Due to the many downsides of traditional anti-biotics, ranging from over-prescription to anti-biotic resistance, natural anti-biotics have been gaining popularity. As its name suggests, natural anti-biotics rely on natural ingredients such as plants and herbs that have the ability to fend off viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections. These have often been recommended by functional and integrative medicine experts for mild conditions such as travellers’ diarrhoea.
Here are five natural anti-biotics that can be easily found in neighbourhood stores:
Garlic is an extremely tasteful add-on to your meals that packs as much nutritional goodness as it does when it comes to flavour. When consumed in the long run, it can help improve your cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and even cholesterol levels. More interestingly, a compound known as allicin, which is common in garlic, has been found to possess anti-microbial properties.
The most effective way is to eat the garlic raw as cooking deactivates many anti-microbial properties. Try using freshly grated garlic as a garnish the next time your serve your meat!
2. Manuka honey
Manuka honey is well-known to have a lot of health benefits for everyone, ranging from young children to the elderly. Aside from its anti-allergen properties, it is also perfect for inhibiting bacterial growth and even decreases inflammation. It has even been used to treat both burns and skin infections. The reason why Manuka honey is preferred is due to it having more active anti-bacterial enzymes. It is delicious, and easy to incorporate into your diet. Drizzle it on top of your avocado toast or mix it into your serving of Greek yoghurt!
Cinnamon is yet another common kitchen spice. While cinnamon’s reputation as a health food is attributed more to its function as a glucose disposal agent, its role as an anti-biotic is nothing to scoff at. In fact, cinnamon bark essential oil has been successfully tested for drug-resistant E. coli strains and listeria.
However, it is important to note that there are different types of cinnamon. One of the most popular ones, cassia cinnamon, is actually toxic to the human liver. The Ceylon variety may be more beneficial in this case.
4. Coconut oil
Revered by skincare beauty junkies, the MCT-rich coconut oil plays host to numerable health benefits. In fact, lauric acid, which is a fat present in coconut oil, contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. A double-blind human study found that coconut oil received a 95% success rate when it came to treating atopic dermatitis/eczema. While other oils such as palm nut oils also contains lauric acid, coconut oil has this in a more concentrated amount.
5. Oregano oil
Oregano oil is a holistic natural anti-biotic as it can handle a wide variety of infections. Since it can fight allergies and viruses, which is very abundant in the cold season, people with upper respiratory infections or cold can benefit from this essential oil. As it has a very unpleasant flavour, getting it via capsules or drops may make it more tolerable.
While synthetic anti-biotics are only prescribed as a reactive measure, natural anti-biotics can be used as part of an overarching preventive approach to mitigating infections. These can be incorporated into your daily routine without causing too much hassle or worry about negative side effects. Serious conditions on the other hand would warrant a trip to the doctor’s, so be realistic with your expectations.