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20 of the Best Antiviral and Antibacterial Herbs and Plants Ever!
Depending on your age, your mother or grandmother most likely used some type of herb or plants to help heal you when you were sick without you realizing it, or perhaps you just didn’t appreciate it at the time. For many of us, it’s not until we have our own children that we realize that we don’t want to put chemicals and other toxic things into those precious little bodies. Especially when it comes to antibiotics or antiviral medicines. You start to think that Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she made this planet, and that she must have put some type of healing plant on this earth to help us along.
Before using these antiviral or antibacterial herbs, you would be wise to consult a herbalist for exact dosing instructions as everyone’s body, especially children’s, are unique and different herbs should be consumed in different quantities and in different ways, such as teas or tinctures.
If you are under a doctor’s care or if you are taking prescription medication, always consult your doctor before beginning any herbal program. Although most herbs are considered to be safe, there can be drug interactions. Always consult your doctor before stopping any medications or taking any herbal supplements, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Yes, we are talking about the same little herb you have in your kitchen. This powerful herb fights both bacteria and viruses. In fact, oregano is one of the most powerful antiviral herbs around. Oregano essential oil can be taken orally as a supplement when you have an infection to help speed healing. If you wish to use oregano oil topically, always mix it with a carrier oil to help stop the skin from becoming irritated as this oil is quite strong.
Yep, this is another herb that you most likely have in your kitchen. This commonly used herb is well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral compounds. You can add fresh ginger to your meals, taken in capsule form as a supplement, or consumed as a tea. Many people find that ginger tea consumed daily helps to prevent cold and flu bugs, or to shorten the duration of a cold or flu if you should become infected.
This is an old folk remedy that really works and there have been plenty of studies to back up these claims. Elderberry stimulates blood circulation and encouraging sweating, which helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins and viruses. Many people make their own elderberry syrup or take this as a tea; however, if you are lucky enough to have access to wild elderberries, you can cook up your own tincture. Care should be taken when making your own compounds as the leaves, seeds, berries, and roots of this plant do have a cyanide compound that will need to be removed through cooking. If you are unsure how to prepare this plant, always buy commercially made syrup.
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4. Cat’s Claw
This herb is most often sold as a tea but it also can be purchased as a supplement. Cat’s claw is known to improve the immune system, which will increase your body’s ability to fight off disease or viruses. Cat’s claw contains powerful antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial compounds.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not consume cat’s claw if you are pregnant or nursing.
5. Licorice Root
This is a terrific solution that is commonly used for digestive problems, especially for gastric ulcers. Licorice root kills H. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers. Licorice root is a super antibacterial and antiviral herb that is commonly consumed as a tea.
Calendula is a gentle herb that is often used as an eye wash to treat pink eye and stop skin infections. Calendula can be used in numerous ways including lotions, ointments, infusions, tinctures, or tea.
Yarrow plants have tiny yellow flowers that have numerous therapeutic uses. Ground into a powder, they can stop bleeding quickly. Infused in water and used as a mouth rinse, it can speed the healing of canker sores inside the mouth. Consumed as a tea, yarrow is great at killing the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
NOTE: Yarrow can cause uterine contractions so do NOT consume yarrow if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
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This is common lichen, but you probably haven’t heard about it. This lichen is a powerful antibiotic and can be used to treat strep and staph infections as well as urinary tract infections. It is also a natural anti-fungal, so it can be used to treat vaginitis and toenail fungus. Usnea is best used in a tincture. Be certain you are buying this lichen from a well-known company so you end up buying some green-dyed grass.
Another common spice that is found in almost every kitchen around the world, cinnamon warms the body and is terrific for the digestion. Cinnamon is also highly antibacterial. You can add it to food or drinks, or consumed as a tea. Cinnamon essential oil can also be used, but you should dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, to prevent irritation for those who have sensitive skin.
One of the most well-known and popular antiviral herbs in America. When consumed at the onset of a cold or flu, it can shorten the duration of the illness as well as lessen its severity. It is also antibacterial, so it can help speed the healing process if you have an infection. Echinacea works best when consumed as a tincture over a long period of time.
NOTE: Do not consume Echinacea if you have any type of auto-immune disease or a severely compromised immune system.
Garlic is a super antibacterial herb that works better than penicillin. And unlike penicillin, garlic will kill off the bacteria without killing the good bacteria in the digestive system. Garlic is best consumed raw, but it can also be used as a tincture, in a capsule supplement form, or even infused in oil. Adding plenty of raw, organic garlic to your foods won’t make you very popular, but it will really do a number on the bacteria and viruses in your body.
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12. Oregon Grape Root
When used in combination with Echinacea, this is an extremely strong antibacterial herb. This herb is meant to be used as a short term solution as it can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B. This herb works best when consumed as a tincture.
NOTE: Do not consume Oregon grape root if you have a history of stroke, diabetes, glaucoma, or high blood pressure.
Clove is generally used as a topical analgesic, but clove essential oil or making your own clove-infused oil can be used to kill bacteria in the digestive system. You can use cloves in cooking or make clove tea. If you use clove essential oil, dilute it with a good quality carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil.
14. Uva Ursi
This herb is most often taken as a capsule or tincture for stopping urinary tract infections. Uva Ursi has powerful antibacterial compounds that seem to work well at killing the pathogens that cause UTI’s. In fact, Uva Ursi is so powerful that it is not recommended that it be consumed for more than two or three weeks at a time.
NOTE: Absolutely not to be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, those with kidney disease, and not for children under 10.
15. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root softens, heals, lubricates, and soothes the body, especially the digestive system. This herb also has analgesic compounds that help to stop pain. Marshmallow has tannins that also work well for those with urinary tract infections and is most often consumed as a tea.
16. Lemon Balm
This super mild herb has powerful relaxing compounds as well as strong antiviral compounds. This is the perfect herb to help little ones suffering with a cold or flu fight off the virus more quickly and get the sleep they need, all with one little cup of tea. Lemon balm leaf makes a great stomach tonic for those with upset tummies or for a little calming cup of tea that can help you fall asleep after a hectic day. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor first before consuming lemon balm tea.
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17. Astragalus Root
This herb works by improving and strengthening the immune system. You can take this herb as a capsule supplement, tincture, or by adding this herb fresh to soups or salads. This is one herb that is best used as a preventative measure, so take this herb before you go Christmas shopping or to large parties, or before you get on an airplane.
The juice from cranberries is known to be a strong defense against urinary tract infections because it makes the lining of the bladder and the urinary tract itself too slippery for the bacteria to hang on to. Perhaps cranberries best feature is that it is packed with antioxidants and antiviral compounds. It also stops plaque from forming on the teeth, so consider drinking a glass every day, then rinsing your mouth before brushing every day or after each meal for a healthier smile.
No, not a mullet, mullein! Making a mullein infused oil is the perfect home remedy for ear infections or ear aches, especially when combined with garlic. Buy mullein flowers and make your own healing oil.
20. Olive Leaf
Olive leaf is a powerful antiviral that is often used to treat the common cold, the flu, and even herpes outbreaks. Olive leaf can be used as a tea (it is especially tasty when mixed with mint leaves) as a tincture, or in a capsule supplement form.