Editor’s note: Knowledge of natural antibiotics can be vital in the event of a long term grid down disaster when access to medical care may be limited. Today’s guest post provides a selection of remedies that are commonly found in many kitchens. This is not meant to be medical advice – speak to your doctor about your interest in natural antibiotics to see if they are right for you.
Written by Travis Noonan
If disaster strikes, infrastructure may fail. Clean, running water may be hard to come by. Trash pick-up will certainly be a chore “at the bottom of the totem pole”. The chances that disease and illness will spread climb dramatically with every passing day.
Unfortunately, the odds that you may suffer some sort of bacterial infection or illness goes up, too. But you may not have access to medical care like you need – after all, personnel may be busy helping others. Hospitals may be shut down. Clinics may be shut down.
That’s okay. You already own antibiotics – they’re sitting in your kitchen as you read this. These aren’t just holistic gimmicks, either. These five improvised antibiotics have been medically studied and proven to reduce bacterial infections, even eliminate them. Ultimately, they can help you fight off common diseases.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this guide should be taken as medical advice. If you’re suffering from an illness or infection (or you think you’re exhibiting symptoms), always consult with a doctor or medical professional before using any chemical, extract, oil, or other substance as treatment. Prescription antibiotics will always be more effective than naturally-occurring antibiotic compounds.
#1 Allicin (garlic extract)
Allicin is an enzyme produced when raw garlic is crushed or chopped. It can also be purchased directly. Used frequently, Allicin acts as a supplement which symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Garlic also provides tons of other benefits: It reduces the chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and it can reduce the size and symptoms of benign tumors.
More importantly, Allicin contains antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, allowing it to protect against gram-positive and-negative bacteria! Allicin was proven to effectively attack MRSA and other bacteria. Interestingly, research shows that if Allicin is aerosolized and inhaled, it can effectively kill lung-pathogenic bacteria. Before antibiotics were refined, early research showed inhalation of Allicin successfully treated tuberculosis.
Preparation and use
Allicin must be consumed fresh. Otherwise, it loses its effectiveness: It quickly deteriorates once produced and loses its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. That’s not a problem though. Taking Allicin means simply crushing up raw garlic (thoroughly), and consuming it.
Allicin is destroyed when the garlic is fried or cooked. It’s not possible to directly quantify how much Allicin one needs to equate to one dose of antibiotics – but again, that’s not a problem: The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends ingesting 2 to 4 cloves of garlic or 600 to 1,200 mg of aged garlic extract, daily.
To ensure effective Allicin production, we recommend using a mortar and pestle to crush your cloves up. The garlic should be effectively emulsified in the mortar. Continue crushing it until garlic oil is extracted from the cloves.
2. Carvacrol and Thymol (oregano oil)
We normally just throw it on pizza and spaghetti, but it could save your life: Oregano leaves and shoots, when dried and crushed, produce two oil-based chemicals called Carvacrol and Thymol. Carvacrol is abundant in oregano and it has been shown to stop the growth of several types of bacteria, most notably of all, it can treat antibiotically-resistant Streptococcus. Thymol is also a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of Staph that causes food poisoning, skin infections, pneumonia, heart valve infections, and bone infections, has also been successfully treated with oregano oil.
Carvacrol was also shown to be effective against medically-resistant bacteria, like E. Coli and Pseudomonas aerugonisa, both of which cause UTIs and respiratory infections.
Preparation and use
Luckily, making oregano oil is easy at home! All you need is fresh, completely dried oregano and some olive oil. You’ll also need a mason jar (approximately 16 ounces), and some olive oil. Preparation is incredibly simple. The ratio is 1:1. Just grab the jar and grab enough oil and oregano to evenly fill the jar.
Ensure your oregano is truly dried with no excess water, lest the mixture spoils from mold growth. Then, chop and crush the oregano and place it in the jar, filling it up half way. Fill the rest of the jar up with olive oil.
Seal the jar and place it in boiling water. Immediately turn off the heat and let the jar sit in the hot water for 10 minutes while it cools. This kickstarts the releasing of oregano oil from the plant. After 10 minutes, remove the jar from the bath and place it in a sunny window for 1 to 2 weeks.
Shake the jar every two or three days, then strain the jar of the crushed oregano after two weeks, collecting the oil left behind. The oil can then be stored in a cool, dark place for use later!
Research studies recommend using approximately 200 mg of oregano oil three times a day for 6 weeks to fight off a bacterial infection. This was the dose used in a study showing Carvacrol is effective against E. Coli.
3. Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka Honey)
Manuka honey sounds exotic, but it’s just honey produced by bees who pollinate one type of flowering plant in New Zealand, called the Manuka bush. This oddly specific kind of honey is quite amazing: It’s been used for thousands of years to heal open and infected wounds, and it’s been shown to treat tooth decay, digestive issues, and certain bacteria.
It’s so effective that in 2007, the U.S. FDA approved it as an option for wound treatment. Studies have shown applying Manuka honey to a wound protects it from microbial infections and amplifies the regeneration of tissue. The same studies showed it even decreases pain in patients suffering from burns.
For example, one two-week study investigated the effects of applying a manuka honey dressing on 40 people with non-healing wounds. The results showed that 88% of the wounds decreased in size. Moreover, it helped create an acidic wound environment, which favors wound healing.
Manuka honey contains Leptospermum scoparium, an antibacterial chemical known to help treat over 60 species of bacteria, including gram-positive and -negative species. It is also light- and heat-stable, meaning it can safely be stored for later use.
This comes as little surprise when we find out that Manuka honey produces hydrogen peroxide. Yes, the same stingy stuff you apply to sidewalk scrapes and paper cuts.
Preparation and use
Manuka honey requires no preparation and can be ingested or applied to an open wound directly. If applied topically, keep the wound covered with honey daily for at least 7 days. If ingested, take 1 to 2 tablespoons daily for at least 7 to 10 days.
Ingesting Manuka honey has been shown to help treat respiratory, skin, and bone infections, as well as UTIs and gastrointestinal infections. Manuka honey is shown to be effective against Staph, MRSA, Cystic Fibrosis, Irritable Bowel symptoms, Cholera, E. Coli, and P. aeruginosa.
4. Cysteine Sulphoxides and Quercetin (Onions)
They may make you cry at the kitchen counter, but onions can relieve the pain and symptoms of bacterial infections. They can even treat such infections, just like garlic. Onions contain similar compounds to garlic, called Cysteine Sulphoxides, or alliums (like garlic’s Allicin).
Numerous scholarly studies have shown that onion extract concentrations of 50% or higher prove to be incredibly effective against numerous strains of bacteria and infectious diseases. In fact, it’s so effective that a 1,000-year-old onion and garlic recipe was found to effectively kill off 90% of antibiotic-resistant Staph (MRSA) infections. You can read about it here.
One type of onion, the Persian shallot, was found to inhibit the growth of Tuberculosis cells by more than 99.9% – effectively killing off the growing infection. Onion extract can be expensive and difficult to find. Luckily, simply ingesting raw onions has been shown to help treat common infections and bacteria like MRSA, Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella, and Klebsiella.
Preparation and use
Onions can be used in different forms to kill bacteria and treat infections. Onion-based Quercetin (a flavor extract) has been shown to treat infections with 100 to 500 mg ingested daily. Quercetin alone was found to help treat Staph, MRSA, E. Coli, and Salmonella. Pure onion extract can also be used, though little information exists for recommended doses. Average daily doses of 50 grams of fresh onion that’s cut and sliced, or 20 grams of dried onion are also suggested.
5. Alpha-Pinene, Borneol, Camphene & Linalool (Ginger)
Yes, all those scientific-sounding chemical compounds are derived from good ole’ Ginger root. And (not) surprisingly, all these compounds exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties! Ginger is a flowering plant native to China. Its roots are now commonly used in all manners of cooking. Ginger ale even makes for a popular soda pop.
Yet ginger root is much more useful as a naturally-occurring treatment for a plethora of fungi and bacteria. It’s been proven to kill off eight types of fungus: Aspergillus terrus, A. niger, Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus), Trichothecium roseum (T. roseum), Fusarium graminearum (F. graminearum), F. oxysporum, Fusarium oxysporum (F. monoliforme), and Curvularia palliscens.
It can also effectively treat the bacterium that commonly causes UTIs, respiratory infections, dermatitis, and G.I. infections (P. Aeruginosa). It can also treat strains of Rhodoturola, Samonella newport, S. enteritidis, and Fusarium.
Preparation and use
Pure ginger extract can be purchased and used without additional preparation. Studies determining the antibacterial properties of ginger typically used 170-mg to 1-gram doses, 3 to 4 times daily.
If you’re in a pinch, creating your own ginger extract is simple. You’ll need raw ginger root, cheesecloth, and a grater or cutting implement. The root should be peeled and cut to remove bruises and blemishes. Next, simply grate, chop, or finely slice the ginger root into a pulp.
Compress the pulp in a cheesecloth, straining the juice from the raw root. Collect the juice in a container until the pulp is completely squeezed and dry as possible. The collected juice can be ingested, or you can increase its potency and concentration by boiling off some of the water present in the juice. Simply heat the juice to a simmer for approximately 1 hour to evaporate the water. Be careful not to excessively boil the juice.
About the Author:
Travis Noonan is a retired military veteran, gunsmith, prepper, and writer. He spends his days helping shooters build tactical rifles through his website, https://www.ar-15lowerreceivers.com/. He also writes and contributes to survivalist, prepper, and firearm publications. In his spare time, he strategizes his own prep kit and gear in his Philadelphia-suburb apartment.