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What Are the 10 Best Natural Antibiotics?

Natural remedies have been a major interest of Kelley's in recent years, and he's also fascinated by unusual food and beverages.

People spend lots of money on conventional antibiotics. Unfortunately, many pathogens are becoming immune to drugs, such as amoxicillin. It also takes a doctor’s prescription to obtain such medicinal stuff, and going to the doctor costs money. Too much money—people might say.

An easier and much cheaper way to obtain antibiotics is to simply go to a grocery or health food store and buy them. The following is a list of 10 that can be surprisingly effective in treating various diseases and health conditions.

10 Best Natural Antibiotics

  1. Garlic
  2. Echinacea
  3. Ginseng
  4. Oregano
  5. Colloidal Silver
  6. Neem Oil
  7. Slippery Elm
  8. Olive Leaf Extract
  9. Honey
  10. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
Garlic cloves

Garlic cloves

1. Garlic

Garlic isn’t just for spicing up your pizza or spaghetti sauce. A member of the onion family, garlic has been used by humans for at least 7,000 years and consists of many different varieties. For medicinal purposes, garlic has antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. In fact, its possibilities seem limitless.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • May help prevent such serious diseases as cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Can be used to cleanse or thin the blood
  • Gastric ulcers
  • acne

In fact, as a natural antibiotic, garlic may be the best. However, it is not only a potent antibiotic, but it also contains many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.


2. Echinacea

Echinacea is a flowering plant found in North America. There are nine different species of this plant, each with its own chemical properties. Plains Indians of North America often used echinacea for various medicinal purposes.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • Pain relief
  • Snakebite
  • Believed to contain an immunostimulant
  • Often used to prevent the common cold and/or treat it once it’s begun

Its major claim to fame may be its effects on the common cold.

Red ginseng

Red ginseng

3. Ginseng

Ginseng is found throughout temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Usually sold in its dried form, ginseng has many medicinal applications.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • Type II diabetes
  • Sexual or erectile dysfunction in men
  • A lack of energy (Ginseng is often included in popular energy drinks.)
  • Ginseng’s therapeutic effects may also include treatment for respiratory illnesses, influenza, and cancer (speculative)

4. Oregano

Oregano is a perennial herb grown in hot, dry climates such as the Mediterranean. Generally used to spice up one’s Italian American cuisine, oregano has antiseptic qualities as well. For centuries, people such as Hippocrates, considered the father of Western medicine, have used oregano.

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What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • Stomach ailments
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Pain relief
  • Sore throats

Oregano also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, because of its high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids.


5. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver may be the most speculative antibiotic on this list, but many people claim it works wonders when taken orally at the onset of the common cold, influenza, or various respiratory illnesses. This is understandable, since silver has been used to fight infections for centuries. Colloidal Silver is simply a mixture of tiny silver particles suspended in a colloidal fluid similar to those used in dental fillings and jewelry. At any rate, because silver ingestion can be toxic, use of Colloidal Silver for longer than ten days is not advised!

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • Used to fight infections
  • Used as an antibiotic taken orally at the onset of the common cold, influenza, or various respiratory illnesses (research is speculative)
Neem oil

Neem oil

6. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a vegetable oil made from the fruits and seeds of neem, an evergreen tree found on the Indian subcontinent. Although it's composed mainly of triglycerides, neem oil is not used for cooking purposes. It’s primarily used to make cosmetics, soap, and medicines.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • Acne
  • Leprosy
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tetanus
  • Eczema

Neem oil helps with many other maladies, both minor and serious. Having a strong antibiotic component, neem oil is also used in pesticides.

Slippery Elm Tree

Slippery Elm Tree

7. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm (also known as red elm) is a deciduous tree found in the eastern United States.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • The reddish inner bark of the tree or its leaves can be ground into powder and used to make a tea or gruel that can relieve digestive problems.
  • Ulcers
  • Sore throats
  • Arthritis
  • Various intestinal disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections

The slippery elm is also useful for expelling tapeworms. Moreover, the bark of this tree is so nutritious it can be eaten as food or taken as a dietary supplement.


8. Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract has shown great promise as an anti-inflammatory agent and antibiotic. It also has an antioxidant capacity twice that of green tea extract and 400% greater than that of vitamin C.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • May be effective in treating high blood pressure, though clinical trials are equivocal.
  • Cancers and tumors, but clinical trials in this area are lacking as well.

9. Honey

Honey, specifically that produced by honey bees and not other types of bees or insects, has been used by humans for at least 8,000 years.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey make it idea for treatment of gastric ulcers, wounds, and burns.
  • Sore throats
  • Coughs
  • Colds
  • Allergies, particularly those involving rhino sinusitis.

Interestingly, even though we've used it for thousands of years, it appears that the medicinal possibilities for honey are only beginning to be revealed! These properties also make it an excellent preservative.


10. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a liquid derived from the seeds, pulp, and white membranes of grapefruit. Some nutritionists claim GSE has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

What Symptoms Does It Help Treat?

  • It is effective in treating ailments such as candidiasis
  • earache
  • sore throats
  • gastric ulcers
  • diarrhea

GSE has also been used to treat dental problems such as gingivitis. One study suggested that GSE could help prevent the occurrence of colon cancer.

My Recommendations

Many of these substances may not be what they’re purported to be, that is, effective treatments, much less cures, for serious diseases and/or health conditions. Most, in fact, appear to have little scientific basis regarding efficacy and may do more harm than good when taken in any fashion. Therefore, the author recommends caution when taking any of the aforementioned herbs, supplements or foods for medicinal purposes.

Of course, conventional antibiotics are a “mixed bag” as well, aren’t they? Do your homework and act accordingly.

Please leave a comment.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Kelley Marks


Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on February 21, 2015:

Thanks for the comment, Naturman. Ginger may have some antibiotic properties, I wouldn't be surprised. It's one of those Eastern natural remedies whose possibilities seem limitless. Later!

Michael Roberts from UK on February 21, 2015:

Hi I think also ginger is an anti-biotic.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 05, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, Teresa Jonathan. Garlic is a kind of natural wonder drug, and yes it is effective when treating gastrointestinal ailments. Later!

Theresa Jonathan from Maseru, Lesotho on November 04, 2014:

Good Hub! Garlic is multi-purpose and does wonders for colds. It is moves lazy bowls and really makes you feel great! Chop and push it down with water to avoid chewing it. You will safely whisper to your friend!

David on May 06, 2014:

Natural sea salt is the most powerful antibiotic on the planet. Number one in natural medicine and more powerful and effective than all of the antibiotics pushed by pharmaceutical companies in conventional medicine.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 01, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, Manatita44. I enjoy writing about the validity of using natural substances as medicine. Later!

manatita44 from london on April 01, 2014:

Very useful article, thanks.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 29, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, deepthiveera. You're right - natural antibiotics have lots to offer, so folks with medical needs should give them a try. Later!

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on March 29, 2014:

Interesting hub. Thank you for taking the time writing this hub :)

deepthiveera from Cumbum, Tamil Nadu, India on March 29, 2014:

Very much interested on this topic. Really many people are suffering from the side effects of allopahic, siddha and other medications. Natural anti-antibiotics are always trustable. Thanks for this great article! Kosmo.

Laryssa from Indiana on March 28, 2014:

Valuable info here. Saving this page!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 05, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, Ryem. Everybody should be cautious taking medicine, because it can be dangerous. Later!

Ryem from Maryland on January 04, 2014:

I don't know what it is, but I've always had a problem taking medicine. You've given some really useful information here, thanks : )

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 04, 2014:

Thanks for the comment, itoldyouiwassick. Natural antibiotics are the best, don't you think so? Later!

Jaime A. Heidel from Connecticut on January 03, 2014:

Great hub. Very helpful information!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on May 03, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, prettynutjob30. I'm not sure I'd like to try a garlic clove mixed with honey. Yuck! But I'll bet it would be good for me. Later!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on May 03, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, Paul Kuehn. Vitamin C is definitely an antioxidant and probably has antibiotic properties as well. Later!

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on May 02, 2013:


This is a very interesting and useful hub for anyone looking for natural antibiotics. I have used garlic, honey, and gingseng with success as natural antibodies. What about the Vitamin C which is found in orange juice? I would think this would be a good antibotic. Voted up and sharing with followers.

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on May 02, 2013:

Every night just about I have a garlic clove crushed with honey, I have done this for a couple of months now and have not gotten sick since I been doing this. Garlic is amazing, great hub, voted up and shared.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on May 02, 2013:

Doctors are quick to give you antibiotics time and time again and not even warn you about the consequences. I have been trying many natural remedies for repeated skin infections including tea tree oil and lavender. There are many remedies out there and thanks for the advice and suggestions.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on May 01, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, vibesites. I think garlic contains - or is - a wonder drug. Later!

vibesites from United States on May 01, 2013:

I also believe in the power of garlic. I applied a fresh juice of it on my skin allergy and it worked. Thanks for this informative hub you've written. Up and useful.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 30, 2013:

Thanks for the compliment, stuff4kids. I hadn't heard of most of these substances before I wrote this article, especially olive leaf extract and slippery elm. Who had? Later!

Amanda Littlejohn on April 30, 2013:

Garlic, olives, grapefruit and honey i already knew about and they have formed a large part of my diet for many years - I am really sure that they are all hugely beneficial to the body. But the others are knew to me. Very interesting. Thanks!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on April 02, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, kabney. I agree - garlic is just about the best supplement of all. It's food as well as a wonder drug. Later!

Kelley Martin from Tulsa on April 01, 2013:

I stand by garlic, I took it every day for a year and never got sick, it really does work!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 16, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, youbar. I'll have to look into the possibilities of goldenseal. Maybe I'll add it to the list. Later!

Joel Lipman from Los Angeles, California on March 14, 2013:

excellent hub! you forgot GOLDENSEAL though, maybe that's #11...

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on February 19, 2013:

Thanks for the comment, Green Art. Garlic, like ginseng, seems to be a cure-all, even for earaches, it seems. Later!

Laura Ross on February 18, 2013:

I had a terrible ear ache this past New Years Eve and knew getting to see a Dr. was going to be difficult so I went to the garlic in my kitchen. I'd read that crushing a garlic clove and putting the juice in my sore ear would relieve the pain. Within about an hour my ear stopped hurting and the pain never returned.

I've also used honey for sore throats over the years with great relief.

I'm excited to have learned about the other remedies presented here. Voted up and useful!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 02, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, tipstoretireearly. Just add honey to your tea and you'll never get a cold. Well, let's hope that's how it works out. Later!

tipstoretireearly from New York on November 02, 2012:

Great suggestions. I'd never thought of honey as an antibiotic.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 31, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, Londonlady. I didn't know taking garlic can fight worm infestations, though I'm not suprised it can. Hey, keep taking it for many reasons. Later!

Deya Writes on October 30, 2012:

Oh gosh, the first one brings back terrible memories! My parents used to have me swallow crushed garlic with a tablespoon of honey so that I wouldn't get infections or "worms" in my stomach as a child. It was so nasty, but it did work! Nice hub, voted up/useful!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 29, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, chayajennie. Stop by again one of these days. Later!

chayajennie from Sandiego on October 27, 2012:

In Echinacea, what part(flower?!) is used?

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 24, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, Lipnancy. Natural antibiotics are definitely preferrable to the man-made ones, as long as they're potent enough to get the job done. Later!

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on October 24, 2012:

If you use the natural antibiotics, you won't have to worry about side effects that come with the man-made ones.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 23, 2012:

Thanks for the compliment, Minnetonka Twin. I'm also learning to love garlic, perhaps the best supplement of all. Later!

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on October 22, 2012:

As a cancer survivor, I use supplements/alternatives daily. I am a big believer that many of these alternative natural remedies work better than any antibiotic. Garlic is one supplement I take daily. Wonderful and informative hub Kosmo.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 22, 2012:

Thanks for the comments, Liz-reviews and tebo. Using natural antibiotics is certainly the best way to go, especially if none is interested in saving money. Of the ten about which I wrote, garlic may be the most effective. Later!

tebo from New Zealand on October 22, 2012:

This certainly is a great list of antibiotic alternatives. I ten to go for the garlic when a sore throat threatens me, but I am very interested in trying the effects of echinacea. Thanks for all this interesting information.

Eunice Elizabeth from Vancouver, BC on October 21, 2012:

Hi Kosmo

Awesome information on natural remedies. Thanks for all the natural choice alternatives, I prefer something natural every time if I can.

voted useful, interesting & voted up.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 21, 2012:

Thanks much for the comment, carol7777. Everybody needs an alternative to going to the doctor and paying big bucks - $50 to $100 just to talk to a doctor for five minutes. Forget about it. Later!

carol stanley from Arizona on October 21, 2012:

Lots of good ideas here. I love any natural solution to health issues. I am going to bookmark this valuable hub, vote up and share.

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