20 Surprising Natural Antibiotics

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Who has ever heard of natural antibiotics. When you think of antibiotics don’t you think of penicillin or a flu shot? You know something antibiotics are usually chemicals not organic based. How can natural antibiotics heal the body? Have you ever heard of someone being healed by consuming natural antibiotics. But in today’s world of health and a lot of people turning toward natural remedies and natural lifestyles. Organic-based antibiotics may just fit right in to today’s scheme of things. One positive aspect of natural antibiotics are they are all natural ingredients.

1. Garlic in Grand Style

Garlic breath can stay with you for a long time. You can breathe on people after eating garlic and they will pass out. But garlic has been used in different historical cultures for thousands of years as a natural antibiotic. In fact, in the 1700’s, they used garlic to ward off the great plague. Whether it was superstition or not it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it was considered powerful enough to be used as an antibiotic. Garlic contains potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties which all of these also help in removing and protecting the body from unfriendly bacteria. Garlic also contains powerful natural antioxidants which kill free radicals and help support a strong immune system. The star ingredient in garlic is allicin (a pungent oily liquid with antibacterial properties, present in garlic.) which is the key component to fighting off and killing bad bacteria.

2. Colloidal silver     

How can a precious metal be used safely as a natural antibiotic? You would think consuming silver would be harmful and fatal to the human body. Wouldn’t you get some kind of poisoning from the digestion of silver? Apparently silver at one time was (and still may be considered) was perceived and used as a natural antibiotic to fight off deadly pathogens. In the early 1900’s, Samuel Searle, founder of Searle Pharmaceutical Company, discovered it could kill deadly pathogens. He tried it on a number of human subjects and it worked quite effectively. It wasn’t fatal to his subjects either. Searle claimed that he had administered silver to many subjects and that the results were astonishing. The main thrust was that it acted rapidly on fatal microbes without any toxin effects on the human hosts. Recent research has verified that colloidal silver can destroy resistant microbes like MRSA, the bird flu, and SARS. As far Searle’s findings are considered there is no research to indicate the results were valid.   

3. Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano will kill pathogenic bacteria without disrupting the work of beneficial bacteria critical to the workings of the human body. It has powerful antifungal and antiviral properties which make it a powerful three-in-one antibiotic that can rival any pharmaceutical but will not have any antibiotic resistance. It is much more cost effective than chemical antibiotics and you can get it at a much lower cost than prescription drugs. It should be noted that if you use oil of oregano as a natural antibiotic make sure it contains at least 70% carvacrol. Carvacrol is the key antimicrobial ingredient in oil of oregano and to be effective it should have at least 70% of that compound in the oil of oregano.

4. The Power of Echinacea     

Echinacea (a North American coneflower. It is used in herbal medicine, largely for its antibiotic and wound-healing properties.) For hundreds of years this North American coneflower has been used as a treat a wide range of infections. Mainly it was used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial related illnesses.  Today, this super herb is primarily used to treat colds and flu. It is so effective on colds and flu because it has the uncanny ability to destroy the deadliest forms of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes deadly MRSA.

5. Wonderful Manuka Honey

One of the most tasteful natural antibiotics, manuka honey, has the ability to destroy a wide range of pathogens including MRSA and flesh-eating bacteria. Another grand feature is bacteria could build up no resistance when treated with manuka honey. In other words you can apply all the manuka honey to the bacteria and they will cease to exist.

There are other natural antibiotics to consider such as: reishi, pau d’arco, Una de Gato, olive leaf extract, cloves, turmeric and even lemons to buffer your arsenal of natural antibiotics.

6. Masterful Myrrh Extract

This natural antibiotic comes in the form of myrrh extract. Many people know about myrrh but its ability to ward of harmful germs is a little known fact. A 2000 study found that it would kill these deadly germs:

  • E. coli
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Candida albicans

The researchers in the study extracted 8 sesquiterpene fractions from myrrh. But their main focus was on a mixture of  furanodiene-6-one and methoxy furanoguaia-9-ene-8-one. These two particular sesquiterpene compounds showed promising antibacterial and antifungal activity against these harmful pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans, with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.18 to 2.8 micrograms/ml. These sesquiterpenes also showed anaesthetic activity, by blocking the inward sodium current of excitable mammalian membranes in these deadly germs. It must be noted that the side effects of myrrh could be diarrhea from ingesting it. Even though it is well tolerated and if it is consumed in large doses it could cause heart problems. It is usually pre-packaged  for consumption. Follow the recommended doses on the packaging.

7.  Timeless Thyme Essential Oil

Be careful with this one because this one is used as an ingredient in many household cleaners. It has been effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A 2011 study compared the effectiveness of lavender essential oil and thyme essential oil in killing 120 strains of bacteria. The researchers discovered that Thyme essential oil had good effects against the 120 strains of bacteria. Lavender essential oil was not as successful but did have some success in killing a portion 0f the 120 strains of bacteria. The strains were taken from the hospital environment and from patients suffering with various infections.

8.  Una De Gato Herb

Una De Gato what? This is a little known herb is a vine native to South and Central America respectively. The  thorns resemble a cat’s claw so this is the common name in English and Spanish. Historically the una de gato herb has been used in Peru to treat various health ailments. Recently research has discovered the active ingredients and health benefits of this unknown herb. Here are some of the health benefits of the herb:

Arthritis Avenger

According to New York University’s Langone Medical Center,  una de gato herb maybe an effective deterrent against the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The 2004 study was published in the April issue of “Journal of Rheumatology”. The study found that supplementation with the herb for 24 weeks reduced the effects of painful joints twice as effectively as Placebo. After another 28 weeks swollen joints also were reduced. The herb was tolerated well with only minor side effects.

Flame out the Inflammation  

The anti-inflammatory effects of  una de gato herb may be a promising sign that it could fight gastritis notes the University of Texas El Paso. A 2002 laboratory animal study published in the May issue of the journal “Phytomedicine” suggests supplementation with una de gato herb alkaloid and flavonoid compounds for three days noticeably reduced inflammatory, cell damage, and early cell damage in the stomach lining. Further investigation is needed to determine if the same results will be extended to humans.

Cancer Stomper

Anti-cancer benefits of  una de gato herb were discovered in a study published in 2010 in the journal “Phytomedicine”  In this tissue culture study, the herb was effective in fighting against several types of cancer including including cervical, breast and colon. Another study conducted in 2009, found the herb to be effective against a form of thyroid cancer that is resistant to radiation and conventional chemotherapy. The herb’s alkaloids promoted early cell death and researchers think it may have potential as a  cancer treatment.

Immune Helper

Una de Gato may be an effective weapon against some infectious disease, including HIV. Immune-modulating effects in  una de gato may prevent white blood cell counts from dropping in patients with HIV, helping to protect them from opportunistic diseases notes CoxHealth. A test tube study published in the September 2010 issue of the “Journal of Oral Science” discovered that the herb prevented several common pathogens commonly found in infected teeth, including Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. The herb effectively prevented  these deadly bacteria strains from growing in the test tubes. If these benefits extend to humans needs further investigation.

Red Blood Cell Boosters

Una de gato may buffer red blood cells from damage, according to a study published in the March 2012 issue of the journal “Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology.”  In this test tube study una de gato extract inhibited the oxidation of lipids which preserved the integrity of the red blood cell membranes. Researchers believe the polyphenol antioxidants that attached to the red blood cell membranes were the reason for protection of the red blood cell membranes.

9. Terrific Turmeric

Both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine use turmeric for its natural antibiotic compounds that destroy pathogens while maintaining the body’s natural defenses. In 2009, the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy published a study suggesting the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, could help fight against the helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is believed to be the culprit behind  peptic ulcers, which if you unattended could lead to stomach cancer.

10. Olive Leaf Extract

The significant antibiotic extract from olive leaves can fight against several types of harmful bacteria. A 2003 study found that olive leaf extracts have a great ability to fight fungi and bacteria. Olive oil leaves have both anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants to fight free radicals which are oftentimes the  root causes of harmful diseases.

11. Stinky Onions

The properties and antibiotic capabilities of onions are almost identical to garlic. In fact, onions can increase blood circulation and fight inflammation. Onions are very effective in stopping infections from developing in the body.

12. Sweet Cinnamon

This sweet tasting spice contains healthy antioxidants. It also possesses antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial compounds. Cinnamon has powerful effects in the pancreas. It actually has powerful effects on blood sugar and insulin levels; this could be a great benefit for diabetic patients.

13. Sour Grapefruit Seed Extract

This was originally developed to be an anti-parasitic but this extract quickly showed its effectiveness against strep, salmonella, Candida, flu, herpes, E.coli, staph, parasites, and much, much more.

14. Hot Habanero and Horseradish

These hot little known antibiotics work by exciting and quickening the body as they energize it as well. The oils in horseradish are similar to the ones in mustard. In the body, these oils have antibiotic properties that are activated once they reach the stomach. However for  the throat, mouth, and upper respiratory infections, both horseradish and habanero chilies are terrific natural alternatives to prescription antibiotics. They’re a lot cheaper to.

15. Extra Virgin Coconut oil

Those coconuts are popping up again! Anyway, coconut oil has so many health benefits they cannot all be listed. But we will share these health benefits: it improves the immune system, lowers cholesterol levels, balances blood sugar levels, as well as balances thyroid function. Quite impressive for a little brown ball that grows high up in a tree.

16. Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that apples are natural antibiotics? This completely natural apple cider vinegar has natural antiseptic and antibiotic compounds that will alkalize any body naturally. Apple cider vinegar has a million and one healing benefits which are too numerous to list for our purposes.

17. Cabbage

Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous family along with kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Cabbage has been known for its healing properties for a long time. Supposedly recent studies have shown that cabbage has cancer fighting properties. It also contains vitamin C which is a natural antibiotic. This vitamin is a tremendous boost to the immunity system. Cabbage juice may help in treating stomach ulcers.


18.  Fermented Friends

Yogurt is a famous fermented food people consume regularly. There are other fermented foods, like yogurt, that help with the digestion, improves the health of your intestines and boosts your immune system.

19. Berries and more Berries

Cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and other fruits in the berry family of fruits are good for fighting urinary tract infections and bladder problems both of which can be very uncomfortable and painful. According to a study conducted by the Natural Medicine Database, drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis may inhibit urinary tract infections in  old women and pregnant women by the fighting of E. Coli bacteria. It may stop the bacteria  against adhering to the bladder walls which will eventually cause infections. Blueberry juice contains similar medicinal antioxidants and immune stimulating compounds as cranberry juice. These compounds will prevent bacteria from clinging to urinary tract walls which will stop urinary tract infections.

20.  Other Natural Antibiotic  Agents

Besides tasting sweet, pomegranates are rich in antioxidant and antibacterial properties which will prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. This will inhibit bladder infections. They are also high in vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system. This will help the immune system defend against infections especially urinary tract infections. Carrots have several antibiotic properties to help your body stay healthy. Carrots are known to promote vision health. It also has great antibacterial properties which will stop food pathogens from forming in the body. It may help to prevent food poisoning.   

Goldenseal an unknown natural antibiotic has powerful immune system stimulant properties that will kill streptococci bacteria thus inhibiting this bacteria from forming in the body. Some countries use goldenseal to battle protozoa and fungal infections. Lemons can be applied topically and taken internally to be used for medicinal and antibiotic purposes. Many studies have proven that lemons contain powerful antibacterial properties. In a study published in the “Journal of Pharmacology & Toxicology, UK “ showed that lemons contains tetrazine and coumarin . Both  compounds have been  beneficial in preventing pathogens.     


We have found that there are plenty of outstanding natural antibiotics that have powerful healing agents that if applied will make very effective natural treatments. These natural antibiotics may not be as well known as some of their pharmaceutical counterparts but in some cases they are as effectual in treating various health issues. These natural antibiotics may prove to be life-saving someday. Further research is needed to prove some of the health benefits expressed in this article. But some studies have proven other health benefits of these natural antibiotics as being very effectual. These natural antibiotics are very cost effective and can be purchased just about anywhere.

Another great benefit of these natural antibiotics is that they contain all natural ingredients. Because of this there will be no adverse side effects that their pharmaceutical counterparts will undoubtedly have.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.