The antibiotic penicillin was ‘accidentally’ discovered in 1929 by Alexander Fleming. It took the medical world by storm and changed the way of treating diseases. However, the biggest worry faced by modern medicine is the emerging antibiotic resistance.

Natural antibiotics are a great way to fight off infection-causing germs and boost overall health. Here are five herbal options that can ward off infections effectively.

1. Garlic
This single food source is effective against bacteria, viruses, protozoans and fungi. It stimulates the immune system and lowers blood pressure and blood sugar. Garlic is best known for its use against lung and stomach infections. A 2003 study highlighted the potency of garlic extract against MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Another study conducted in 2011 found that garlic was effective against antibiotic resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
How To Use It: Eating raw garlic is best. Crush two to three cloves and add it your soups and food.

2. Coconut Oil
The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of coconut oil are due to its high content of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). The most potent of these is lauric acid, which invades and kills pathogens. A study carried out with virgin coconut oil found it effective against Clostridium difficile—bacteria which cause food poisoning. (Related Article: 4 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Natural Health)
How To Use It: Have 1tsp of coconut oil each day at breakfast. Add it to your salads and smoothies to make them healthy and improve your immunity. Coconut oil also exhibits a range of skin benefits and can be included in your beauty regime. Buy it here.

3. Oregon Grape Root
The active ingredient of Oregon grape, berberine, is effective against sore throat, stomach infections, urinary tract infection (UTI), herpes, psoriasis and acne. Berberine prevents the bacteria from adhering to your cell walls, thereby preventing the disease.
How To Use It: Oregon grape root can be used to make a herbal tea. Boil 1-3tsp of chopped dried roots in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. This tea should be taken three times daily. For treating psoriasis, apply an ointment containing 10 percent Oregon extract under the guidance of a physician or dermatologist. Yiu can take dried Oregon grape root powder in the form of capsules or liquid tincture.

4. Olive Leaf Extract
The leaves and extract can defend against various bacteria, viruses and protozoans. A 2010 study indicated that the bitter component of olive leaves, oleuropein, exhibits potent antimicrobial action.
How To Use It: The best way to use olive leaf extract is in capsule form which can be bought online here.

5. Manuka Honey
The antibacterial properties of honey are known to most. Manuka honey is specifically potent due to its active component, methylglyoxal. Studies have confirmed its use in treatment of stomach infections, mouth bacteria and wound bacteria, especially MRSA.
How To Use It: Just 1-2tsp a day can help build your immunity.Add it your hot beverages and smoothies, spread a teaspoon on your toast or drizzle it on your porridge or cereal. Buy it off the shelf in supermarket, health stores and online.

These natural tools not only defend against disease-causing germs, but also support your immune system. Forget the prescription and try these natural antibiotics instead.

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