Antibacterial and antiviral foods contain compounds that have natural abilities to kill bacteria, fungus and viruses that cause illnesses. They also stimulate the body’s immune system to increase the body’s ability to fight against infections and recover from sickness.
Honey was the first antimicrobial food ever used to treat infections; long before the first antimicrobial drugs were invented. Raw honey has very potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. Research has shown that honey contains several compounds working together to combat infections such as defensin-1 (antimicrobial peptide), methylglyoxal, and hydrogen peroxide. It also has high sugar concentrations and low pH.
Another study found that honey stimulates the natural release of hydrogen peroxide in the body, which kills pathogens. Experts are also considering the use of honey to combat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant micro-organisms.
This root vegetable has a very strong, spicy taste that goes well with different kinds of foods. Besides culinary uses, horseradish has very potent antimicrobial properties. One of which is that it can be used to treat different kinds of respiratory and urinary tract infections.
This citrus fruit has long been known to have antibacterial properties. The compounds tetrazine and coumarin in lemons are effective against certain pathogens, making it effective against both internal and external infections.
Pineapples are full of compounds that have very potent antibacterial properties. The compound bromelain is effective at treating throat and mouth infections. There have also been documented cases wherein pineapples were used as a part of the treatment of diphtheria in the 1950s.
Milk curd is very effective at fighting off bacterial infections. The fermentation process used to create milk curds also produces beneficial bacteria that can help fight infections in the body. These probiotic bacteria also help in restoring the balance of the normal intestinal bacterial flora.
The health benefits of turmeric have a strong scientific data to back it up. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective against specific pathogens like Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.
This root has long been used as a treatment against bacteria that cause respiratory infections. Research found that the compounds called gingerols are effective in eliminating several gram-negative bacteria from the body.
This pungent root bulb contains potent antibacterial sulfur compounds. These compounds are effective at fighting several pathogens, most particularly Staphylococcus aureus. Onions can be used externally and internally to treat several kinds of infections. It can either be ingested or applied topically on infected areas.
This is considered as one of the most potent antimicrobial foods. It contains sulfur compounds that are effective in fighting several infections. These compounds can kill bacteria, as well as worms, yeast and fungi. It can also fight Candida overgrowth (yeast infection).
The medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil, called lauric acid, has been found to have potent antimicrobial properties.
Cabbages contain compounds that can effectively kill infectious bacteria, and they are most effective against urinary tract infections. Studies have also found that cabbage juice is effective in controlling bacterial populations of H. pylori, the main cause of stomach ulcers.
Herbs also contain compounds that are effective in fighting off bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Here are some of the herbs that have antibacterial properties:
- Mint leaves
- Lemon balm
- Bay leaf
- Caraway seed
- Chili peppers
This type of honey is obtained from the nectar of the flower of the Manuka bush, a wild plant that is native only to New Zealand. Manuka honey has very effective antibacterial properties. It is known to stimulate a chemical reaction within the body which induces the natural production of hydrogen peroxide, an effective antiseptic that kills pathogens.
Uses of Manuka honey:
- Apply the honey directly on wounds to discourage bacterial infection and promote faster healing.
- To treat acne, use Manuka honey as a face mask. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing well with water.
- For seasonal allergies, gastritis, stomach ulcers and infections, add a tablespoon of Manuka honey to your tea or food.
- For cough, sinusitis, and sore throats, a tablespoon of Manuka honey 3 times daily will help alleviate the symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (also called ACV or cider vinegar) is made from crushed apples. The resulting juice is fermented into vinegar by adding cultured yeast and bacteria.
During the second fermentation process, bacteria that form acetic acid are added. All the added bacteria during the fermentation process are responsible for the healing benefits of apple cider vinegar. The color of ACV ranges from pale to medium amber, depending on how long it is fermented for.
Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar:
- As an antiseptic for treating acne and other similar skin problems. To use ACV, dilute it with equal amounts of water and apply on the face. Allow it to sit on the skin for 5 minutes before rinsing.
- For dandruff (fungal infection of the scalp caused by Malassezia furfur fungus), dilute with equal amounts of water and massage on the scalp.
- For yeast infections in women, add 2 tablespoons to a small basin of water and use as a douche. Use this with caution as it can irritate the vaginal mucosa and disrupt the normal vaginal bacterial flora.
Oregano Oil Uses
Oregano oil, as the name implies, comes from the oregano. The oil is extracted from the oregano leaves through steam distillation. There are actually 40 different species of oregano herbs known to exist, but among them, the oil from Oreganum Vulgare is considered as the most potent.
The antibacterial properties of oregano can be used in the following ways:
- Relieve swollen glands and sore throat by diluting equal parts oregano oil and water. Apply topically over the throat.
- Mix 4 drops of oregano oil and 1 drop clover oil (or just use 5 drops of oregano oil) and put them in a capsule. Take a capsule 3 times each day until symptoms of flu and cold disappear.
- Place 15 drops of oregano oil in a capsule. Take 1 capsule three times a day to protect against bronchitis and strep throat infections.
- Place 5 drops of oregano oil in a capsule. Take 3 times a day to effectively and quickly treat urinary tract infections.
- Take oregano oil internally to fight off chronic fungal infections.
- Prepare 1/8 cup of water and add 1 drop of oregano oil. Gargle then swallow to relieve sore throat.
- Rub a diluted mixture of oregano and thyme oil over aching muscles caused by viral infections.
- Mix 1 part oregano oil and 5 parts olive oil. Place in a dropper bottle. For the first few hours of flu, place 3 drops under the tongue every 15 minutes. Then place 3 drops under the tongue once every hour for the next 24 hours. Then take several times a day for the next few days until full recovery from a flu infection.
- Dilute oregano oil to 50% with a carrier oil. Apply on the skin surface affected with athlete’s foot and other skin fungal infections. Use twice a day, every day.
- Place diluted oregano oil in a diffuser. Spray in the room to clear the air of infective microorganisms.