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How to Naturally Fight Infections without Antibiotics (Is Oil of Oregano the Best Natural Antibiotic?)

I have quite a collection of antibiotic prescriptions that have never been filled.

Over the years, I’ve gotten skilled at fighting infections withOUT antibiotics, and in fact, 3 of my 4 children have never taken an antibiotic in their lives.

Child number one was apparently my test subject as I learned more about natural health, how to support the body’s own immune system, and stocking my natural remedies medicine cabinet with both tools and knowledge to get him healthy after an infection hit.

I could only do the best back then with what I knew at the time – but I know better now, and I hope to share wisdom with you on natural antibiotic substitutions that can help your family avoid the grenade that prescription antibiotics can be to the gut’s microbiome.

RELATED: How to restore your microbiome after antibiotics.

cloves of garlic

Our Story: Avoiding Prescription Antibiotics the First Time

You’ll hear this story in the first person from the time period just after the events happened when my oldest son Paul was about 5 years old in 2010.

Last spring, I came home from a doctor’s appointment with my child carrying two bags: one with a super-strength prescription antibiotic from the pharmacy, and the other holding two tiny bottles clinking together from the health food store.

My husband and I had to pray together (and consult Dr. Google) about whether to give our son the drugs – which had complications like diarrhea, not ideal for our plane travel in four days – or the garlic and oregano oils.

He had just battled a case of strep throat, finishing his 10-day regimen of antibiotics the day before he got sick again. (And yes, I’m convinced that the antibiotics wiped out his system and made him prone to the next infection.)

We were also testing him out on a gluten-free diet, but we couldn’t tell if the poor kid was having any positive effects because of the sickness and medication!

It was touch and go all day, watching his fever, his mood, his pain threshold.

Paul sick

The garlic and oregano are pretty nasty little buggers to drink, even in a shot glass of orange juice. I can tell you which option my son would have chosen if given his say!

I felt a little guilty tossing out the antibiotics, but I’d rather feed the trash than my little guy.

You can read more of the story of my son battling ear infections with natural antibiotic options if you’re interested in that ailment specifically.

I’ve come a long way from the disgusting (and potentially risky) garlic-and-oregano-in-orange-juice treatment, believe me.

Today we’ll stick to the general overview of natural infection-fighting herbs, oils, and more, for topical use, internal use, and even in the air.

RELATED: If you do end up using antibiotics, here’s the best probiotic when taking an antibiotic.

Disclaimer: I’m Just a Mom learning along with you. At the time of that story, I felt like I was still a total rookie at the natural health gig, but every year I learn more. I often say that when illness or disease hits our household, I’m grateful in a weird way — because once I learn how to deal with it with as few toxins as possible, I can share that knowledge with others here at Kitchen Stewardship®. 🙂

I may not be a medical professional,  but over a decade of experience in home doctoring has taught me a lot.

Allow me to help. Here’s what I’ve picked up over the years to help my kids heal naturally from infections and avoid prescription antibiotics.

fighting infection naturally

Why Avoid Prescription Antibiotics? What Are the Side Effects? 

Prescription antibiotics are a big deal — some say that just ONE dose in childhood can impact gut health, weight management, and more as adults. 

It’s not something easily undone, so it’s a MUCH more weighty decision than most doctors wielding prescription pads would lead you to believe. 

Side effects of antibiotics may include:1, 2, 3

  • gut dysbiosis (because most are broad-spectrum and wipe out both your pathogenic bacteria and your supportive bacteria)
  • skin rashes
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach and other gastrointestinal side effects (nausea, vomiting, cramps)
  • yeast infections
  • fever
  • dizziness 
  • C. diff infection4
  • neurotoxic effects5
  • mitochondrial dysfunction6

Although rare, antibiotics do infrequently have irreversible or even fatal side effects.7 Because my natural remedies don’t even have anecdotal death rates, I prefer to do my best to avoid prescription antibiotics unless they are a last resort and build up my natural remedies medicine cabinet with as many options as possible to fight infection and mitigate symptoms from normal, everyday illnesses and injuries as much as possible.

Of course, this all starts with a foundation of eating our vegetables to fuel our bodies well and acknowledging the power of our own immune systems

RELATED: If your kids have been on antibiotics check out this interview about building up your child’s gut.

Preventative Measures to Stay Healthy

The first step to fighting an infection is to get your body (and its immune system) in great shape to begin with.

When you’re working with a powerful system, you want it to be there to support you when you need it. During cold and flu season, we tend to take extra care to give our bodies what they need.

Here’s what I like to have on hand, either for daily use or to take when we know “something is going around.”

  • Dried elderberries to make elderberry syrup (or buy a tincture from Earthley) – the tincture is very affordable and easy to take. Just a dropperful or less per child, depending on age, AND it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, a huge plus over elderberry syrup. Elderberries boost the immune system. Elderberry syrup should not be used by people with autoimmune diseases or who are taking immunosuppressant medications.
  • Homemade chicken stock from bones – always a good food to include in your meal plan at least once a week, especially in the fall/winter.
bowl of homemade chicken stock on a red striped hand towel
  • Vitamin C superfoods – it’s pretty well known that vitamin C is a great way to boost your immune system and prevent getting sick. But did you know the very best way to get vitamin C is through whole food sources? My favorite way to get the most potent vitamin C rich superfoods is with Essential C Complex from Paleovalley, and you get 10% off with that link! Mix the powder from the capsule into a smoothie or applesauce for kids who can’t swallow pills, or grab some Immune-Aid Powder from Earthley, made from whole foods as well.
  • Fresh garlic – one of the top foods with natural antibiotic properties, another good habit is definitely to include garlic as often as possible.
  • Coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site) – also a natural antibiotic food, the healing properties of coconut oil are many and diverse! We use it all the time in cooking and some topical applications.
  • Probiotics – we rotate quite a few, both children and adults…

Some Quality Probiotics

Some of these I’ve used, some I’m planning to use, and some have been recommended by friends and professionals alike. It’s good to remember a few things about probiotics: 1. People should get different colonies of probiotics, so switching brands/strains every so often (6 weeks?) is good practice. 2. What works great for one person’s needs doesn’t always work for another. I’ve personally tried:
  • Just Thrive Probiotics – this one can be taken during antibiotics and not be rendered ineffective, which almost all other probiotics are! It’s the top-recommended probiotic overall by Paleo Mom Sarah Ballantyne. 😮 (Be sure to use the code Katie15 for 15% off; also found on Amazon and from Perfect Supplements where you can use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Seed Daily Synbiotic – the new player in the field but recommended by superstars like Chris Kresser for its unique probiotic/prebiotic synergy. Here’s my full review including a number of surprises for my thinking and a 15% off code!
  • Note: If you’re struggling with digestion, especially constipation, or you feel like you really need to populate your gut with healthy probiotics, I would recommend Saccharomyces Boulardii in addition to any other you choose (except any above which include this strain). Saccharomyces Boulardii is research-proven to get through the digestive tract without being killed, which is rare. 
  • Balance One probiotics with a unique time-release formula (use the code KITCHENS15 at either Balance One’s site or even Amazon to save 15% either place! Wow! Use the code at checkout on Amazon btw.)

For Little Ones (we use all of these):

  • Mary Ruth’s liquid probiotic is a liquid probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and tastes like…nothing! It’s my new favorite for administering to kids! (Use code KCRF15 for 15% off!)
  • WellBelly by WellFuture (9 strains of probiotics in apple and banana carrier – it’s a powder)
  • Buddies in my Belly probiotic powder (2 strains of probiotics + potato starch carrier and prebiotics) or chewable tablets
Recommended by experts I trust:

None of these are guaranteed prevention – you’ll still get sick. But it’s always my hope that when the germs, bacteria, and viruses DO hit, our bodies are more well-equipped to fight them off quickly and with fewer side effects. 

Natural Antibiotics: Home Remedies To Fight Infections

Natural antibiotics CAN still be quite potent and can also unbalance your natural flora. Typically this isn’t as recklessly as prescription antibiotics, almost always without many of the scary side effects, and often are targeted to only disrupt the pathogenic, infectious bacteria but avoid disrupting your healthy microbiome balance.

There are many modalities to consider when attempting to fight an infection holistically without modern medical intervention:

  • Essential oils: topically, diffused into the air
  • Homeopathy
  • Herbs and tinctures
  • Food and other gifts of nature

You may have to wait an extra day or two for an infection to resolve itself, but in the long run, that day is a fantastic investment in the gut flora future for you or your child.

Besides that, I feel it’s important for children to learn that their bodies are powerful, that their immune systems can fight germs and disease, and that rest, hydration, healthy food, and supporting that immune system are their best lines of defense against ill health.

We want to build UP their immune systems, to teach them to recognize pathogenic bacteria and viruses and know how to attack them, to get a “workout” so to speak, so as to get stronger for future illness exposure.

A few days in bed and Mommy snuggles is still the best medicine for a sick child…but when you know you’re dealing with an infection, let’s give you a toolbox to take health agency and deal with it at home.

Natural Antibacterial, Antiviral, Infection Fighting Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great weapon in your arsenal, because there are many essential oils that fight infections of various kinds, and they can be used topically or diffused.

For little ones, it’s wonderful to be able to rub something good-smelling on them or turn on a diffuser when they’re sick since it can be difficult to convince sick, cranky tots to take something by mouth.

Also when an infection or irritation is on the skin, diluted essential oils target exactly what you need.

AND because you can “clean the air,” so to speak, by diffusing any of these, you can protect other family members from potentially coming down with whatever is ailing one of you.

essential oils

Here are some oils you’ll want to keep in stock to fight infections, suspected infections, or help alleviate symptoms:

  • Oregano Essential Oil – diffuse into the air, rub onto feet diluted properly with a carrier oil, or use topically. Oregano can be used as a general weapon against colds and flu symptoms or even skin infections. Oregano is not safe for young kids.
  • We regularly use the KidSafe Germ Destroyer essential oil blend. Plant Therapy consulted with a big essential oil expert to formulate their KidSafe line, which is especially important if you have kids under 10 years old. Many of the “germ-fighting” blends from other brands use “hot” oils that could be harmful to little ones. Use this pre-diluted blend in a rollerball on kids’ feet or chest or diffuse the undiluted oil anytime someone in the house is coming down with something, or if you know something is going around at school. The air and the humans are supported.
  • Tea tree oil doesn’t smell great, but it’s been studied against bacteria and viruses.
  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • If you don’t have little kids then these other “hot” oils are all said to be antibacterial or antiviral essential oils:

Those link are mostly to Rocky Mountain Oils, a very clean brand, but you can find them all at Plant Therapy as well and cost-compare. 

Many of these are research-proven to be antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial — pretty impressive! Including in the air…8

Read my post on the potential dangers of essential oils. They can be great if used correctly, but you need to know enough to know what you don’t yet know…

To keep it easy, if you’re just starting out, use the KidSafe Germ Fighter blend from Plant Therapy and diffuse or use the pre-diluted blend. It’s hard to mess that up! 😉

If you don’t have a diffuser yet, here’s the one I use

We also “clean the air” literally with our Air Doctor air filters. The HEPA and carbon filters pull viruses (and all sort of environmental toxins) right out of the air. If you’re diffusing oils, keep the diffuser across the room from your air filter so it doesn’t suck those right up before they can help your family. 😉 

Bonus tip: If kids are congested, we can’t always guess if they have a bacterial or viral infection. But using PT’s Sniffle Stopper blend diffused into the air or diluted and rubbed on the chest IS the natural alternative to Vick’s Vapo-Rub, and just as effective to clear the passageway.

Do you know how to properly dilute essential oils?
essential oil dilution chart
Katie here, popping in to tell you how important it is to be sure you’re diluting those essential oils properly.Sure, you know not to use EOs straight (neat). But do you know the 1-2-3 math so it’s not too strong or weak? Print this chart to keep with your oils so you never have to do math in the middle of the night when your LO is congested:You can read more about why it’s so important to dilute essential oils here, and I know the little chart will be helpful!

Is Oil of Oregano the Best Natural Antibiotic? 

You’ve read my story, and you know I jumped in with both feet and served my son “oil of oregano” both orally and on his feet…but I’m not sure it was the best idea

It was a recommendation from the Internet moms, and I purchased the vial. Oil of oregano is slightly different from oregano essential oil, but it’s still very strong and it’s a bit confusing when you are new to the world of natural remedies. I didn’t even know what essential oils were at the time, (oregano essential oil is not recommended for kids so you don’t want to mix these up!) and sometimes I’m still not sure which one people mean when they say “oregano oil.”

Here’s what I know now:

  • Oregano has evidence-based effectiveness against a variety of pathogens (see sources at the end of the post). 
  • You can use oregano in many forms, from less potent herbs in cooking to very concentrated essential oil. 
  • There are contraindications for children under 10 years old for oregano essential oil, so although it may be a good choice topically or diffused for adults, it’s not my go-to as a mom of young ones. 
  • I used Oil of oregano capsules when I was fighting a skin infection that was pretty severe, and I did manage to avoid prescription antibiotics (but had the bottle filled and at the ready; it was that serious!). 
  • We used oregano essential oil as one of our oils to battle impetigo for my high school wrestling son, diluted, combined with others, and topical. (Note that he’s a full-grown teen, not a child.)
  • At this point, I wouldn’t use oregano essential oil internally, as there’s some indication that it might be a bit more broad spectrum and harm beneficial bacteria. Of course we can take high quality probiotics and find the best one for our families, but if we don’t have to interfere with our microbiome in big ways, better to step back and use something that’s not quite as strong. 

Now if I was staring down a bottle of prescription antibiotics and on the verge of giving in, I’d pull out all the stops. Oregano essential oil is one of the stronger options, which is good to know in emergencies, but use with caution. 

Using Homeopathy to Avoid Antibiotics

homeopathy

I took a homeopathy intro class in the fall of 2020 because until then, I had dabbled with them for 10 years but wasn’t convinced that they did much other than make me feel like I was doing something

I wanted a real win. 

I had been battling a connective muscle tissue autoimmune disease for six months with awful rashes, swollen ankles and face, and a LOT of efforts to tame it, but no success. 

I can truthfully say that without a doubt, the homeopathic eczema protocol I followed worked, and worked decisively

Since then we’ve seen successes with a few different kinds of headaches, my daughter’s ortho mouth pain, and experimented with a number of other acute and chronic issues

We haven’t had much of a chance to experiment with infections, although in my dabbling phase I did use them for wisdom tooth extraction pain (not exactly infection, but hoping to avoid one) and a skin infection called cellulitis

At that time I bought a homeopathic remedy I wanted to have on hand for future infections issues — 

Hepar sulphuricum calcarea, or “Hep Sulph,” is often called the “homeopathic antibiotic” and can be used for:

  • coughs/croup
  • sore throats (30c potency, up to every 3 hours)
  • dental abscesses (only at 6x or 6c potency)
  • pinkeye (30x or 30c potency)
  • acne (200c potency)
  • mastitis
  • some eczema but many skin infections, especially if sensitive to touch and visible skin issues
  • sepsis
  • swollen lymph nodes (I absolutely had this with my skin issue, and they subsided with Hepar Sulph as part of my protocol! 200c twice a day should do it.)
  • ear infections (6c potency, every 3 hours until pain subsides)
  • strep throat with ear infections (especially if the pain in the ears goes from L to R. Use high potency 200c to get the infection over with quickly.)

Comparing hep sulph to an antibiotic isn’t really fair, however, because an antibiotic is going to wipe out good and bad bacteria, but hep sulph will only tackle the issue, no gut dysbiosis

Here are some recommended homeopathic remedies for normal kid ailments: 

  • Chamomilla for ear infections
  • Fevers: I would use aconite right at the onset, and if that doesn’t kick it, Belladonna (for very high, hot fevers, red cheeks) or Chamomilla 30c unless very severe, then try 200c

RELATED: How to take a homeopathic remedy

Natural Antibiotic Herbs and Other Plant Products

When someone in the Kitchen Stewardship® household is starting to come down with something, one thing I really appreciate about natural remedies is that I don’t NEED to know exactly what’s going on

Virus? Bacteria? 

With some of the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial options like essential oils and herbs, you can hit all the birds with one stone

Scout Out from TriLight Health is often that stone. It’s an herbal tincture that you could make at home, but I don’t choose to take the time to DIY much other than food around here. We take it at the first sign of a cold or illness, and it’s also the go-to for suspected ear infections. Use this special referral link for 20% off your first order. 

Beekeeper’s Naturals propolis spray is antipathogenic in many ways, but particularly against bacteria. It’s a bee product (so not technically a plant product, but forgive me for including it here), and it’s basically what the bees use in the hive to keep infection at bay and everything clean.9

Anyone feeling the “ominous tickle” gets a squirt (or up to 4) immediately! 

See my full review of Beekeeper’s Naturals propolis for more info, like how propolis also kills warts and many other uses! Take 10% off with the code Katie15. 🙂

beekeepers naturals propolis throat spray

Usually, when someone is sick with anything in the house, I’ll diffuse Plant Therapy’s KidSafe Germ Destroyer (or any of the oils listed in this post above) to clear the air for everyone else, but that’s not always possible. 

Once while on the road, we didn’t have all our remedies with us, and a family we were traveling with brought a stomach bug into the house. Yikes!

A smart mama put dried rosemary in a pan with some water to basically clean the air, like a DIY essential oil but not so potent. Thyme or oregano, fresh or dried, would be great options to try as well if you’re in a pinch without remedies. 

Other remedies for infections can come from your kitchen too. Garlic and honey both have antimicrobial properties, so people have been known to crush a clove of garlic, let it sit for 14-21 minutes to increase its potency, and then swallow it quickly enveloped in raw honey

And of course, it must be said that sleep, plain old regular FREE sleep, is the best remedy for anything that ails you. Make it a priority! 

RELATED: How to avoid an oral antibiotic with impetigo

Substituting Natural Antibiotic Options Topically

My kids don’t even know what “Neosporin” is, but I bet everyone in my generation used that term for any topical antibiotic ointment, just like any clear tape was “Scotch tape.” 

Chelated silver oxide is one natural alternative to topical antibiotics, and I’m honored to have spent time with the formulator of Nutrisporin, an appropriately named substitute for the ouchies on the skin when we want to avoid infection. 

We’ve used it for many scrapes and scratches as well as my cellulitis and my son’s impetigo. 

Any of the antimicrobial essential oils can also be diluted properly and used topically, and switching up what you hit pathogenic germs with is actually a really good idea so they don’t get comfortable with the weapons you’re using. 

For preventative use, I like to keep a pre-diluted roll-on of Immune Boom from Plant Therapy in my purse or coat pocket, and we use it almost like a hand sanitizer if the kids have been somewhere that’s likely covered with germs we don’t want to bring home. 

The Opposite of Antibiotics: Probiotics

I always tell my kids that we have good and bad bacteria, and we want to fight the bad guys but also send more good guys in so they can fight for us. 

That’s why we often increase our probiotics and variety of strains during an illness. Here’s your guide to choosing the best probiotics for you!

Some Quality Probiotics

Some of these I’ve used, some I’m planning to use, and some have been recommended by friends and professionals alike. It’s good to remember a few things about probiotics: 1. People should get different colonies of probiotics, so switching brands/strains every so often (6 weeks?) is good practice. 2. What works great for one person’s needs doesn’t always work for another. I’ve personally tried:
  • Just Thrive Probiotics – this one can be taken during antibiotics and not be rendered ineffective, which almost all other probiotics are! It’s the top-recommended probiotic overall by Paleo Mom Sarah Ballantyne. 😮 (Be sure to use the code Katie15 for 15% off; also found on Amazon and from Perfect Supplements where you can use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Seed Daily Synbiotic – the new player in the field but recommended by superstars like Chris Kresser for its unique probiotic/prebiotic synergy. Here’s my full review including a number of surprises for my thinking and a 15% off code!
  • Note: If you’re struggling with digestion, especially constipation, or you feel like you really need to populate your gut with healthy probiotics, I would recommend Saccharomyces Boulardii in addition to any other you choose (except any above which include this strain). Saccharomyces Boulardii is research-proven to get through the digestive tract without being killed, which is rare. 
  • Balance One probiotics with a unique time-release formula (use the code KITCHENS15 at either Balance One’s site or even Amazon to save 15% either place! Wow! Use the code at checkout on Amazon btw.)

For Little Ones (we use all of these):

  • Mary Ruth’s liquid probiotic is a liquid probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and tastes like…nothing! It’s my new favorite for administering to kids! (Use code KCRF15 for 15% off!)
  • WellBelly by WellFuture (9 strains of probiotics in apple and banana carrier – it’s a powder)
  • Buddies in my Belly probiotic powder (2 strains of probiotics + potato starch carrier and prebiotics) or chewable tablets
Recommended by experts I trust:

How Often Should I Use Natural Antibiotics? 

Remember that we don’t actually want to use anything antibacterial consistently in our bodies. We need a diverse microbiome of bacteria to survive and thrive, and we don’t want to run the risk of our bodies becoming accustomed to any one thing.

Most natural options aren’t broad-spectrum, meaning they won’t be like a nuclear bomb to your gut, killing off the good and the bad. However, it’s important to treat natural remedies with caution, because there still can be side effects

dried herbs for fighting infection naturally

For example, oregano and thyme essential oils are shown to be quite potent antibacterial agents because of their phenolic compounds, carvacrol, and thymol.10, 11 They’re effective against so many pathogenic bacteria, but it’s difficult to find proof that they really don’t inhibit beneficial bacteria. For these reasons, I use antibacterial essential oils with caution and rarely internally, but I still trust them more than pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to the balance in the gut. 

After any illness, consistent probiotic supplementation is our line of defense against gut dysbiosis

RELATED: Why antibacterial cleaners (and even hand sanitizers?) may lead to super bugs!

Looking for More Natural Remedies for Your “Medicine Cabinet?”

If you wish you knew how to deal with coughs, colds, sore throats, congestion, tummy aches, and the scrapes of bruises of little boys without over-the-counter meds or prescriptions (or doctor’s appointments!), I’ve got you covered there too. 

In this post about building your natural remedies medicine cabinet, I walk you through the options I rely on most often after over a decade of natural mothering and learning by experience to be “Dr. Mom” in the middle of the night. 

And all day.

And first thing in the morning. 

I even give you ONE top item to purchase for each owie and ailment so you don’t get overwhelmed (the struggle is real). 

Head over and take a look

Have you had success fighting infections without antibiotics? What are your top tips?

Footnotes: 

  1. Healthline. (2019, April 19). Side Effects of Antibiotics: What They Are and How to Manage Them. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/infection/antibiotic-side-effects
  2. Anderson, L. (2019, July 15). Common Side Effects from Antibiotics, and Allergies and Reactions. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotic-sideeffects-allergies-reactions.html
  3. Hildebrand, F., Moitinho-Silva, L., Blasche, S., Jahn, M. T., Gossmann, T. I., Huerta-Cepas, et al. (2019). Antibiotics-induced monodominance of a novel gut bacterial order. Gut, 68(10), 1781–1790. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2018-317715
  4. Ianiro, G., Tilg, H., & Gasbarrini, A. (2016). Antibiotics as deep modulators of gut microbiota: between good and evil. Gut, 65(11), 1906–1915. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2016-312297
  5. Grill, M. F., & Maganti, R. K. (2011). Neurotoxic effects associated with antibiotic use: management considerations. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 72(3), 381–393. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.03991.x
  6. Singh, R., Sripada, L., & Singh, R. (2014). Side effects of antibiotics during bacterial infection: mitochondria, the main target in host cell. Mitochondrion, 16, 50–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2013.10.005
  7. Cunha B. A. (2001). Antibiotic side effects. The Medical clinics of North America, 85(1), 149–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0025-7125(05)70309-6
  8. Puškárová, A., Bučková, M., Kraková, L. et al. (2017). The antibacterial and antifungal activity of six essential oils and their cyto/genotoxicity to human HEL 12469 cells. Sci Rep 7, 8211. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08673-9
  9. Boukraâ, L., & Sulaiman, S. A. (2009). Rediscovering the antibiotics of the hive. Recent patents on anti-infective drug discovery, 4(3), 206–213. https://doi.org/10.2174/157489109789318505
  10. Sakkas, H., & Papadopoulou, C. (2017, March 28). Antimicrobial Activity of Basil, Oregano, and Thyme Essential Oils. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol, 27(3), 429-438. https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.1608.08024
  11. Brochot, A., Guilbot, A., Haddioui, L., & Roques, C. (2017). Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects of three essential oil blends. MicrobiologyOpen, 6(4), e00459. https://doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.459

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19 thoughts on “How to Naturally Fight Infections without Antibiotics (Is Oil of Oregano the Best Natural Antibiotic?)”

  1. d-Mannose – in pill or powder mixed in water – is the most natural cure for UTIs. Never a need for antibiotics. This is more effective and natural. Will cure the UTI within 48 hrs.

  2. I’m suffering from mollascum contagiusm( viral nods) particularly on face and on some parts of my body. please suggest something.

    1. My son currently has some and this homeopathic remedy was recommended to me: http://amzn.to/1jaqP1H (affiliate link) . My box should arrive tomorrow and I’m hoping it helps him! Otherwise I keep him moisturized so he doesn’t scratch and was waiting for it to go away on its own.

    2. You might want to try Dead Sea salt. My son had a case of molluscum and we couldn’t get rid of it for 2 years, and I tried everything I could vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon Myrtle, you name it… Then I learned about dead sea salt, and we got rid of it within a few weeks. Take 30 min bath with two cups of dead sea salt. We did it for 2 weeks and he was clear. He had some on his face as well, and I just put a dead sea salt compress on those areas for 30 min every day.

  3. I’ve not read any comments, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned. We have had excellent success with a “salt sock” for ear aches. Google that and it will give you instructions. We also put a cut clove of garlic in the outer ear (coat skin with a thin layer of olive oil) and tape in place with a band aid or paper tape. Then rest ear on the salt sock. Also chew gum, to open eustachian tubes and look up massage for ear aches. Those things all work beautifully and quickly.

  4. Just read the comment about the oregano vs oil of oregano. There are 3 different schools of thought in regards to EOs. German, British, French. The German training teaches that EOs are for aromatic use, British training is aromatic, and severely diluted for topical use, and French training. The French training is aromatic use, topical use, internal use, and in extreme cases by licensed practioner-EOs intravenously.
    Why such extreme differences? Even so much so that the British training has a ‘dirty dozen’ of oils to never be used topically. (Most aromatherapists would be trained under the British training.)
    You must dig deeper into why such extreme differences. In the chemistry and studies of EOs, each school of thought studied the oils differently. The French looked at the oils as a complete compound. Looking at how each component makes up the entire oil, rather than pulling out individual components. If you break apart the oil, some contain toxic/fatal compounds-when they are used alone. HOWEVER, they do carry, within the same whole oil, its ‘buddy compound’ which actually, since paired together is no longer toxic but beneficial when utilized in its entirety.

    For instance. Let’s take table salt. It is two compounds. Sodium and chloride. Separate items on their own and interact with your system VERY differently if you were to sprinkle chloride on your food. Yet add it with sodium and the compounds enhance one another and bring benefit.

    The oils are the same. Wintergreen, for instance, has a compound called methyl salicylate. On its own, and if man made, it is toxic and fatal. However an essential oil can carry between 200-800 known compounds. Wintergreen has a partner compound that changes the methyl salicylate to be beneficial to the system. When distilling EOs, however, ALL of their healing properties need to be within the bottle or it will not provide the healing that you seek from it.

    There indeed is more research to be done to know where the EO training originates.

    One excellent resource is Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple by Dr Stewart. The research has been done for us. We just need to seek it out. I hope this helps!!

  5. Just wanted to chime in – Thank you so much for being open to the fact that essential oils are unsafe to ingest without actual professional guidance! I REALLY appreciate it. I had been following and reading another blogger who discovered the truly healing power of essential oils (as I have), BUT she was openly advocating internal use was safe, because this was what she was told (she was introduced to essential oils through an MLM – which are not bad, but this group erroneously teaches unsafe aromatherapy practices). I urged her to do her research outside of her “trusted source” (her friends), while looking into unaffiliated third party reattach as well… And she shut me down! I actually think I may have found her blog through you (a Looong time ago), but anyway….aromatherapy healing is getting quite a bit of attention, and I had to stop sharing her blog with others, as well as communicate to those I have referred her to that her information is no longer accurate. Thank you thank you thank you for taking this seriously!

  6. I am learning more about EOs all the time, and do want to begin using some. BUT I notice there is never a caution about animals and EOs. What is in a diffuser can absolutely impact a pet’s health negatively!

  7. Oops… I think I forgot to include the link to the article I referenced… sorry!

    http://www.granolaliving.com/2012/07/why-we-dont-offer-doterra-young-living-or-other-multi-marketing-brands-of-essential-oils/

  8. Hello! I did not make it through *all* of the comments, but enough that I had to chime in because of the misinformation regarding oregano oil being referred to here. This is important stuff.

    I have taken classes in essential oils (safety, uses, etc…) to become a certified practitioner. The woman I took my classes from an older woman who has spent her entire professional and personal life steeped in essential oil knowledge for about 40 years now. She is literally one of the world’s experts in her field.

    She was VEHEMENTLY, RABIDLY upset about what she referred to as *multi level marketing* essential oil companies selling these very powerful oils without what she felt was proper education, knowledge, or respect of these compounds.

    She was absolutely clear that NO ESSENTIAL OILS SHOULD EVER BE TAKEN INTERNALLY. EVER.

    They can be downright dangerous and toxic and even lethal if taken internally. She was visibly upset at companies such as Young Living and DoTerra encouraging people to do so.

    She specifically mentioned oregano oil in a story about a woman who was an opera singer, who took oregano oil and quite literally burned her throat, so damaging her vocal chords that she is now unable to sing any longer.

    “Oregano oil” and “Oil of oregano” are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. They should NOT be confused! Oregano essential oils should NEVER be taken internally. NEVER.

    Years ago, while living home in Southern California, I had a neighbor who’s mother had lung cancer. She was being treated at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Her cancer protocol required that she be seeing a Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist during her traditional cancer treatment.

    He gave the entire family a *recipe* to take so that they would all remain healthy and cold / flu free around her, because if she got sick, it could have killed her.

    The recipe was for 2 whole cloves of garlic – peeled but NOT cut in any way. This required a little patience to peel the skin off of the cloves with your fingernails.

    2 cups of water

    Boil the two cloves of garlic in the two cups of water for 5 minutes.

    This essentially *sweats* the oil out of the garlic and into the water.

    To this, you add a few drops (about 8) of Oil of Oregano and a few drops (about 10) of Goldenseal.

    Drink.

    But here is an additional warning…. they were told by the Chinese medicine doctor at the hospital that this was NOT FOR CHILDREN. Children, she was told, could not metabolize the oregano oil properly.

    The Oil of Oregano oil *is* rather expensive. The last time I purchased it, it was about $30 for a small bottle.

    Oregano (essential) oil is NOT to be taken internally for any reason. And especially not given to children.

    Here is an article I found that generally supports the information I know of essential oils. She mentions the rep using wintergreen directly on her skin (neat) which horrified me as wintergreen e.o. is extremely toxic and dangerous.

    Please let people reading your blog know the difference between oregano oil and oil of oregano and that essential oils should never be taken internally!

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Eve,
      The more I learn about EOs, the more cautious I become and horrified that I gave my son oregano oil. I DO think you’re spot on that there is too much information and not enough proper cautionary info out there. I am glad you reminded me that I hadn’t updated this post – recently whenever I talk about essential oils, I include a link to someone discussing safety. I will update the post with new notes and link right to your comment so people can read what you what; THANK YOU for being so thorough!

      For the record, I don’t think MLM companies are bad simply because they’re MLMs, but I do think they need to be more careful with their information.

      Thanks, Katie

      1. I thought this article was very interesting. What do you make of the differences of opinion regarding the safe use of essential oils?

        1. Interesting…I have a hunch that this author is a doTERRA rep though, and I wonder if David Stewart is connected to them in any way. I do keep hearing about the various schools of thought from different countries, but I have much more to learn! I’m not anti-anything with EOs, just hesitant and cautious at this point…

          thanks for sharing! 🙂 Katie

    2. Jennifer at Purposeful Nutrition and The Entwife's Journal

      Jesse of Vintage Remedies is also adamant that essential oils should not be taken internally. I see people on blogs and on FB all the time advocating internal use but I won’t do it after listening to Jesse Hawkins explain things. Kind of reminds us to take info on the internet with a grain of salt so to speak.

  9. Amanda Bishop

    I’ve got a question that I pray someone can help me with. I’ve got a broken molar that I’ve been dealing with four several days now. It’s infected and I can’t go to the dentist anytime soon. (Finances) Does anyone know of anything I can do to get rid of the infection?

    1. I havery bad teeth, and horrible experiences with dentists, so I learned home remedies. For infected teeth I swish every 2 hours with 4 oz warm water with 2tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda. I swish a tbsp of organic coconut oil twice daily. Ingest 1 clove of garlic daily, and 2 tbsp of honey twice daily. In my case it completely cures an infection or an abscess in 24-48 hours. But I continue the treatment for several days. Also, avoid eating for 24 hours, and drink ONLY water, or green tea with organic honey.

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