Natural antibiotics were the primary method of treating bacterial infections until the introduction of synthetic antibiotics in the early 20th Century.
Since Alexander Flemming first discovered penicillin, the pharmaceutical industry has revolutionised how we treat internal and external bacterial infections by making synthetic antibiotics widely available.
While synthetic antibiotics are proven to heal, they do come with certain risks; namely over usage could result in a resistance building up to them, this reduces their effectiveness and is usually experienced by many long-term users.
Natural antibiotics exist in a variety of organic matter, from fruits to vegetables and herbs. Most sources of natural antibiotics have been known and used for centuries in traditional medicine, local to the areas that they can be found.
Although natural antibiotics appear to originate from relatively innocuous sources and are considered safe, one should always discuss their use with a physician as an allergic and adverse reactions is a distinct possibility to organic matter just as much as synthetic ones.
A staple in kitchens throughout the world, garlic does more than add delicious flavour and seasoning to dishes. Dating back centuries, the use of garlic as a natural antibiotic arrived at our modern doorsteps during World War II. As pharmaceutical antibiotic supplies dwindled, field doctors turned to garlic to help slow bacteria growth.
According to NYU Langone Medical Center, the active compounds in garlic, alliin and its derivatives allicin, feature antibiotic elements when applied topically. It's important to note, these elements are not found when consumed internally.
Seemly an unlikely medicine, garlic has a well documented history of being used as a medicine for various ailments. The Romans noted some of the earliest evidence of its powerful medicinal uses.
Found growing nearly everywhere on earth, from the central Asian plains of Mongolia to the remotest Islands of the pacific. Early work carried out by Louis Pasture was with garlic and it properties as natural antibiotic.
As well as its antibiotic qualities, garlic is widely used to ease atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries. It has a role in nursing stroke and heart attack victims back to health.
For non-open wounds, crush garlic cloves to release its allicin and combine with a carrier oil. Apply liberally at the injury site.
Indigenous pacific islanders have been the focus of many studies; they are of interest because they live on mainly high fat diet, but have virtually zero heart disease and obesity. The reason for this anomaly has been accredited to the high amounts of coconut oil they consume in their diet.
Coconut oil is a known natural antibiotic, coconuts provide the body with lauric acid, which it then converts into monolaurin. It is monolaurin that has antibacterial and antiviral qualities, being noted as especially effective against the herpes virus and influenza.
As the push for natural alternatives to synthetic medicines strengthen, it seems the researched medicinal uses of coconut oil as a natural antibiotic and antiviral follow suit.
Coconut oil is being touted as a treatment for internal and external ailments due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
However, a recent study outlines its potential as an antibiotic agent. In the Nov-Dec 2008 issue of Dermatitis, researchers found virgin coconut oil reduced and eliminated staph infections in participants due to its antibiotic properties.
Unlike garlic, the effectiveness of coconut oil as an antibiotic is not determined by mode of application. In layman's terms, it's effective both internally and externally.
Antioxidants in food are measured by the ORAC score, ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity; cinnamon contains the 7th highest amount of antioxidants in all the known foods tested to date.
Used as a seasoning ingredient cinnamon can find its self added to a wide range of dishes. Regarded as not only a tasty additive but also a powerful medicine. Cinnamon has long been used as a traditional home remedy, it is another food that has been used as a medicine, civilisations have called upon cinnamon to heal a variety of ailments.
Somewhat ironically, as well as being used to season food lacking flavour, it is also effective against food lacking hygiene, cinnamon is extremely effective against the bacteria E. coli.
Used in traditional medicine just as often as it's used to season dinners, recently modern science has proven some cinnamon's promoted claims.
As a natural antibiotic, cinnamon was found to eradicate bacteria upon contact, it simultaneously inhibiting the growth of further bacteria. Student researchers at Drew University tested this theory and found cinnamon to be as effective, if not more so than synthetic antibiotic mouthwashes.
Due to its spicy nature, only consume small doses of cinnamon or apply a small amount topically. Check with your doctor about the potential of allergic reactions, as this spice can cause severe reactions if you're allergic.
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