Across the globe, the most commonly prescribed type of drugs are antibiotics. They’re used to successfully treat bacterial infections, but they come with consequences. On an individual level, antibiotics often wipe out all the bacteria present in your gut – even the good bacteria that assist with digestion and help to protect you against illness. Over-prescription of antibiotics has also given rise to new strains of bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant and very dangerous.
Fortunately, there are many natural antibiotic foods that can help prevent the growth and spread of harmful bacteria in the body.
Garlic and onions are some of nature’s most potent foods. In addition to being antiviral and antibacterial, these superfoods also posses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic and onions are pretty closely related, and boast similar strength against infections. They can be used to help prevent disease and promote healing from a variety of illnesses, including earaches, the common cold, influenza and even the antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus known as MRSA.
Raw honey is another excellent antimicrobial agent, and has historically been used to help promote wound healing and prevent infections. A 2012 study authored by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and The Israeli Institute for Advanced Research, found that honey contains two independent mechanisms that combat infections, and it is through their synergy that honey is able to present such profound benefits. The researchers found that honey presented both bactericidal actions and the ability to disrupt bacterial quorum sensing, weakening bacteria’s virulence and coordination.
Echinacea is another popular herbal remedy for preventing and treating a variety of ailments. It is said that it helps to strengthen the immune system, which in turn helps to prohibit infections. Echinacea is often used to help treat colds, the flu, and other bacteria-related diseases.
Grapefruit extract is also an extremely effective anti-bacterial agent. In fact, it is thought to be effective against up to 800 different strains of viruses and bacteria! Grapefruit extract is also rich in antioxidants and helps to boost your immunity.
Coconut oil has recently come into the spotlight for its myriad of health benefits, but did you know it contains natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties? A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food and authored by researchers from the School of Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University in Ohio, found that coconut oil could even successfully inhibit the growth of Clostridium difficile, commonly referred to as C. difficile – the leading cause of hospital-acquired, antibiotic-related diarrhea worldwide. Coconut oil’s prohibition of C. difficile’s proliferation supports findings from previous studies that have indicated its potential actions against bacteria.
There are also many, many more herbs, spices and foods that possess health-supporting benefits and immune-boosting properties. Oregano oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, mint, and lemon are just a few of the dozens of natural remedies available to help rid the body of harmful bacteria. Consuming foods that are known to have supportive properties such as these can help to prevent illness before it even begins. And you know what they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!