10 Natural Antibiotics That Our Ancestors Used Instead Of Medication

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By Jess Baumgardner

10 Natural Antibiotics That Our Ancestors Used Instead Of Medication

You get sick and go to the doctor. How many of those visits result in a prescription for an antibiotic?

Overuse-of-antibiotics-is-014Seemingly, your issue resolves. But the issue with bacteria is that it changes; it mutates. Antibiotic medicine started out highly effective back in the 40s when it was developed, but the constant use of it has helped to create antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The bacteria are mutating and developing a resistance to the meds and now there are strains we simply cannot fix with prescriptions. Antibiotics are used far too often; they are handed out like candy for everything, even things like the common cold, which they wouldn’t even help normally!

Before the practice of medicinal antibiotics became typical, our ancestors used natural forms of antibiotics, also known as the herbs and common foods you have in the pantry.

These natural ingredients make it harder for bacteria to become resistant, because they are comprised of many complex elements all working together to stop the bacteria. It is not easy for the bacteria to mutate around all of the complex elements working against it.

The other issue with medicinal antibiotics is that they kill all bacteria – good and bad. You need to keep the good bacteria alive in your gut to maintain a healthy body. If you are ever given a prescription antibiotic – be sure to supplement with probiotics or probiotic-rich, fermented foods like kimchi and raw sauerkraut to minimize the negative effects.

But, if you are looking for a more natural infection fighter – try out some of the options below.

1. Honey

The medical importance of honey has been documented for 10,000+ years. Honey has antibiotic and antiseptic properties and its thickness makes it a protective barrier for wounds. The antibiotic property of honey comes from the release of hydrogen peroxide and honey’s high sugar content, which blocks the growth of bacteria.

Always opt for raw, organic honey as it is pure, unheated and not pasteurized. Also, the darker the honey – the more antibacterial it is!

Note: In rare cases, endospores of the bacteria that cause botulism (Clostridium botulinum) have been found in honey. Because of this – honey should not be given to babies under one year of age since their digestive systems are still immature.

2. Garlic

Garlic is especially effective when fighting fungal infections, colds and the flu. When you come down with a cold – eat several cloves of raw garlic at the onset and it will start to kill the bacteria before you have strong symptoms.

Now, garlic loses its potency when cooked – so you should eat it raw. If that sounds too crazy for you – cut raw pieces and hide it in your cooked food, or chew on some parsley after the garlic to minimize the smell and taste.

3. Turmeric

In addition to being an antibiotic and antiseptic, turmeric helps to stop swelling and pain, because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It prevents infections in wounds and promotes the repair of skin tissue.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

ACV can disinfect, sterilize and alkalize your system and lower cholesterol. It is an antibiotic and antiseptic. You can easily incorporate this into your daily life by adding a tablespoon to warm lemon water in the morning, or to a salad dressing at lunch.

5. Oregano & Oregano Oil

Carvacrol, a component of oregano, has been found to fight the bacteria that can lead to infections. In addition to providing for a delicious Italian meal, oregano has been used to help  with digestive and yeast infections.

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is antimicrobial and antifungal – take one tablespoon daily and it’s caprylic and lauric acids will help the body fight off infections. Beyond that, coconut oil helps to maintain cholesterol levels, digestion, metabolism and thyroid health. You can even use it as a delicious smelling moisturizer!

7. Fermented Foods

Keep your intestinal flora flourishing with fermented food and drink raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and cultured yogurt. Maintaining a healthy stream of beneficial bacteria in the gut will balance out the bad bacteria. Every bit of fermented food you take can provide trillions of beneficial bacteria.

8. Colloidal Silver

This is one that you probably don’t have in your pantry and too much of a heavy metal could be toxic, so use it sparingly (Let’s be honest though – how often are you needing to take antibiotics anyway?!) Colloidal silver is made up of silver particles suspended in liquid and it deactivates the enzymes necessary for bacteria and virus growth.

9. Olive Leaf Extract

This may be one of the reasons why The Bible refers to the olive tree as the “tree of life!” The Oleuropein in the olive leaf destroys bacteria and also prevents it from multiplying. In studies, it has been shown to be effective against 50+ organisms!

10. Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract is antiviral, antifungal and is a powerful antiseptic. Full of disease-fighting antioxidants and bioflavonoids, this extract boosts the immune system.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that grapefruit-seed extract was effective in killing over “800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus and a large number of single and multi-celled parasites.” That’s pretty intense, right?

While it produces some incredible positive results, this is another one to use sparingly. The jury is still out on its potential contamination with Triclosan and parabens. Again, you probably don’t need to use this antibiotic enough to cause concern.bbweb33


Jessica Baumgardner

Jessica Baumgardner

Certified Holistic Health Coach at Health Coach Philly
Jessica Baumgardner, aka Health Coach Philly, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She is dedicated to helping women improve their nutrition, reduce stress, lose weight and increase their energy through her personalized nutrition and lifestyle programs.

Jessica holds a Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school and the only school integrating over 100 dietary theories, from traditional philosophies like ayurveda and macrobiotics, to modern concepts.

After successfully using a holistic approach to prepare for her wedding in 2012, Jessica decided to share her knowledge of whole foods and healthy living with women, to help them fulfill their own personal goals.
Jessica Baumgardner


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