Natural antibiotics have existed for centuries before their synthetic counterparts took the market. From battling stubborn respiratory tract infections, easing Candida overgrowth, or treating external infections, natural antibiotics have long since proven their ability to heal.
The thing I like best about natural antibiotics is that they don’t completely destroy your gut flora, unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics. When our gut gets attacked by antibiotics, our immunity is compromised big time. The result? An even weaker immune system and higher susceptibility to illness and disease.
Not to mention, many super-bugs have developed as a result of multi-drug resistance. The number increases each year, making pharmaceutical-grade antibiotics practically useless. Natural antibiotics, however, stand the test of time and remain some of the strongest methods of eliminating harmful bacteria from our body.
With that being said, if you must take conventional antibiotics, only take them when you absolutely need them. If your body can fight the infection, then let it do so. You can also improve your body’s ability to fight infection by improving your diet and ditching the processed foods. More fresh, whole fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds will ensure your immunity stays high.
And of course, another great way of protecting yourself from bacterial infections is by incorporating natural antibiotics into your everyday diet.
15 BEST Natural Antibiotics and Antibacterials
Having these natural antibiotics on hand at all times will ensure you have something to turn to when supplies are hard to find.
1. Colloidal Silver
Good For: pink eye, ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, eczema, psoriasis, and ringworm
Colloidal silver has been shown to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which are virtually indestructible by modern medicine. One study found that over 650 different disease-causing pathogens were wiped out after minutes of being exposed to a small drop of colloidal silver (1).
If you’re wanting to maintain your health over the long term, take 1 teaspoon under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds before swallowing. If you’re wanting to build up your immune system, do this same dosage 3 times a day. For short-term immune support (not longer than a couple weeks), take 1 teaspoon 7 times a day.
Good For: respiratory problems, athlete’s foot, bacterial vaginitis, toothaches, chronic bronchitis, and yeast infections
Garlic cloves are one of the best natural antibiotics out there. Its active compound, allicin, gives garlic its incredible antimicrobial powers. Studies have found that garlic is effective against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains of Escherichia coli (2).
Make sure you eat your garlic raw, as allicin gets destroyed by high heat. You can take garlic in tincture form, or eat it raw in a salad or juice!
3. Oil of Oregano
Good For: athlete’s foot or toenail fungus, gingivitis, common colds, earaches or toothaches, and digestive problems like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth)
Carcavol found in oil of oregano is so potent that it has been the focus of over 800 studies. Taking oil of oregano helps fight multiple types of harmful pathogens, including bacteria, fungi and yeast. One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food stated that oregano oils “represent an inexpensive source of natural antibacterial substances that [exhibit] potential for use in pathogenic systems (3).”
I personally treat oil of oregano like a full-spectrum antibiotic, so I don’t take it all the time. I only suggest taking it when you’re trying to fight bacterial, fungal or yeast infections.
4. Olive Leaf Extract
Good For: candida, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, malaria, ear infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), shingles and tuberculosis
This powerful antioxidant, has been studied for its antimicrobial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects. One study discovered how olive leaf extracts killed almost all bacteria tested, including dermatophytes (causing infections on the skin, hair and nails), candida albicans, and Escherichia coli cells (4).
Olive leaf can be taken for longer periods of time for long-term immune support.
Good For: SIBO, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, bronchitis, UTIs, pink eye, and gum disease
Goldenseal helps enhance immune system function by increasing antigen-specific antibody production. Studies have confirmed goldenseal as an effective way to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA (5). Goldenseal makes a powerful duo when combined with echinacea – these two herbs make an awesome natural bronchitis remedy.
Goldenseal should be taken only when trying to fight infection. Always following the instructions on the bottle of the brand you purchase.
6. Manuka Honey
Good For: SIBO, eczema, MRSA, inflammatory bowel disease, strep throat, and allergies
Manuka honey’s natural antibiotic qualities make it a great medicine for any bacteria-related disorder. Researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan University discovered that Manuka honey down-regulates the most potent genes of the MRSA bacteria (6). Regular use of this honey on cuts and other external infections can actually help keep MRSA at bay.
Manuka honey is okay to use long-term, in small amounts to ensure a strong immune system. It can be applied topically to any external wounds and/or infections with a bandage on top. You can also take larger doses of Manuka honey if you’re trying to get rid of bacterial infections inside your body.
7. Liposomal Vitamin C
Good For: MRSA, gingivitis, respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, malaria, and gout
Vitamin C is essential for the immune system, growth and development, bone health and so much more. It acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of inflammation and disease. Vitamin C is also used by the body to synthesize collagen. Vitamin C is found to be effective against drug-resistant tuberculosis, as well as viral pneumonia, diphtheria and other diseases (7).
I prefer liposomal vitamin C, as it is much more bioavailable than traditional vitamin C supplements. As always, follow the instructions on whatever brand you choose to purchase.
Good For: slow-healing wounds, upper respiratory tract infections, UTI’s, colds and cancer
Before conventional antibiotics became all the rage, echinacea was a go-to for many who were trying to fight bacterial infections. Now that people are gravitating more to natural remedies, they’re appreciating the anti-bacterial action of echinacea. Echinacea also works as an antiseptic on wounds, and is an excellent treatment for sore throats.
Good For: sore throats, coughs, upper respiratory tract infections and sinus congestion
One of the main benefits of andrographis is by restoring normal balance in bacterial flora of the gut. Considering the immune system starts in the gut, this is good news for all of those wanting to improve their immunity. One study found that andrographis was effective at inhibiting bacterial growth of eleven bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus (10).
Andrographis can be used for short-term applications when trying to rid the body of infection.
Good For: liver disease, parasites, stomach pain, cancer, ulcerative colitis, hepatitis C and HIV
This disease-fighting mushroom is both an antibacterial and antiviral. Studies have found that chaga helps boost the immune system by increasing production of interleukin 6 (IL-6), as well as T lymphocytes. As a result, the immune system is better able to fight off invading bacteria and viruses (11).
Chaga can be consumed on the regular, and is a great way to keep infection at bay in the body.
You may also want to consider taking the following:
11. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the top antibacterial essential oils. I don’t recommend taking this one internally, but it can be used safely externally on cuts and scrapes, acne, skin irritations, bacterial and fungal infections and respiratory tract infections.
Myrrh has been used since time immemorial for indigestion, ulcers, colds, coughs, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, cancer, syphillis and more.
Turmeric is effective for treating inflammation in the body, which is at the root cause of almost every disease known to man. It is also an effective antibacterial.
14. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a powerful natural antibiotic, which helps get rid of yeast and fungus. It can also help rid the body of mold and parasites, too.
15. Pau D’Arco
Pau D’Arco contains powerful active compounds that have the ability to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. This bark also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to lower infection rate in the body.