhance your immune system and help fight fungal, bacterial, viral and parasitic infections.
Integrative medicine experts usually recommend them for mild urinary tract infections, gut candida or to treat the first signs of a cough or cold. But even if they contain antioxidant and antibacterial compounds that can aid in your personal hygiene, natural antibiotics also have limitations. So, it is very important to know that whenever you will fight with an infection, you should talk to your health care provider first and never treat yourself.
What are the best all-natural antibiotics?
Every time you’re taking a natural remedy, make sure you follow your doctor guidelines because each body is different and even if these solutions come from the very heart of nature, they can still have side effects that you should be aware of. It’s understandable that everyone wants to avoid ruining their microbiome flora with the conventional antibiotics but before using these five antimicrobial agents, make sure you talk to your doctor:
- Oregano oil.
Oregano oil has been shown to be extremely helpful against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, especially those fungal infections in your but. So if you’re dealing with candida overgrowth, this essential oil can effective against the most common form of yeast. Studies have shown that oregano oil can target both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well and this makes it a broad-spectrum natural antibiotic that has the ability to fight against inflammation, viruses and allergies as well. Although it has a quite pungent flavor, oregano oil can also help patients with parasitic infections or those who have upper respiratory problems.
Garlic is well known for its antimicrobial properties and it can have a positive impact on different conditions from increased blood pressure and cholesterol to heart disease. Its main compound, allicin can be used as a broad-spectrum natural antibiotic as well or enhance they effects of your medication. To achieve results, you should ingest up to two cloves of raw garlic a day but make sure you’re not eating too much since it can cause internal bleeding. Although too pungent for many people, garlic was used in ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, for people that were having cold symptoms or other virus or bacterial infections. However, you should talk to your doctor before using garlic as an antibiotic, especially if you’re taking blood-thinning medication.
Uva-ursi, or bear’s grape is a natural remedy used to treat UTI. Quite similar to the medicinal drugs that contain ciprofloxacin, this plant has a bioactive compound that can prevent the overgrowth of bacteria on the cell wall in your bladder. Uva-ursi becomes an effective urinary tract infection medicine, eliminating this metabolite in the urine and killing bacteria. So, at first sign of urinary discomfort, crush some leaves of bear’s grape and enjoy its benefits, unless you are not allergic to quinolones in which case this remedy is not the best option for you. Talk to your doctor before start using uva-ursi to make sure your UTI will not turn bad eventually.
Those who suffer from candida, parasite overgrowth or bacterial infections should try berberine as well because this natural remedy has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Great for those who want to do a full gut healing protocol or for those who suffer from acute food poisoning or diarrhea, berberine can help you eliminate parasite, bacteria and fungi while protecting your beneficial probiotic flora. However, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating moms since it can have harmful effects on the baby.
- Colloidal silver:
Colloidal silver (or silver particles that are suspended in water) has been traditionally used in integrative medicine as a broad-spectrum antibiotic that can attack even antibiotics-resistant Strains of staphylococcus like MRSA. Even if it has anti-fungal and antiviral properties, FDA does not recognize this natural remedy as an antibiotic. Colloidal silver can be ingested in liquid form or applied topically, directly on an infection (to treat sye for example). Remember to always check the dosage on the label since if can vary depending on what ailment you have.
- Manuka honey:
The best natural antibiotic, honey was used since 2000 B.C to fight infections, to treat bed sores or burns or to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This natural elixir has a high sugar content but a low pH and this mix makes it a great antibacterial agent with amazing immune-boosting properties. So if you want to fight cough, decrease inflammation or repair tissue, apply Manuka honey on your wound or mix it with your cough syrup and enjoy its full health benefits, unless you are not allergic to bees. To make sure its properties are not denatured, look for a product that is labeled with a 12-16 UMF (unique Manuka factor). This remedy is not recommended for babies.
In conclusion, although all these antibiotics derived from natural sources can work as well as modern medicine, you should always ask advice from your healthcare provider before exploring these options. Don’t forget to only take antibiotics when necessary since you don’t want to build antibiotic resistance to the medication. If your doctor prescribes you antibiotics, make sure to always finish the entire treatment plan.