Infection is a pain – literally! Whether the infection is internal or external, one’s main goal is to clear up the problem. Infections are caused by one of three things: bacteria, fungus, or virus. While there are pharmaceutical drugs available to treat these, overuse of some of them – especially antibiotics – have caused resistance within some of these organisms.
Overuse of antiviral and antifungal pharmaceutical treatments can also cause harm to the person taking them. These negative effects include digestive and intestinal issues, dizziness, breathing difficulties, headaches, and even seizures.
The best remedy to ward off infection is a person’s immune system. A good, healthy immune system can eliminate most infections itself. However, sometimes the immune system can require a little help to effectively fight a more stubborn infection, and that is where the natural infection fighters come in.
Remember, if an infection does not improve, includes a fever, spreads, or gets worse, it is important to see a doctor.
Bacterial infections are often treated with antibiotics. The pharmaceutical version of these will kill all bacteria in the body indiscriminately, which can cause other issues. One of these issues is fungal overgrowth, which happens because normally bacteria and fungus exist in balance in the intestines. When the good bacteria is weakened, fungus can take over. Because of this, it is better to deal with bacteria naturally whenever possible, to keep the good bacteria strong.
Many natural remedies are antibacterial and antiviral at the same time, such as allicin (the compound in garlic).
A doctor was heard to say to one woman about her son, “He has a virus. Left untreated, it will last seven days, but if you treat it, it will only last a week.” This is because viruses generally have a progression and when it is finished, a healthy immune system has created antibodies that usually prevent a recurrence. While some antiviral medications can shorten the time it takes a virus to run its course, the usual treatment is to lessen symptoms until the virus is done.
Internal fungal infections usually stem from an imbalance in the gut flora and can be very difficult to defeat. External fungal infections, such as on toenails and as yeast infections can usually be treated more easily with topical solutions.
Herbs and Compounds
Many natural treatments work for a variety of maladies. Each herb or compound in the list will include what type of infection it can be used to treat and examples of some. This is by no means a comprehensive list but these are common ones that work well.
- Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV contains the naturally antibiotic compound called malic acid. It can help treat a sore throat and has been shown to boost the immune system and improve intestinal health when ingested regularly.
- Cayenne Pepper has been shown to be effective in treating such things as ear infections. Mixing it with honey and garlic (1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 crushed clove of garlic) will give you a treatment with antibiotic effects that can be taken daily just like pharmaceutical antibiotics are taken with similar improvement.
- Cinnamon can be used to treat yeast infections; it makes a pleasant tea either hot or cold and can be added to a variety of dishes. It is also available as a supplement, in a capsule, to make it easier to ingest.
- Eucalyptus is commonly used to ease cold and flu symptoms and can be found in things like cough drops. It can also be used topically, as it acts as an antiseptic. It kills fungus and can be used in tea and the vapor, when inhaled, is helpful to the throat and sinuses.
- Garlic is one of the best immunity-assistance substances. It has been proven effective in helping the body fight off infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungus. The best results come from ingesting raw crushed garlic, though garlic supplements can have a positive effect as well. Adding crushed or minced raw garlic to a salad or soup adds flavor as well as immune boosters.
- Ginger is often used as an anti-nausea substance but it is also excellent for anti-inflammation and is often taken to treat flu and cold symptoms. It can be taken in fairly large quantities by most people, but should be restricted to smaller amounts in pregnant women, as it has been suggested it could cause miscarriage in large amounts.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract or GSE is an antimicrobial that limits or stops the growth of bacteria and fungi. It is used in many natural cleaning products. When used as a liquid, it needs to be diluted; but it also is available as a supplement.
- Honey, when it is raw and local, has the ability to help in treating seasonal allergies but also has antibacterial properties and a pH level that make it useful for topical application on minor wounds. It has a drying effect on the tissues and the bacteria, which reduces swelling and limits bacteria’s reproduction. It has been shown to be effective against resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococci (VRE). When used by medical professionals, the source of the honey is usually Manuka, which comes from New Zealand.
- Horseradish is good for more than just food items. Besides clearing the sinuses in many cases, it is also good for increasing circulation and breaks down in the stomach into substances with antibiotic properties. It has been used to help to treat UTIs, kidney stones, and even bronchitis. It is more potent and helpful when raw.
- Onions have similar benefits to garlic. They also aid in reducing inflammation and pain as well as cold and flu symptoms. Raw onions contain the most helpful compounds so ingesting them raw will yield the best results.
- Vitamin C has so many good benefits in the body! Its antioxidant properties are unparalleled and it boosts the immune system better than most other options. It also helps with healing skin issues and is excellent for prenatal health. Eating citrus fruits like oranges and pineapples are the best way to get vitamin C, as these also provide other nutrients, including fiber, which also help the body to be healthy.
Liquid ACV can be mixed with honey or taken straight for quick results. It may be wise to use a straw or rinse the mouth after taking ACV in liquid form as it can weaken the teeth’s enamel over time otherwise.
Capsules of ACV have a similar effect but without the potential problem in the mouth. It is also possible to ingest a larger dose with capsules without having stomach upset.
A pound of ground cayenne pepper is perfect for mixing with your desired carrier and taking or adding to food to get similar benefits.
Organic cinnamon, ground and ready to add to anything, comes in a one-pound bag.
Whole cinnamon sticks can be ground as needed or used whole. These are good for making cinnamon tea.
4 fluid ounces of therapeutic grade eucalyptus are extracted with a chemical free process. Use topically, do not ingest. Use a carrier oil to dilute before rubbing on skin; test for an allergic reaction in a small area before using on large areas.
Dried leaves of 100% natural eucalyptus packaged in half-ounce bags.
16 tea bags with eucalyptus included aid in soothing sore throats and respiratory health.
120 softgels deliver 500mg per softgel of garlic extract including allium sativum, in a burpless and odorless format.
Six bulbs of garlic ready to eat or plant. Each bulb has many cloves with healthful benefits.
Two pounds of fresh ginger root can be ground or prepared in other ways to support immune response and ease nausea and inflammation.
Organic ground ginger can be added to food items, smoothies, or other drinks.
This Grapefruit Seed Extract concentrate is gluten and GMO free. 10 drops in a glass of juice or water daily can aid in immune system health. Always use diluted.
Add an extra punch of immune booster with these 250mg GSE capsules.
Imported from New Zealand, this raw honey is excellent for health and flavor.
Horseradish root is encapsulated in gelatin capsules, 450mg per capsule.
A pound of horseradish roots can be used or planted to grow more.
A variety of onions ready to be planted to grow more onions.
Three pounds of fresh red onions are ready to cook with or add to salads or other meals.
Vegan capsules contain 250mg of vitamin C per capsule, along with a fruit and vegetable blend and probiotic and enzyme blend to offer needed nutrients and support good health.