Do natural antibiotics really work?

Antibiotics kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. Although you might think of antibiotics as modern medicine, they’ve actually been around for centuries. Like modern antibiotics, the first antibiotics were derived from natural sources.

Some plant extracts, essential oils, and even foods have antibiotic properties. For example, certain vegetables and vegetable extracts prevent the growth of bacteria in food.

Sometimes these features help with personal hygiene in addition to food. Cranberry extract contains antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds, making it a home remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Herbs can also be antibiotics. A small sample of 58 Chinese herbs found 23 to be antibacterial and 15 to be antifungal.

A 2014 study found that herbal remedies are just as effective as chemical antibiotics in treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Read on to learn about five popular antibiotics that you can use at home.

Option 1: Honey
Honey is one of the oldest antibiotics dating back to ancient times. Egyptians used honey as a natural antibiotic and skin protectant.

Honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which is responsible for some of its antibacterial properties. It also helps to stop the growth of some bacteria due to its high sugar content.

In addition, honey has a low pH. This draws moisture from the bacteria, causing the bacteria to become dehydrated and die.

To use honey as an antibiotic, apply it directly to a wound or infected area. Honey kills bacteria and helps in healing. Choose raw Manuka honey when possible. This form of honey has the greatest health benefits. You can buy raw Manuka honey here.

You can drink honey to help treat internal infections. Simply swallow a spoonful or add to a warm cup of herbal tea for a soothing effect.

Honey is safe for use on the skin and body, but honey should not be given to children under 1 year of age. Instead, consult your healthcare provider for an appropriate option.

Option 2: Garlic extract
Garlic has long been known to have antimicrobial properties. A 2011 study found that garlic concentrate is effective against bacteria. You can purchase garlic concentrate or extract at your local health food store. You can also make your own by soaking a few cloves of garlic in olive oil.

Garlic is safe to consume, but consuming large amounts can cause internal bleeding. Up to two cloves per day is considered an acceptable dose. If you are taking a garlic supplement, follow the dosage instructions provided.

If you are on blood thinners, consult your doctor before using garlic as an antibiotic. Consuming large amounts of garlic increases the effectiveness of this medicine.

You can also apply garlic concentrate directly on the sores and blemishes.

Find a variety of garlic supplements here.

Option 3: Myrrh extract
Although many people know about myrrh, its ability to kill harmful bacteria is not so common.

A 2000 study concluded that myrrh extract kills several everyday pathogens. It includes:

E. coli
Staphylococcus aureus
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Candida albicans
Myrrh is generally well tolerated, but ingestion can cause diarrhea. If myrrh is applied to the skin, a small rash may occur. If consumed in large doses, myrrh can cause heart disease.

Myrrh is usually packaged, so follow the dosage instructions on the label.

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