Nature’s Antibiotics


It is at this time of year when lots of us come down with a nasty bug or two. Instead of heading off for a prescription or ‘Over The Counter’ pills here are some natural alternatives you might already have in your cupboard!



Long since used as an antibiotic it is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, expectorating, an immune stimulant and all round good guy. A good, unprocessed, organic honey is much better than the chain brands. Caution to note – it is still a sugar so those with diabetes should avoid.


Well known for its Vitamin C content, lemon is antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-oxidating, immune boosting and anti-congestive. As an added bonus it also helps stimulate the liver function, boosting digestion and detoxing the body.


The list of attributes for Ginger is a long one but a few of the key ones for fighting off infections are: antibacterial, antiviral, combats fever, antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating. Ginger is also a synergist thus boosts the effectiveness of other herbs and as it’s a circulatory stimulant it helps send them throughout the body. *Avoid large doses when pregnant.

Lemon and ginger tea

4 slices of Ginger

Half a Lemon

Spoon of Honey

Put the sliced Ginger in a cup, add hot water, squeeze juice of half a Lemon and add a spoon of organic Honey. It’s yummy!


Garlic is most famous for it’s pungent smell and as a tasty ingredient, however it also has fantastic medicinal properties especially for the respiratory system. It has a strong antibacterial action, is an expectorant, a diaphoretic (reduces fever), it also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. To get the most benefit it should be used raw; an excuse to make a lovely bruschetta or pesto! Anyone on blood thinners should use with caution as it does thin the blood.


Shiitake is known for its immune boosting properties (and its anti cancer properties) and now it seems there is evidence to suggest the ordinary white button mushroom may also have some of these extraordinary benefits.


This can be a helpful friend with coughs, colds and sinusitis as it is a good mucus clearer. It is also antibacterial and antiviral. Cardamom - whilst better known for its digestive properties, Cardamom also has some respiratory benefits. Whilst it doesn’t have any specific antibacterial benefits it does contains essential oils - eucalyptus and camphor and thus is good for coughs, sore throats and is anti-congestive.

Whilst the above is not a conclusive list of herbal antibiotics, it does offer an easily obtainable alternative to allopathic medicines.

About the author: 

Denise qualified as a Naturopath and herbalist in 2012 with the College of Naturopathic Medicine. Since delving into the world of holistic medicine I find myself avoiding pharmaceutical drugs, I very rarely need to visit the GP and my whole health has benefited from the holistic approach I have now taken.