What to Read Next

Five natural antibiotics to fight bad bacteria

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
10 May 2012

Getting your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics is a tall order these days, but our GPs aren’t trying to make us suffer. Modern reliance and over-use of the drugs for decades have led to new strains of bacteria that are resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. This means GPs are extra careful not to give out antibiotics if they believe you have a viral infection, and you may feel short changed walking away from your visit empty handed.

If you’re prescribed antibiotics, it’s because you really need them to get better and fight infection, but for minor ailments, coughs and colds, and to boost your immune system, there are many foods, herbs and extracts that boast bacteria, fungus and viral-fighting properties.

Five natural antibiotics to try

1. Onions
The sulphur in onions that gives them their strong smell and distinct taste is thought to have diuretic and anti-bacterial properties. As well as traditionally being used in a similar way to garlic for fighting minor colds, syrups made from onions are thought to work as an expectorant for nasty coughs. They also improve blood flow and are anti-inflammatory. So make sure you’ve got a big helping in your spag bol tonight.

2. Garlic
One of the oldest medicinal plants, garlic has been used in many cultures for its antibiotic properties and ability to ward off colds and flu. The chemical allicin that gives garlic its strong taste and smell is thought to also give it its therapeutic power. Studies have suggested it can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.  Plus, a recent study found that it was more effective at treating food poisoning than standard drugs.

3. Green tea
Though not quite an antibiotic food, green tea has been shown in scientific studies to help antibiotics work well, so you’re less likely to need to take another course of them. As well as being chockablock with antioxidants and generally great for you, it’s a fairly low caffeine choice and could also make even resistant bacteria susceptible to antibiotics.

4. Honey
Good externally for cuts and infections, honey, and especially Manuka honey, from bees that feed exclusively on the manuka bush in New Zealand and Australia, is well known for its antibiotic properties.  Containing antimicrobial enzymes that release hydrogen peroxide, honey can help prohibit the growth of bacteria and has been used to treat external and internal bacterial infections, including stomach ulcers. A dab of Manuka honey on wounds keeps infection way.

5. Echinacea
A plant extract, Echinacea is known for battling a wide range of bugs, both bacterial and viral. It also stimulates your immune system so that your white blood cells fight off infections more effectively.  Studies have shown that taking a daily Echinacea supplement can reduce your chance of catching a cold by around 58 per cent and will reduce the amount of time you are sick. Its effectiveness can wear off though, so it’s recommended you only take it in bursts of a few weeks, particularly during the sickly winter months and if you feel you’re coming down with something.

Stomping Out Burglary, One Home at a Time

After his friends were robbed, an engineer at Harvard discovered a serious problem in the home security industry. So He Built Something New.

Consolidate your Student Loans by Refinancing

Refinance your student loans to a lower rate with SoFi. Find out how much you can save!

Update Your Look: Bell Sleeves

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Help your customers on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's customers are social, so you should be too. Read this e-book to learn six things to consider as you plan your support strategy.

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Acid Reflux Disease & GERD

Learn More About Acid Reflux Disease and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.) Find Out How These Two Medical Conditions Differ From Heartburn.

Switch and save!

Switch to Progressive and you could save an average of $548.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Drive part-time, full-time, or anytime with Uber!

As an Uber independent contractor you can get paid to drive your own car! We connect you with riders, and you work when you want to.