The discovery and development of antibiotics has been a literal lifesaver for both humans and animals. Before antibiotics, many bacterial infections led to death. What started as a minor infection burgeoned until the body could no longer survive it. After antibiotics, millions of lives were saved and surgeries became safer.
Unfortunately, bacteria are highly adaptable. They are able to evolve to become immune to the medications we throw at it. This process is called antibiotic resistance, and it is happening all the time. Our overuse of antibiotics has seriously accelerated this process.
For this reason, it is often better to give your body a little bit of time to try and fight the bacteria without medication. Improve your natural infection-fighting ability by eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds on a regular basis. And when your body needs a boost to fight off a pesky bug, try the following 11 natural antibiotic foods.
One of these is actually among the most famous gifts ever given – can you spot it? But first, find out more about how the overuse of synthetic antibiotics is pushing the population toward a global crisis.
The Overuse of Antibiotics
Many livestock producers use antibiotics in their animal feed to lower the risk that one sick animal will spread disease to the entire herd. This means that our meat is full of antibiotics. Humans are prone to throwing excess medication in the toilet, which puts antibiotics in our water supply. Fish that later end up on our plates also eat or absorb this medicine.
Sometimes desperate patients ask for an antibiotic even when their infection is viral, just so they can feel like they’re doing something to get better.
The result is that we are all consuming antibiotics on a near-daily basis. This level of overuse has pushed antibiotic resistance to a breaking point. Soon there will be super bacteria that medical science has no way of treating. New antibiotics are being developed all the time, but not fast enough. If you’re feeling scared, you should be.
There is really no way to be positive that you are not getting antibiotics in your water or food, but you can minimize your exposure by only taking prescribed antibiotics when you really need to. Don’t gamble with your health, but give your body a chance to fight off an infection with the support of the following 11 foods before you ask for an antibiotic.
Garlic is an all-around superfood. Not only has it been used as a natural antibiotic for hundreds of years, it also has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties.
This is thanks to a compound called allicin (also present in onions). To fight infection, use crushed garlic either lightly cooked or raw.
2. Oil of Oregano
Oregano is another tasty natural antibiotic, a benefit linked to its carvacrol content. This natural antibiotic is good for all sorts of bacterial infections, but is especially lauded for its use in GI tract infections.
For best results, look for oregano oil that contains at least 70% carvacrol. This product is also anti-fungal, so you can use it topically for skin issues as well.
Echinacea is one of the best known natural remedies, but many people use it to treat the virus that causes the common cold – a use that research suggests is not effective.
Instead, take Echinacea if you have a bacterial infection, open wound, or blood poisoning. It is also particularly effective on respiratory infections.
4. Cayenne Pepper
This one is a bit counterintuitive, as we are usually advised to keep things bland when we’re sick. But spicy cayenne pepper is actually both antibiotic and anti-fungal in nature, so you might want to feel the burn to shorten the illness.
It’s best to dilute your cayenne with a carrier oil – olive or coconut are good choices – so that you get the benefits without harming delicate tissues.
5. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Stop throwing away the seeds from your morning grapefruit! Extract from those seeds has been found to be as powerful as the active ingredients in antibacterial soaps.
Grapefruit seed extract may be used internally for bacterial infections or externally for warts and communicable disease prevention.