Deadly superbugs. Antibiotic resistance. Honestly it sounds more like the plot of a B movie horror film from the 1950s than real life.
But unfortunately it’s not. It’s very real and if it hasn’t effected your life, or the life of someone you care about yet, one day it likely will. Because despite repeated warnings from experts, antibiotics are still being over-prescribed for things such as minor cuts, infections and even viruses they have no effect on.
One in three antibiotic prescriptions are entirely unnecessary. And this overexposure has created life-threatening superbugs that can now live through whatever medicines we throw at them. In fact, according to the CDC at least two million people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria a year and 23,000 die from those infections.
The truth is, while there are definitely times that antibiotics are necessary you don’t need them for every cough, scrape or minor infection that comes along. Instead, consider one of these six effective “herbal antibiotics” for the little stuff, and save the big guns for when you really need them.
Aloe isn’t just great for burns, it also makes an excellent topical antibiotic. You can help keep scrapes and minor abrasions from getting infected by applying a thin layer of pure Aloe gel over the wound and covering it with a loose bandage. You can buy whole leaf Aloe Vera juice and gels on the market, but we recommend you adopt an Aloe plant and cut leaves directly from it, as needed.
Echinacea can do more than just relieve sniffles. It’s great for tackling a sore throat or minor bout of strep. Make up an Echinacea tincture now to be ready the next time you or a family member starts to feel that familiar ache. Put one quarter cup of dried Echinacea into a clean jar and cover with about a pint of vodka. Seal the lid and leave at room temperature for four to six weeks, shaking the jar every two or three days. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a dark jar, and throw out the leftover Echinacea. At the first tickle swallow approximately 30 drops and repeat every hour or so until you recover.
Ginger can kill salmonella, the bacteria that’s most often responsible for food poisoning. Experiment with using more ginger in your cooking to help head off stomach troubles before they start. And should you run into a food borne bug as soon as you start feeling queasy try sipping on some ginger tea. To make it simply steep about one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a cup of boiling hot water for several minutes and add some stevia or a dollop of honey to sweeten it. It’s also an effective natural antibiotic against respiratory infections.
4. Manuka honey:
Honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years. But Manuka honey, a special strain from New Zealand, is reportedly effective against at least 250 different bacteria, including some versions of staph that are becoming stronger and more resistant every day. Use it topically on skin infections, or enjoy it straight off the spoon (or in a cup of hot water) to help with internal infections.
5. Oil of Oregano:
Georgetown University Medical Center reports that oil of oregano can be as effective against infection as pharmaceutical antibiotics, especially when dealing with sinus infection. Simply add the oil to boiling water and breathe in the steam, once a day until the infection clears up. Oil of oregano is also useful against nail fungus. Soak the infected nail in warm water and a few drops of the oil every day.
6. Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaves are what are known as “broad spectrum antibiotics” so you can use them to counter a wide variety of bacteria, viruses and fungi. You’ll find supplements online and in health food stores.