Kitchen Antibiotics – 7 Common Foods that are Natural Antibiotics

Increasingly, people are becoming more aware that pharmaceutical anti-biotics can have adverse side effects. Most commonly anti-biotics tend to destroy the good gut flora along with the harmful bacteria they are intended for. Even modern medicine recommends taking pro-biotics to re-introduce good gut bacteria after a course of anti-biotics.

However, when you think about it, wouldn’t it better to find something that can target only the harmful bacteria and leave the good gut flora intact? There are in fact, several common household foods that have anti-biotic capabilities that many natural doctors and traditional medicine practitioners use as alternatives. Keep these items in your kitchen, so that you have natural anti-biotics on hand when needed.

Garlic has powerful microbial properties

Garlic is most potent when eaten fresh and raw, although it still holds some benefit once cooked. The strong flavour and smell of garlic is primarily due to a chemical known as allicin.

Allicin is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral that helps to prevent and fight off disease. It is released by enzymatic action, when the garlic clove or plant comes under ‘attack’. In other words, the reason you crush garlic is that the bruising action is fundamental in activating the production of allicin.

Many traditional remedies include freshly crushed garlic as one of the primary ingredients. In clinical studies, allicin in garlic was found to be effective in combating bacteria and viruses that were drug resistant. Its strong microbial properties are one of the reasons that garlic  is one of the best natural anti-biotics.

Turmeric as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Turmeric is a primary ingredient for many Asian curry powders. In its natural form, turmeric is a root that looks similar to ginger. To prepare turmeric spice, the roots are dried and then ground, producing a dark yellow coloured powder.

Turmeric is widely promoted for its natural healing properties and the active ingredient is curcumin. Turmeric has been linked to effective treatments of a variety of illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders and arthritis among others. It has shown to be particularly effective in combating inflammation and is a strong antioxidant.

Onions as an anti-inflammatory and immune booster

Onions are often considered as a common additive to cooked meals, however, on their own they contain some important nutritional compounds. What many people don’t realise is that onions are good source of vitamin C. This in itself, helps to boost the immune system. The sulphur molecules in onions help fight unwanted inflammation as does quercetin, another flavanoid antioxidant that is found in onions.

Horseradish helps fight infections and promotes digestive health

Horseradish is another unexpected excellent source of vitamin C. The vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals and boost immunity and in this way fights off infections.

In addition, horseradish contains several phytochemicals that have anti-oxidant properties. These are characterised in the pungent spicy taste of horseradish. The phytochemicals also aid in digestive health by stimulating bile production and gastric juices.
 
Ginger as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory

Ginger is widely recognised as an anti-nausea remedy, especially for pregnant women. It has also shown to be a very effective remedy for motion sickness and sea sickness. Gingerols found in ginger are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Applications for these anti-inflammatory properties include joint pain and arthritis, dental pain and respiratory conditions.

Ginger has also been researched as a cancer treatment. In studies, it has shown to kill off prostate cancer cells. In another study, it showed positive results in fighting ovarian cancer cells.

Ginger is also commonly used to treat colds and flu. Crushed ginger combined with honey and lemon can be infused in hot water and drunk as a tea. The tea has a calming effect on the lungs and helps to fight off the infection.

Habanero chillies stimulate blood flow

For those that can stand and even enjoy the after burn of this spicy chillies, they offer far more than just flavour. As an excellent source of vitamin C, habanero chilli can help boost immunity and fight off infections.

The active compound in habanero’s is capsaicin which stimulates blood flow in the  body. It is effective in clearing sinus infections and has been researched for other health benefits which may be linked to neuro and digestive health.

Apple Cider Vinegar age old healer

Apple cider vinegar is an age old remedy for a multitude of ailments. What makes this particular vinegar so unique? Apple cider vinegar contains concentrations of acetic and malic acid. Acetic acid is a powerful microbial that can kill off some harmful bacteria. Apple cider vinegar, in particular has shown good results in the treatment of candida for example.

Organic apple cider vinegar also contains proteins and enzymes known as ‘mother’ that have a stringy appearance. These enzymes are beneficial for digestive health. Apple cider vinegar also contains important vitamins and minerals. Increasingly, apple cider vinegar is being researched for it’s anti-cancer properties and is showing some promising results.  It has also shown some benefit for diabetes , weight loss and heart health which is encouraging further research in these areas.


Once you get to learn more about these foods, it demonstrates that once again, nature knows best. There are many chemical compounds in food, that have a powerful protective and healing effect. It is an encouragement to all to focus on consuming organic whole foods that are rich in nutrition.