Natural Antibiotics

© Peter Smith [updated 2013]

There are many natural compounds that can be used when you are fighting an infection and your immune system needs some external help. Some attack the infection directly killing the pathogen, others boost your immune system, some do both. Most are not as strong or quick acting as conventional antibiotics, but none of them kill-off the natural healthy bowel flora in your intestines or have other toxic side effects. They can take up the mid-ground between conventional antibiotics and doing nothing. Use these remedies when you have none life threatening or dangerous infection. Don’t take risks if you may have something serious like meningitis, if in doubt call the national health help-line and/or see your doctor. If you don’t see signs of improvement within 2-3 days do something else.
The best natural antibiotic is a strong immune system, for information on how to strengthen your immune system in the first place see:
Maximum Immunity flow chart poster and video presentation below
This list is not a compendium of everything claimed to have antibiotic effects. It only includes substances that I have consistently seen work.
Olive leaf Extract
A good general antibacterial and immune booster but with especially useful for chest or sinus infections. A chesty cold would be the classic example. Any standardised herbal formula is better than none-standardised, I have used the Solgar brand with good results.
Solgar do an Olive leaf and Echinacea complex which is an excellent combination for infections producing strong effects. The only caveat with this formula is that it contains Echinacea. This herb is known to rev-up the immune system but it does this in a way that can the increase any allergies or sensitivities you may have. So if you don’t have allergies its safe and useful, if you do have allergies it may still be OK but only for short term use (say up to a week), and only when you actually have an infection, not just for prevention.
Olive leaf is safe for children but at reduced dose and can be found in liquid form from Comvita
Propolis Tincture
Propolis is especially useful for throat infections. Use 9 drops in half a tumbler of water (warm water is best) gargle and swallow, repeat 3 times per day. You can also put a small amount of propolis into a neti cup for sinus infections but be careful as if you make it to strong it will burn. 
The best brand I have used and only one I recommend is Comvita.
Comvita also do Propolis spray that may be easier to apply for children.
Miatake D fraction
This is without doubt the strongest substance I have ever found to boost the immune system. You can use it in any infection in any situation. The only downside is it is very expensive. Miatake is a mushroom similar to shitake mushrooms that boosts your immune system rather than being anti-bacterial or anti-viral. Really the best anti-biotic is powerful immune system and Miatake encourages that.
You can use Miatake in combination with other things:
For a chest infection use Miatake with olive leaf or Solgar Olive Leaf and Echinacea Complex for a very strong infection.
Combine it with Propolis and/ or zinc lozenges for a throat infection.
Another way to use Miatake is preventatively for example many people regularly find they get an infection after flying, and you can prevent this by taking a few doses of Miatake on the day you fly and perhaps the day after. I have had very good feedback on this working.
I have no experience of Miatake taken long term and rather think of it being best held back like an anti-biotic and used occasionally when you need that extra help.
This traditional and widely used herbal remedy is useful for boosting the immune system in any situation. However it should only be used short-term -say ten days- and has a possible risk for people with allergies of making the allergic reactions stronger. This latter effect is probably only temporary. For the same reason avoid echinacea with auto-immune diseases. 
I do not recommend the practice of taking Echinacea all winter as a prevention.
Zinc and Zinc lozenges
Zinc deficiency is very common because it is generally low in our diets, and it playa a significant role in our immune system. You can always take extra zinc with and infection, however zinc in a lozenge form has an especially powerful effect on throat infections. Lamberts do zinc plus lozenges that work well. I think you can buy zinc lozenge’s in Boots the only thing to watch our for is that they are not too strong. In lozenge form you want up to about 2-4 mg dose I tried a 20 mg lozenge and was nearly sick. Internally tablets should be 15-30 mg with added copper and you need B6 or B complex to absorb and use the zinc. I think the best one is Natures Own True Food zinc taken with a little B6.
Sambucol is a an extract of elderberry with anti viral properties, available from the Nutri Centre and good vitamin shops, good at any stage of a dose of flue. Use the whole bottle over a few days.
This is what I would use in-place of Tamiflu.
It is safe for children at the appropriate dose.
Vitamin C and Magnesium
The cheep and cheerful way to help the immune system is with vitamin C, but I have to say I have never noticed a dramatic effect in the way I have experienced with say Miatake, even when trying 40,000 mg per day when I had a cold!
Magnesium is –like zinc- often low in our diets and play a big role on our immune system. So take some extra magnesium when fighting and infection, and afterwards if you have a protracted recovery phase.
The easiest way to take these two nutrients is Biocare Vitamin C 1000 plus Bilberry. This is magnesium ascorbate and delivers both Vit C and magnesium. Take 3 twice a day for a good effect.
Orolmat drops
This is a rye grass extract with a special affinity for the lungs consider it for asthmatic conditions and if you suffer from frequent chest infections. I recommend it as a cause of treatment –say two months- for children with run down immune systems.
Salt water and Neti Cup (also called Nasal Douche)
Neti cups are brilliant at preventing and treating sinus infections. They can be used regularly as a preventative against colds or if you have sinus problems, or whenever you have a head cold that goes up into your nose/sinuses. I cannot recommend neti cups highly enough, people are often reluctant to try them because of a worry that it will be painful or unpleasant, but the process is does not hurt unless you tip you head forward and gives instant relief. The process is messy and best done in the shower or over the bath.
Using a neti pot for several days can be very useful before flying if you tend to have trouble equalising your ear pressure. 
I recommend plastic like the Emcur nasal douche from
Visit utube to see how to use them. 
The basic procedure is to press the neti spout against one nostril and tilt your head to the opposite side. A second position is to tip the head straight back so that your face is up towards the ceiling. There is s delay before the water comes out again as the maxillary sinus fills up. Keep your mouth closed to prevent opening the eustachen tube connected to the middle ear. When you come forward always allow the water to drain for a moment before you blow your nose, blowing when you tubes are still full of water applies an uncomfortable pressure back up into the ears. 
When you’ve finished you can hold your head down between your knees to more effectively drain your sinuses. 
To get the right temperature dip the tip of your nose in the water it should feel warm to slightly hot. Add enough salt to make the experience very slightly sting. To strongly kill and infection with say blood in the nasal mucus add a few drops of Propolis tincture, enough to create slight but noticeable stinging.
A promising new agent to add to a neti cup is the sugar substitute Xylitol. Add a heaped teaspoon or more to a neti cup for sinus infections. 
It is also an effective antibacterial for oral bacterial adding a level teaspoon to your mouth when brushing and flossing your teeth reduces oral bacteria and gum disease. 
Xylitol re-mineralises the teeth after exposure to fruit and other acids reducing acid erosion of your dental enamel, but to achieve this you would need to hold a solution in the mouth soon after exposure to the acid. Leave a delay of more than 25 mins and the damage is already done. 
Vitamin D and A
Vitamin D is getting lots of attention as a preventative against the flue. Take it throughout the winter to reduce your chances of getting the flue.
You get vitamin D from fish, liver and from bright sunshine. Pale white skinned people are better off supplementing vitamin D or eating lots of fish all year round and protecting their skin against the sun and cancer. Dark skinned brown people living in low sun northern climates just don’t get enough strong bright sunshine to make enough vitamin D, and so are better off supplementing vitamin D or eating lots of fish throughout the winter. Basically if your skin is pale enough to get enough vitamin D in Britain in the summer you should be careful against skin cancer, and if you are dark skinned enough to not have to worry about skin cancer you should definitely supplement Vitamin D in the winter.
Take 1000 mg D3 daily any day you don’t get some bright sun on your body (face and arms are enough). Do not supplement vitamin D 2 during pregnancy. 
Vitamin A gets depleted rapidly during infections and is worth supplementing whenever you have had and infection. Higher levels of vitamin A in the body will also boost the immune system and can be used with chronic long term infections. Even moderate vitamin A supplements can be toxic during pregnancy, when not pregnant 25,000 i.u. a day for several weeks is well within safety levels.
The easiest thing to do is just take fish liver oil throughout the winter it contains both vitamin A and D
Homeopathic Approaches
Anas Barb 200 (also called oscilococsicum) right at the beginning 2 pills every 2 hours for five doses. This is an effective homeopathic remedy for all cold and flu infections available from Ainsworths. This remedy works well if you start at the very first signs of an infection and can nip it in the bud.
N. B. the cold virus is spread via contact and is not spread through the air like flu viruses can be. It enters your system through touching ones nose, eyes and mouth after picking up the virus from hand shakes and door handles etc. Washing your hands strategically 4-5 times per day after being in public areas (shops, banks, trains, schools etc.) and after handling cash. Train yourself not to touch your face (especially the eyes, your mouth and the inside of your nose). Do not touch your face until you have washed your hands except with a tissue, in the event of a serious epidemic this may save your life.
Colloidal Silver
This is claimed to be a powerful antibiotic substance on the web and in many books, most of what is written is just hearsay. I can honestly say I have tried good quality strong colloidal silver on many occasions with many different types of infections and with different people and it has consistently failed to deliver any noticeable effects. I believe it may well work well in-vitro (in test-tubes) where it has been shown to kill many different species of bacteria, but this effect does not appear to translate into a useful in-vivo (in living bodies) medicine, what I think happens is when the colloidal silver mixes with body fluids it chemically binds with the salts inside the body to form silver salts which no longer have antibiotic effects. Don't waste your money. The one possible area where I would still recommend colloidal silver is for external use as a wash for skin infections, or as a gargle for sore throats whether colloidal silver works on the surface of the throat.
Cystitis Treatment
1/ Immediately start drinking copious amounts of water. This is very important to help prevent the infection travelling up the uretters to the kidneys. 
2/ Do not eat strawberries and do not drink normal coffee, but you can drink dandelion coffee and have dandelion salad leaves, this herb is very useful for cystitis.
3/ Phone your health-food shop or the Nutri Center and order the cranberry products: Cranberry powder and cranberry capsules, or you may be able to obtain them from your local health food store; I recommend Laberts cranberry complex powder and Solgar standardised cranberry capsules. Biocare cranberry products are also excellent. 
4/ Go to a health food shop and get New Era Feri Phos (Nelsons also do a Feri Phos but for these purposes the New Era one is better), Take 4 pills under the tongue every hour until the burning starts to go down. Thereafter take 4 pills 4 times per day while any symptoms persist and for 3 days afterwards. The Feri Phos is not a cure but provides a completely safe relief of the painful inflammation, and is easy to get a hold of.
Also buy vitamin C 1000-mg tablets (Biocare, Lamberts or Solgar), and if there is blood in the urine you need vitamin E 400 units (see later).
Take 3 of the vitamin C pills with every meal.
These measures should tide you over if you have to wait for the powerful cranberry powder and capsules to arrive. The powder is taken first, it is a concentrated cranberry extract. Follow the dosage on the bottle until the symptoms have all gone, this should kill the infection. Then take the capsules 1 or 2 per day until the bottle is finished. The infection lingers around for about 2 weeks after the active symptoms have passed. All to often medicines are stopped too soon and the infection comes back sooner or later. The capsules serve the important function of keeping the infection under control while the body restores natural balance in the urinary tract.
Cranberry has been shown to be as affective as anti-biotics in killing urinary tract infections, only when taken in sufficient quantities however and drinking the juice has little effect. The advantage of cranberry over anti-biotics is that it does not damage the healthy bacteria that live in the bowels and vagina. When these friendly bacteria colonies are destroyed it can to often lead to thrush.
If there has been blood in the urine there are tiny little lesion which need to be healed with as little scar formation as possible so take vitamin E which helps to heal cuts with out leaving scars. The one I recommend is Higher Nature Vit. E 200 one pill two times per day. With other makes take 400i.u. twice per day. Continue the Vit. E for a month.
Cystitis Prevention
  • Ware cotton or very breathable underwear, and when possible open gusset hosiery.
  • After a bowel motion wipe from behind front to back only, be scrupulous about not allowing faecal bacteria touching the vaginal area. Also avoid this happening during sex. 
  • Go the toilet to pass water soon after sex, make sure you are drinking enough.
  • Take showers not baths when you feel any vaginal irritation.
  • Do not use any perfumes, strong soaps or deodorants in the vaginal area. But natural products. 
N.B. The use of Golden Seal for cystitis has been shown to be of benefit. It is antibacterial and also soothing to the mucus membranes lining the bladder and urinary tract. I would recommend Solgar standardized Golden Seal one capsule twice per day. Taken together with the cranberry capsules it should help to prevent re-infection and speed up healing.
Note: a one off attack of cystitis can be treated with the above remedies, if you regularly suffer from cystitis however you should treat the underlying cause with natural medicine and in some rare cases you may need special X ray investigations for the possibility of a structural problem. If you have already taken anti-biotic therapy then it is important to repopulate the body with the friendly bacteria. Do this by taking Bio-acicophillus capsules I would recommend Biocare as they specialize in this field.
It you get a high temperature and back ache the infection may have moved up into your kidneys this is a potentially dangerous infection and you may want to consider antibiotics unles you are very confident with natural remedies (and once a gain do so at your own risk). 
Effectively Treat Cold Sores Or Simply Nip Them In The Bud With Hot Spoons!
You can deactivate and kill the herpes virus that causes cold sores at 48° C; above 50-51° C you start to burn or scold your own lips. This leaves us with a 2° window of opportunity to kill the cold sore virus without hurting ourselves. You can buy a gizmo like a lipstick with a battery inside which delivers a blast of 50° C to the spot called the Hotkiss, or here's my DIY version.
All you need is a kettle, a good thermometer and spoons. Using an accurate thermometer bring 1 to1-1/2 L of water up to exactly 51° C and no more. Have several long handled spoons spoon in the in the water as you adjust the temperature, if you add the spoons afterwards the temperature may drop. You need to use a largish amount of water because with a small amount of water the temperature drops too quickly below the 2° therapeutic window. A saucepan or a kettle is perfect for doing this. Now all you have to do is remove a hot spoon, flick off any water and quickly hold it right on the cold sore. It will feel very hot for a second or two before it cools down, as soon as it's cooled put it back in the water and repeat with the next hot spoon. Like magic in no time the cold sore goes away. 
If you feel a cold sore coming on you can nip it in the bud with 2 to 3 treatments per day applying the heat 10-15 times in a single treatment. Once you've done it a couple of times you’ll find it's very easy to do, I do it at the same time as making a cup of tea. 
If you have a fully developed open cold sore you can hasten its demise with 3 to 4 treatments per day applying the heat 20-25 times in each treatment.
N.B. open cold sores are infectious, wash everything you've touched with hotter than 50° water after you've finished.
For information on how to improve your immune system   so you get less cold sores and other infections in the first place see my Maximum Immunity flowchart below
Putting it all together
With any infection take a multi-vitamin with plenty vitamin A an D (not with A during pregnancy), and extra magnesium and vitamin C. e.g. take Solgar VM75 1 twice per day and Biocare Vitamin C 1000 plus bilberry, 4-6 per day. Eat easy to digest protein like chicken or fish soup.
For a throat infection add Propolis tincture and zinc lozenges.
For a chest infection add olive leaf or Solgar olive leaf and Echinacea complex 4-6 per day.
For flue add sambucol.
Add Miatake to any of the above will turbo charge the effect. Or just use Miatake on its own. 1 full pipette 3-4 time a day for a strong effect.
For sinus/nasal infections use a neti cup.
To shorten a cold take Andrographis paniculata 400 mg twice per day. 
You can mix everything together as you wish. For a cold you could use zinc lozengers, miatake and do sinus washes with propolis, salt and xylitol
Be Well
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