Herbal antibiotics have long been used by herbal healers to ward off colds and flu, clear infections and speed wound healing. Now, they may be moving back into the mainstream as an alternative for bacteria that have become resistant to synthetic antibiotics. We’ll start with some background information and then discuss antibiotic herbs and their use.
How are herbal antibiotics different from pharmaceutical antibiotics?
Many pharmaceutical antibiotics are isolated chemical constituents. They are one compound/one chemical – penicillin is penicillin, tetracycline is tetracycline and so on. This makes them easier for bacteria to adapt to and counteract.
In contrast, herbs are much more complicated. Garlic has over 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids and a dozen other compounds. Yarrow has over 120 identified compounds. (This makes me look at my herbs with a new appreciation.) In plants, the whole appears to be more than the sum of its parts. The different compounds work together, often to produce better than expected results.
Top 15 Antibiotic Herbs
Stephen lists the following as his top 15 antibiotic herbs. I might also add cinnamon (perhaps it’s been added in his second edition, which I haven’t had the pleasure of reading yet).
- Grapefruit Seed Extract