Antibiotics are medicines that fight infections or diseases caused by bacteria, such as colds, flu, and pneumonia, as well as things like urinary tract infections, skin infections, and wounds.
But while taking antibiotics is a powerfully effective way to treat many ailments caused by bacterial viruses, the downside is that taking antibiotics may do more harm than good, because with each time you take them, you increase the chances that bacteria in your body will be able to resist antibiotics. As a result, you could later get or spread an infection that antibiotics cannot cure.
Since Del Immune aims to provide the best natural products and solutions for many types of health issues, we wanted to learn more about safe alternatives for antibiotics. More specifically, we wanted to learn tips from health experts on what they would consider to be the best natural alternatives to the use of antibiotics that would give our immune systems their best fighting chance against bacteria and infections. To do that, we asked 22 health experts the following question:
“What is your top, natural alternative to using antibiotics?”
We’ve collected and compiled their expert advice into this comprehensive guide to natural antibiotics alternatives. See what our experts said below:
Meet Our Panel of Health Experts:
Verona Chadwick is an Accomplished Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Nutritionist, and author of “How to Live a Life Without Pain”. In her work, she seamlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary treatment protocols, focusing her attention on elevating the health states of those anchored down with chronic pain and illness through hands-on physiotherapy, acupuncture and dietary awareness. Verona is a successful business woman and healer with over 30 years of private practice experience. She holds Graduate diplomas in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Nutrition Medicine, and is a Diplomat of the Anti-Aging Medicine Associations in Australia and America. Learn more about Verona’s work at www.getalifeintegratedhealth.com.
My top alternative to antibiotics is…
To bolster your immune defenses and avoid getting sick in the first place.
We are all exposed to bugs on a daily basis and not everyone gets sick. Some may just get the first indication of a sore throat but it disappears by morning whereas others exposed to the same bug could be laid out for weeks.
The obvious question here is how do some escape getting sick. There are a number of reasons why your immune response may be sluggish and some easy to fix solutions.
- Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep nightly
- Minimise stress
- Clean up your diet, minimise the takeaways, sugars, soft drinks, alcohol and coffee
- Eat 3 servings of fruit each day to provide Vitamin C and anti-oxidants
- Consume 5 different coloured vegetables each day for a variety of vitamins and minerals
- Top up zinc and selenium, essential constituents of immune fighting cells, to fortify your
- immune barrier.
- Consume adequate protein daily to build immune cells.
- Zinc and vitamin B6 are needed to synthesize protein to make immune cells.
- Echinacea with extra zinc and powdered vitamin C (3000-4000mg per day) taken at the first sign of a cold can help the body muster a strong immune response and fight off the bugs quickly.
- Don’t try to push through, listen to your body and get rest when needed.
Clearly prevention is better than the cure. Relying on the quick visit to the doctor and prescription of antibiotics time and time again can have consequences for your future health. Personally, I’d rather not get sick in the first place.
Ann Musico is a holistic health coach who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Her focus is on nutrition, detox and healthy, long term weight loss because she believes those areas are most often the root cause of so many other problems. And she addresses them not only from the physical but also the spirit and soul as well, which are often overlooked. Learn more about Ann at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com.
My top, natural alternative to using antibiotics is:
For years we have always kept colloidal silver on hand in our house as our antibiotic of choice.
Colloidal silver was used as an external, topical disinfectant before there was antibacterial soap. It is still used to kill bacteria and can be safely used internally as well. In ancient times it was used in wound dressings. Churches use silver chalices in Communion to stop disease spreading through the congregation. It has been considered a universal antibiotic and is effective against not only bacteria, but viruses and fungi as well. It has a very long, well documented track record.
Another thing I love about it is that it doesn’t destroy the good bacteria in the gut like other antibiotics will, nor will it cause antibiotic resistance so common today and has become a serious problem. The important thing is to use wisdom and common sense – choose a high quality brand from a reputable source and use it as needed.
Several years ago there was a story about what they called the “blue man” who said he took large amounts of silver daily and his skin turned blue. Well we have to get out of this mindset of, “if a little is good, a lot is better.” More isn’t always better – or necessary! We generally only use colloidal silver internally at the first signs of a cold or flu and as a mouth rinse after dental cleanings when the gums are tender and more open to bacteria. There are some excellent silver tooth gels and also topical gels that are great for rashes, acne, cuts, scrapes or any skin problem.
Jolene Goring is a leading integrated health and fitness, holistic nutrition and natural beauty expert based in Scottsdale, AZ, with 18 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Recently named one of USA Today’s “America’s Premier Fitness Experts,” Jolene is a best-selling author and has appeared in newspaper, television shows, and fitness videos. Her unique skills and experience allow her to combine her worldwide knowledge of physics and fitness in the new concept of Geo-Fit.
With the cold & flu season in full swing, it’s good to keep a couple of natural remedies on hand to keep your body healthy. By using a natural remedy that you likely already have in your kitchen, you are helping your body to heal itself, without the scary side effects of prescription medicine! Any of these natural remedies can be used both inside and outside the body – add them to your meals, buy them in capsule form, or simply rub on your skin…
- Coconut oil – this versatile oil is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral… it really does it all! It can be used for cooking, baking, and also applied topically to help correct almost any skin condition.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) – these help to reduce inflammation in the body, and can even help to reduce the severity of an allergic reaction. You can find EFAs in fish oil, flax (oil and seeds) and walnuts.
- Cayenne Pepper – this wonder spice contains a compound called capsaicin, which helps relax muscles. This can be helpful to rub on a muscle cramp. Taken internally, cayenne can help with digestion, and relieve cold and flu symptoms by helping to break up mucous.
- Garlic – this kitchen staple is best when the fresh cloves are crushed – this releases a compound called allicin, which has similar properties to penicillin. This can help obliterate toxins, bacteria, fungus, and viruses from your body.
- Honey – has been used for centuries by civilizations all over the world – it is considered one of the best natural antibiotics. Make sure to choose raw, unpasteurized honey, because pasteurization destroys most of the healing effects.
Try one, or all, of the above remedies for whatever ails you, and feel good that you are helping your body to heal itself naturally.
Sharon Richter is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Nutritionist and Nutrition Ambassador for KeVita Sparkling probiotics, one of the fastest growing functional beverages in the US.
My advice for the best natural alternatives to using antibiotics is…
I like to focus prevention first. Add essential preventative measures during the flu season. Step up the probiotic intake. As we all know by now, 70% of the immune system is in the gut. Get your nutrients naturally. Your natural winter cravings for vegetable soups and broths are guiding you in the right direction. This is a good time for citrus and stone fruits, so get your vitamin C the tasty way. Keep the hand sanitizer close. If that cold or flu hits: its all about rest and fluids. The flu runs a course, and you want it to run it’s course as quickly as possible. But if you feel it has taken a turn for the worse, always check with your care physician.
Patrick Fratellone, MD, RH is a conventionally trained physician who practices integrative medicine. He is also a registered herbalist with the AHG (The American Herbalists Guild). Learn more about Patrick and his work at www.fratellonemefical.com.
As a MD and RH ( registered herbalist ), there are many herbal antibiotics that I utilize in my practice that are great natural alternatives. Some of the herbs I utilize that have anti microbial properties include…
Yarrow, Oregon Grape Root , Juniper and Artemisia.
Since there is an exponential growth curve of organism resistance like MRSA, health care professional should use natural herbal plants as antibiotics. There is overwhelming evidence that many plants have anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral, and even anti parasitic properties.
Liz Barnet is a Fitness & Food Coach based in Manhattan. She works with private clients and instructs group classes at Uplift Studios and SLT, two of the hottest boutique fitness studios in the area. Liz offers her clients simple, straightforward and sustainable solutions to their health and fitness goals. She believes that by incorporating small changes daily, you can painlessly achieve big results. She is a graduate of Boston College and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and holds a variety of certifications including personal training, group fitness, Pilates, yoga, kettle bells, TRX, spin, pre/post-natal, and the Lagree Method. Learn more about Liz’s work at http://www.lizbarnet.com/.
Cindy Santa Ana is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Speaker and Author of “Unprocessed Living: 3 Easy Steps to Transition Your Family to Whole Food“. She also supports clients through weight loss and overcoming minor health issues like high cholesterol, allergies and headaches. Cindy has led hundreds of clients to better health. Learn more about Cindy’s work at http://www.unlockbetterhealth.
I love using essential oils like oregano and DoTerra’s OnGuard.
You can put the oils on your feet at night or take them internally via a veggie capsule. Oregano Oil is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. I also use Olive Leaf extract if I feel a cold coming on. It’s available online in a liquid or capsule. I’ve used each for years and I’m always available to stop a cold before it gets too bad.
Susan Schenck is the Author of “The Live Food Factor” and “Beyond Broccoli” and does raw food classes and health coaching.
I never ever use antibiotics and wouldn”t unless life threatening. Instead, as a natural alternative I use…
Fermented foods which I make at home: saurkraut, raw apple cider vinegar, kiefer, and kombucha.
These keep my gut full of healthy bacteria which fight the bad ones. Not only is it good for immunity, but these good bacteria keep you happy, since 80% of your serotonin is made in your gut (called “the second brain”). This protocol also keeps you thin, and it’s the little known secret of thin people.
Oscar Agramonte is a certified personal trainer and RKC (Russian Kettle Bell) instructor in Orlando, Florida. Oscar achieved his personal training certification from the International Fitness & Physique Association (IFPA), and joined the Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple, where he discovered a more comprehensive method of physical training. Now an instructor at the Wah Lum Temple, he teaches both tai chi chuan and kung fu. Always passionate about sharing the benefits of personal health, Oscar openly shares the elements of health information he learns with his clients and colleagues, in hopes of increasing fitness and personal wellness in more people’s ways of life. Learn more about Oscar at http://www.wahlumfit.com.
An antibiotic is usually prescribed by a physician to treat some form of infection. I don’t tell my clients to go against their physician, but I do counsel my clients to…
Ask their doctor if it is necessary to take that particular medication, weigh the risk to benefit, and if there is another recommended holistic option.
The rise of antibiotic use has been associated with negative side effects, mainly destroying the good bacteria along with the bad. Whenever I am not feeling well, or the cold and flu season is on, I increase my intake of vitamin C and water. If I, or a client is recovering from an illness, then the intensity of a training session will go down. High intensity training may be more stress than the already compromised immune system can handle. I would start with more stretching, breathing exercises, light body weight movements, and then increase to more intensive strength and endurance training as they feel better.
Katherine Willis is a wife, mother of 3, and TV/film actress. She’s best known for her role on NBC’s Emmy winning “Friday Night Lights” where she played Joanne Street, mother of paralyzed quarterback Jason Street, and one of the stars of “Deliverance Creek”, Nicholas Sparks’ first television effort.” Learn more about Katherine at http://www.kwillis.com.
My top, natural alternative to using antibiotics is…
Minced garlic. By the spoonful or in food. It gives my immune system the boost it needs when I feel like I’m getting sick.
Jennifer Mc Donell has many years experience working in nutrition, hypnotherapy and NLP as a Quit Smoking Specialist and Life Coach. Learn more about Jennifer and her work at www.mentoronline.com.au.
My recommendations for natural alternatives to anti-antibiotics has several parts:
The real issue with an infection is not the ‘bad bug’ but the weak immune system of the person. Therefore strengthening the immune system has to be the focus.
This includes; plenty of sleep and fluids, top quality broad -spectrum nutrition which includes digestive enzymes and pro-bio tics to assist the absorption of nutrients.
Foods I recommend for supporting and strengthen the immune system are whole raw garlic, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, organic coconut oil, bay leaves fresh citrus fruit and fresh organic fruit and vegetables.
There are millions and millions of bacteria in the living world, we need them for our survival and health. In the bigger picture it makes little sense to ‘kill them of’and is dangerous in several ways. It slows the development of the immune system, so weakening the body’s resistances AND strength ens the resistance of the bacteria as they evolves.
Christina Major, The Health Recovery Expert of CrystalHolisticHealth.com is a Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, diabetes author, professional health and nutrition speaker. She was featured as the National Association of Professional Women, VIP Woman of the Year 2010 and speaks both locally and nationally through dozens of live events and teleseminars, sharing the wealth of healthy living. She can be seen on various tv programs such as PA Live, magazines like For energy Times and For Health, and is the nutritionist on the award winning radio program Max Potential.
This is my advice when it comes to natural alternatives to antibiotics…
Avoid the need for antibiotics! Treat yourself right with good foods and clean habits. By increasing your vegetables and decreasing chemicals, allergens, and processed foods, you allow your immune system to remain strong and protect you.
If you do get sick, allow your body time to heal. Warm teas, sleep, and hot soup give your body the heat and hydration to expel bacteria and viruses naturally. When choosing tea, you can pick something with peppermint, ginger, or marshmallow (the herb, not the candy!).
And do remember to stretch! Your lymphatic system needs to move around stretching and/or light exercise can help your immune system stay fresh and strong. Light exercise also increases your internal temperature, helping your body become too hot for bacteria.
Ellen Breeding is a Certified Nutritionist at AYC Health & Fitness,Kansas City’s original personal training center, established in 1986.
My top alternative natural alternative would be…
Honey is amazing at healing wounds. Because of it’s viscosity, it provides a protective barrier and allows you to put dressing on and take it off without damaging the tissue. It also helps prevent scars and it never goes bad. Also, it is delicious!
Sally Symonds is one of Australia’s highest profile leading health and fitness experts, inspiring other Australians to lead a fit and healthy life since 2010. A published author of three weight loss books, motivational speaker, trainer and corporate consultant, Sally is also the founder of a revolutionary 26 week system utilising unique food, exercise and mindset strategies called Love Your Weight Loss. Sally has loved each step of her own weight loss journey which started in 2002 with a staggering loss of 45kg in 33 weeks. To date, she has achieved a total weight loss of nearly 55kg, or half her body weight, which she continues to maintain today. Learn more about Sally and her work at www.sallysymonds.com.au.
My natural alternative to using antibiotics is:
Whenever I feel like I am getting sick, even if it’s just the slightest warning sign, I eat three or four bulbs of garlic. Not cloves…..bulbs!
I might eat it straight, put it in soup or put it with something else, but eating it raw is definitely the best way to go. This has absolutely worked for me for years and I swear by it for me. And it’s much cheaper than antibiotics! Although the thought of this option might not be pleasing to everyone, I can assure you that it is a much easier, better and tastier solution than you might think. Give it a go – you might just surprise yourself!
Dr. T. K. Stone is the Author of the Mind/Body Health e-book titled “The Fertile Ground”, is a contributing health expert on various media publications such as Blog Talk Radio, SuperChangeYourLife, Yahoo Voices, and Associated Content, among others. Learn more about Dr. Stone’s work at www.thefertileground.com.
This is my advice for those looking for natural alternatives to using antibiotics…
Intelligent “fasting” allows the body to dispatch all stored energy and nutrients to self-heal any condition. Our immune system administers 24/7, processing bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and non-nutritive materials found in the body, even dead body cells. Immune cells are garbage collectors, ingesting anything left in our tissues, like cell waste products not removed by lymphatic drainage. This includes microscopic pests gratified by the garbage. The immune system represses unwanted populations of microorganisms, which are opportunistic creatures, living in the environments of our bodies.
Some microorganisms are beneficial and some are not. Beneficial ones help assimilate plant and animal foods, traveling in the gastrointestinal tract. Some virulent ones can also gain entrée via the gastrointestinal tract. Others infiltrate the body through the lungs or a cut in the skin. All these unwanted microorganisms pester the brain. Killer immune cells are sent to fend off these unwanted deleterious invasions. Microorganisms have important jobs; they are not evil. When you cook carrots and leave them out in the air, a mold will develop. This mold is bacterial action, breaking down the decaying carrot. It’s Nature’s way of recycling.
Animals are hungry for energy and nutrients while digesting food. The immune system uses energy and nutrients to work, to function. Supporting the immune system means, get plenty of energy and nutrients. Energy and nutrients are sensitive to light, heat and oxidation. Human are the only animals to cook food. Do cooked apricots have more utilizable energy and nutrients than uncooked apricots? When an animal gets sick or injured, it’s not hungry. It’s more interested in healing.
For this reason, I advocate “limiting” or “stop eating” all together, until the healing crisis passes. Rest and drink plenty of water; it works wonders. I’m not completely against antibiotics, most of the time, they are unnecessary.
Anita Perry is owner of Healthwatch Workshops and YogaAnita, and has been in the fitness business since 1978. Anita has trained individuals to be aerobic instructors, provided on site corporate fitness programs, and was a continuing education provider to the fitness industry. Her practice and business is dedicated to helping people calm their minds, stretch their bodies and invigorate their spirits. She also recently authored a book, “Yogaminute”, to help busy people take a minute out their days to give themselves the gift of yoga. Learn more about Anita at www.yogaanita.com.
My top natural alternative to using antibiotics is…
The herbal tincture of goldenseal.
Lore Earley is a Holistic Health Coach & Licensed Counselor. She helps people sort through their emotional and physical baggage so they can feel better and start doing the things they really want to do. Lore specializes in helping you tackle the REAL problem versus dancing with symptoms that keep you unhappy, unwell, and stuck. Learn more about Lore and her work at www.loreearley.com.
My suggestion for a natural alternative to antibiotics is…
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic, and was used religiously by many ancient civilizations to fight off all kinds of nasties. The allicin in garlic is a powerful compound that is know to have antimicrobial properties. To benefit from the healing properties of garlic, chew a raw garlic clove (yes, gross, I know), up to 3 times a day. The chewing action is what releases the allicin and makes it most effective. I have known people who have recovered from illness such as strep-throat using garlic instead of antibiotics.
Melanie Angelis, MSCAM, is a board certified nutritionist, and with her husband, Nick, author of “How to Succeed in Anesthesia School”, she owns and operates holistic wellness center, The Grecian Garden.
My top, natural alternative to using antibiotics is…
Cultured vegetable juice.
It is nourishing, contains antioxidants, and provides a nutritious environment for the probiotics to thrive as they travel through your digestive system.
We do like “natural antibiotics”, but they work only for the right indication, similar to how Cipro is useless for tooth abscess but Penicillin won’t really help a UTI. We’ve found oral oregano supplements useful in skin and anti-fungal agents, but “natural antibiotics” such as tea tree oil an be caustic if used improperly. In general, competitive approaches (meaning that harmful bacteria can’t grow because helpful ones are competing for resources) work better, and at appropriate doses probiotics are better tolerated than trying to wipe all the bad guys out.
Scarlett Zola Vespa is Creative Director and Personal Branding Expert for small and big business. She also is an AD Producer & Director for the assets she creates. Scarlett regularly writes for publications on Personal Branding using subject matter such as Beauty & Fashion Styling and Health & Wellbeing. Learn more about Scarlett’s work at www.glamrabbit.com.
This is my advice to those looking for natural alternatives to antibiotics…
Always trying alternative medicines, my father that was a Cancer Surgeon (the classic rebel), I did mostly use liquid garlic many years ago. When I became a mum (now 20 years ago) that question became a bit more important.
As a mother, ear infections, teeth swelling, bruises and fevers were the normal course of parenting – so what to use when Panadol doesn’t work or my normal ‘go to’ alternates. More research was my answer PLUS understanding what was really happening to my son.
A fever – well that means he’s trying to get rid of an infection or his burning off a virus – check for infection in the chest – not there? Then no antibiotics. I find mostly people turn to antibiotics when they are desperate to just kick the flu etc. but we weaken our immunity to everything else. PLUS it’s mostly a virus in any case, so check if it is first. I’ve hardly used antibiotics and when I have, I feel quite sick on them – so I avoid at all costs. My Chinese therapies of acupuncture can definitely help, plus a good dose of hot water, lemon, Manuka honey and ginger is a winner. Yes Ginger is the antibiotic of the Eastern World.
Viruses are the biggest problem we have approaching our time. My father who used to lecture at the university about this, used to say ‘We have spent thousands of years accommodating the common cold, with genetic modification happening, we’ve created a whole new world of viruses that will be are only enemy in years to come’. He said this to me 20 years ago – and he was truly right. So best protection from viruses is to always try and avoid depleting our natural antibiotics/flora in the body and use an antibiotics when ALL ELSE fails.
Jo Walker of Walker AcuHealth is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and massage therapist with an office in downtown Chicago. Besides her practice, Jo also lectures for health & wellness programs in Chicago. She can be reached at 773.679.6689 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“What is your top, natural alternative to using antibiotics?” is difficult to answer as there are a variety of herbs to use for specific conditions. What one would prescribe for a throat infection will be different from what is prescribed for a urinary tract infection. But I will say is that…
As a practitioner or Traditional Chinese Medicine, overuse of antibiotics are unnecessary when good herbal alternatives are available. An acupuncturist can prescribe herbal prescriptions with no serious side effects. For example, herbs that clear heat (fever), dry dampness (pus), eliminate toxicity (infection) and have antibacterial properties work extremely well.
In the Chinese materia medica, many antibacterial herbs contain berberine, naturally found in herbs and used in China as a broad-spectrum anti-microbial medicine. These herbs include huang qin (Radix scutellariae), huang lian (Rhizoma coptidis), huang bai (Cortex phellodendri), long dan cao (Radix gentianae) and ku shen (Radix sophorae flavescentis). Anti-viral herbs may also include antibacterial activity, and formulas including herbs such as jin yin hua (Flos lonicerae), lian qiao (Fructus forsythiae), pu gong ying (Herba taraxaci), ban zhi lian (Herba sciutellariae barbatae), da qing ye (Folium isatidis), ban lan gen (Radix isatidis), chuan xin lian (Herba andrographis) and yu xing cao (Herba houttuyniae) to name a few.
Many people have had great success with herbal medicine without destroying healthy bacteria, interrupting the bowels, or depleting the immune system.
Becky Long is a Certified Health Coach and Nutritionist. Learn more about Becky and her work at www.healthynutritionknowledge.com.
For those looking for natural alternatives to antibiotics…
This is difficult, because it begs the question… why are you being prescribed antibiotics? That being said probiotics are usually the answer most times. Many people have poor probiotic status because of prescribed medications and poor food choices. Once you get the beneficial microflora back in balance, the immune system can fight most battles!
Amanda Foy is the Emotional Strength Trainer and she has made it her life’s work by helping people all over the world to ask the questions about traumatic life events they have endured to reach an understanding as to why they are sick and tired. Amanda’s gift is helping people to join the dots until they reach their “ohhh, of course!” with life events and how it’s allowed illness or overwhelm to take up too much space. Amanda is a medically friendly natural therapist who believes your emotional immune system is the foundation of your health and well being. When you work on this piece of the puzzle, you find that your jigsaw starts to look a whole lot shinier than before.
When it comes to natural alternatives to antibiotics, it is essential to understand that…
The emotional immune system being affected will then deplete the body’s immune system. It’s essential to work with the two immune systems together, so when the emotions are understood, then addressing what you are eating and how that’s depleting your immune system should also be taken into account.
Natural antibiotics such as echinacea, zinc, colloidal silver, and a probiotic will also support the body’s ability to heal itself.
I stress though, this is a process to work through. If antibiotics have figured heavily in your life, do the emotional work now and during the next time you require them to see if your health returns more quickly, and then investigate food intolerance and natural alternatives as a process back to quality health.