When antibiotics first became widely used in the early part of the twentieth century, they were hailed as medical miracles that were able to treat infections that were once fatal to humans. However, overuse of antibiotics and the exposure to them through conventionally raised meat and dairy products has led to the rise of resistant bacteria strains which modern medicine is struggling to treat. Modern antibiotics also carry with them unwanted side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems or yeast infections.
However, there are more natural alternatives to consider. These are plants which have powerful antimicrobial properties that can be effective for not only treating bacteria but some viruses, fungi and other pathogens as well. Ten of the most powerful natural antibiotics are discussed below.
This plant is grown in the United States and used in pill or extract form to help treat bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal tract, eyes and urinary tract. Its properties are due to its active ingredient berberine. (1)
This plant is botanically related to golden seal and also contains berberine, a powerful natural antibiotic. It is used in tea or tincture form to help infections of the digestive tract and has antiviral properties too.(2)
The root of this native South American plant has long been used in that region to help treat a wide variety of infections and can be taken in the form of either capsules or pills. (3)
This New Zealand honey, produced by bees which pollinate the native manuka bushes, has an active ingredient called methylglyoxal; it is excellent for treating infected wounds or burns. (4)
Tea Tree Extract
This extract has long been valued for its ability to help treat wounds, fungal infections and more minor problems like acne and has a long medical history of effectively treating such conditions. (5)
Garlic has a long history of medicinal use due to its ability to boost the immune system and also to directly help the body fight off bacterial invasion. This mostly due to its high content of sulfuric compounds and allicin, a powerful antioxidant. (6)
Native Americans have used the root of the Echinacea plants for hundreds of years to fight infections; the combination of volatile oils, flavonoids and other active compounds can help treat infections of the ear and urinary tract in particular. (7)
Extracts from the bark of the pau d’arco tree can help treat intestinal infections, yeast infections and even sexually transmitted diseases. (8)
This culinary herb is not only flavorful but can help treat the pain and inflammation associated with a variety of infections due to the powerful phenols it contains. (9)
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract contains powerful natural antimicrobial compounds which are great for treating both viral and bacterial infections while at the same time increasing the populations of healthful bacteria in the digestive tract. (10)
In short, there are many natural alternatives to traditional antibiotics. The main advantages to natural treatment of infections include a lack of unwanted side effects as well as effectiveness in treating infections from drug-resistant bacterial strains. These alternatives, therefore, are well worth considering.
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