Treat infections with natural antibiotics like garlic, oregano oil and tea tree oil
01/25/2022 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Treat infections with natural antibiotics like garlic, oregano oil and tea tree oil

It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction for some people to get prescription antibiotics when dealing with an infection. But conventional antibiotics often do more harm than good, as they kill both good and bad bacteria. Worse, conventional antibiotics can weaken your immune system, possibly giving pathogens a leg up.

Fortunately, there are many natural antibiotics you can use to fight off pathogens and recover from a bad infection faster. Such antibiotics have actually been around for thousands of years in the form of herbs, spices and essential oils. You likely already have a handful of natural antibiotics sitting in your kitchen pantry.

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Fighting infections with natural antibiotics

Conventional antibiotics work by either killing bacteria or preventing them from multiplying. However, these drugs can’t make the distinction between good and bad bacteria and often end up killing both. This is why antibiotics can drastically change the amount and type of bacteria in your gut. Your gut houses millions of good and bad bacteria. Maintaining balance between them is key to a healthy gut. Changes to your gut’s microbial balance can lead to a slew of health issues, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Aside from gastrointestinal issues, antibiotics can also cause abnormal blood clotting, kidney stones, increased sensitivity to sunlight, blood disorders, deafness and, in severe cases, even death.

The good news is, you don’t have to rely on antibiotics when treating or preventing infections. Several studies suggest that natural antibiotics, such as garlic, oregano oil and tea tree oil, are just as effective as conventional antibiotics at killing pathogens.

A 2019 study by students from the Adnan Menderes University in Turkey found that tea tree oil – a potent oil used as a natural medicine by native Australians for centuries – was nearly as effective as conventional antibiotics at killing bacteria. This effect may be due to the powerful compounds in the oil, such as terpinen-4-ol, eucalyptol and terpinene. Tea tree oil has also been shown to cause little to no side effects.

Meanwhile, back in 2014, a group of researchers investigated whether herbal remedies would be effective against small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition in which a person has an excessive amount of bacteria in his small intestine. SIBO usually causes diarrhea and, if left unchecked, may cause malnutrition.

The study, which involved 100 people with SIBO, showed that herbal and nutraceutical therapies were just as effective at treating bacterial overgrowth as rifaximin, a powerful prescription antibiotic.

A 2012 study also showed that diallyl sulfide, a major organosulfur compound present in garlic, was 100 times more effective than two conventional antibiotics, namely, erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, at preventing campylobacteriosis, an infectious disease caused by bacteria from the genus Campylobacter. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get bloody diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.

More natural antibiotics

Here are other natural antibiotics aside from garlic and essential oils:

  • Honey – Honey has a long history of use in traditional medicine. In fact, the medicinal applications of honey can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, who made extensive use of honey as an ointment for wounds. Today, honey, particularly manuka honey, is still used to treat wounds and keep them from becoming infected.
  • Ginger – Ginger is renowned for its antimicrobial activities against two serogroups of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Most strains of E. coli are harmless, but some can cause digestive problems, such as bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps. Ginger’s antimicrobial properties can be attributed to its many powerful compounds, such as borneol, camphene and linalool.
  • Echinacea – Echinacea is a medicinal plant often used to prevent the common cold and the flu. Traditionally, Native Americans also use echinacea to treat infections. Today, experts know that it can kill various bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes. This is the bacteria that causes strep throat.
  • Goldenseal – Goldenseal is a medicinal plant traditionally used to treat skin, eye and urinary tract infections. Experts believe goldenseal’s antimicrobial activities are due to berberine, a substance that has been shown to kill certain strains of bacteria and fungi in in vitro studies.
  • Cloves – Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree. Though typically used for culinary purposes, cloves are also used in India’s Ayurvedic medicine as a natural treatment for toothaches. They are traditionally used in dental procedures as well. Some studies suggest cloves are effective against E. coli.

Garlic, oregano and many other common ingredients have potent antibacterial properties. According to past studies, many of these ingredients are just as effective as conventional antibiotics, minus the side effects. The next time you’re dealing with an infection, take any of the natural antibiotics listed above or incorporate them into your meals.

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

MedicalNewsToday.com 1

MedicalNewsToday.com 2

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