Here’s the problem: antibiotics seem like wonder-drugs, and in many ways they are. Before they were discovered, many people died from infections and blood poisoning.
Antibiotics make surgery far safer and enable us to bounce back quickly from illnesses, seemingly with no downside.
But there is a very real downside and it’s hidden deep in our gut.
There’s a delicate, intricate balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria inside each of us that science is only just beginning to understand, know as our microbiome.
This community of mostly-friendly gut bugs provides all sorts of vital functions for our body.
Pharmaceutical Antibiotics: the Collateral Damage
When we take antibiotics they don’t just kill the bad bugs inside us but also the friendly bugs that we need. In the process they massively upset the delicate balance of our microbiome.
When our microbiome is damaged, we get sick. It’s as simple as that.
However the signs are often delayed, so when health issues arise later we may never make the connection.
Often we come down with minor ailments that do not require antibiotics but we’re still tempted to ask our doctor for the ‘magic pill’ that will make the illness go away more quickly.
Of course some serious infections truly do require an antibiotic. We should never ignore symptoms or self-treat if we are getting worse or if symptoms persist.
However since the first discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have become wildly over-prescribed, even being used intensively in farming.
Evidence is beginning to emerge that suggests antibiotics – even a short course – do more than temporarily kill off our good gut bugs. This study saw dramatic damage to populations of friendly gut bacteria one week after taking antibiotics. And even more alarming, those friendly bacteria didn’t recover for up to four years in some people.
The overuse of modern antibiotics has led to a generation of both adults and children with unhealthy microbiomes and an explosion of non-contagious diseases as a result.
Before the invention of antibiotics, people frequently got sick with infectious diseases like smallpox and tuberculosis.
But now the new plagues are non-contagious diseases that can make our life equally grim, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, dementia and autoimmune diseases, all of which are now known to be linked to an unhealthy gut.
Further reading: The Shocking Ways That Antibiotics Can Destroy Our Health
So what about natural antibiotics? There’s no way they can provide the same benefits as pharmaceutical antibiotics, is there?
I don’t know about you, but until recently I had no idea there was such a thing as natural antibiotics. Even if you had told me about them, I’d probably have laughed scornfully and sent you off to the pharmacy for a large pack of amoxicillin.
But it turns out that Mother Nature provides some very effective healing tools to fight infections that are much friendlier than pharmaceutical antibiotics.
In fact, long before the discovery of penicillin, people used natural antibiotics to help soothe and cure their ailments. With the advent of modern medicine, the use of these natural antibiotics fell by the wayside.
However, with pharmaceutical antibiotics being so overused and the fallout becoming such a problem, people are turning back to these traditional treatments once again.
Powerful Natural Options
Check out this starter list of 3 of the most useful natural antibiotics.
OREGANO OIL: the humble herb you throw on your pizza turns out to pack a mighty antibiotic punch when condensed down into an essential oil. It’s healing properties have been prized for centuries and are also now well known by the scientific community.
Oregano oil is a doozy of a natural antibiotic! It’s effective against bacterial infections, parasites, inflammation, tumours, allergies and even viruses (unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics)
Oregano oil is concentrated and powerful, so is best mixed with coconut (or similar) oil before applying to your skin. When taken internally, you should similarly dilute it with with coconut oil or water. Experts generally advise taking it for no more than two weeks.
GARLIC: Garlic is more than just a tasty seasoning. Containing at least 30 beneficial compounds, the most powerful of which is allicin, garlic packs a mighty antimicrobial punch.
Garlic has powerful antibiotic, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties – all four!
Garlic is also a prebiotic, which feeds our gut’s bacteria and improves our gut flora. This means it fights infection while actually boosting our gut health.
The most effective way to use garlic for medicinal purposes is to eat it raw, as this preserves all the powerful antibiotic compounds.
Slice or crush up a clove, put it in a small glass of water, wait 10 minutes for all the enzymes to become activated – then knock it back!
Garlic can irritate the stomach, so it’s best to take it after a meal.
Garlic powders are not as effective as the compounds are fragile and don’t survive the extraction process.
HONEY: is a powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It contains an enzyme that converts to hydrogen peroxide, helping the body to fight infection.
Try to buy your honey as raw and unprocessed as possible, as the common process of pasteurisation damages some of the potent, beneficial compounds.
Effective Health Hacks?
These three natural antibiotics only scratch the surface of those available to help fight illnesses without reaching for pharmaceutical antibiotics. Not only do they fight infection but they do it while taking care of the gut.
Although these natural antibiotics work powerfully against invading microbes, they don’t appear to cause the same indiscriminate damage to our friendly gut bacteria that pharmaceutical antibiotics do.
My verdict: natural antibiotics can be incredibly effective! Many are now well documented by medical science and belong in the mainstream.
I’ve also experimented heavily with natural antibiotics on myself and can vouch that they really do work!
The next time you’re ill, reach for one of these rather than turning to the pharmaceutical antibiotics that could well damage your gut and entire health for years to come.