25 Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics: Nature's Answer to Combat Infections-Pickeyweedz

25 Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics: Nature's Answer to Combat Infections

To expand on the last article about Anise Stars as the basis for the drug Tamiflu, I wanted to present the readers with other alternatives that are just as easily accessible.

Let me begin by saying, by no means should this article be received as advice against using the services of a physician, on the contrary what you should be doing is having the conversation about complimentary medicinal approaches to western medicine with your doctor,  because believe it or not, many of them see the merits of that approach and practice a very balanced blend of both disciplines. Besides, who among us has a lab and a full spectrum of diagnostic testing at our fingertips? Most of us can’t set a broken bone properly in the home, or perform surgery on ourselves, so we need the relationship with medical professionals. However, you need to practice buyer beware and make sure your physician is on the same page and of the same mind, that health and nutrition, as well as herbal supplementation should always be viewed as one, and that the approach to overall well-being includes a mind, body, spirit approach for optimum results.

In an era marked by antibiotic resistance and concerns about over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, turning to herbal remedies for combating infections has gained traction. Herbal alternatives offer a gentler, more holistic approach to healing, often with fewer side effects. Here, we present 25 herbal alternatives to antibiotics, backed by research and traditional wisdom.


  1. Garlic (Allium sativum): Known for its potent antimicrobial properties, garlic has been used for centuries to fight infections. Studies suggest its efficacy against a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  2. Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea): Widely used to boost the immune system, echinacea is particularly effective against respiratory infections such as the common cold. Research indicates its ability to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. 
  3. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Rich in berberine, goldenseal exhibits strong antibacterial activity, especially against gastrointestinal infections. It’s commonly used to treat diarrhea and urinary tract infections. 
  4. Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Beyond its culinary uses, ginger possesses antimicrobial properties that make it effective against respiratory infections and digestive issues. Its anti-inflammatory effects further aid in healing.
  5. Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, boasts potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been studied for its efficacy against various bacterial and viral infections. 
  6. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Thyme contains thymol, a natural compound with powerful antimicrobial properties. It’s commonly used to treat respiratory infections and as a natural antiseptic. 
  7. Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Rich in carvacrol and thymol, oregano oil exhibits strong antimicrobial activity against various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 
  8. Manuka Honey: Renowned for its healing properties, manuka honey possesses potent antimicrobial activity, particularly against antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. It’s often used to treat wounds and infections. 
  9. Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which exhibits antiviral and antibacterial properties. It’s used to treat respiratory infections and as a natural remedy for sore throats. 
  10. Neem (Azadirachta indica): Neem is hailed for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. It’s used in traditional medicine to treat skin infections, oral infections, and digestive issues. 
  11. Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata): Known as the “King of Bitters,” andrographis is prized for its immune-boosting and antimicrobial effects. It’s commonly used to prevent and treat colds and flu.
  12. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra): Elderberry is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that support immune function. Research suggests it can help reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms. 
  13. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata): Similar to garlic, garlic mustard exhibits potent antimicrobial properties, making it effective against various bacterial strains. It’s used both internally and topically. 
  14. Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon): Cranberries contain compounds that prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, making them effective in preventing and treating urinary tract infections (UTIs). 
  15. Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium): Oregon grape contains berberine, which exhibits strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. It’s used to treat various infections, including skin conditions and UTIs. 
  16. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus): Astragalus is prized for its immune-stimulating properties. It’s used to prevent and treat respiratory infections and to support overall immune function. 
  17. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa): Cat’s claw possesses immune-modulating and antimicrobial properties. It’s used to boost the immune system and as a natural remedy for infections. 
  18. Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum): Holy basil, or tulsi, is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its immune-boosting and antimicrobial effects. It’s used to treat respiratory infections and to support overall health and vitality. 
  19. Grapefruit Seed Extract: Grapefruit seed extract exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It’s used as a natural antibiotic and immune booster. 
  20. Pau d’Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa): Pau d’arco contains lapachol, a compound with potent antimicrobial properties. It’s used to treat fungal infections, candida overgrowth, and bacterial infections. 
  21. Barberry (Berberis vulgaris): Barberry contains berberine, which exhibits strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s used to treat various infections, including respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. 
  22. Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint contains menthol, which exhibits antimicrobial properties. It’s used to relieve digestive issues and as a natural remedy for respiratory infections. 
  23. Ginseng (Panax ginseng): Ginseng possesses immune-modulating effects that help enhance the body’s natural defenses against infections. It’s used to prevent colds and flu and to support overall health. 
  24. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, which exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used to treat respiratory infections and to support immune function. 
  25. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): Yarrow possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used to treat wounds, digestive issues, and respiratory infections. 

These herbal alternatives to antibiotics offer promising options for managing infections while minimizing the risk of antibiotic resistance and adverse side effects. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating herbs into your regimen, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.


As always education is key, there can always be interactions, either with medications be they OTC, or prescription medications and you can have chemistry that just doesn’t pair well with certain herbs, for example; you have a ragweed allergy and ingest an herb from the ragweed family, or you have a hormone imbalance and ingest an herb that raises or lowers testosterone or estrogen and while these instances can be taxing enough on the body and your overall health, herbs just like some pharmaceuticals can be fatal if taken in error. Herbs in the class known as baneful or poison herbs which, when in the right hands and formulated in the correct fashion such as ‘Belladonna’ can be very helpful for many maladies, when handled improperly can land you 6 feet under and pushing up daisies!

To see a list of what herbs we carry at Pickeyweedz Metaphysical Store click the link here Herbs

Here's to your health!



(Tay has been a practicing herbalist for close to 4 decades, studying the works of many renowned herbalists as well as living among them since childhood. She completed the certification program with The Science and Art of Herbalism – the school founded by master herbalist Rosemary Gladstar) and is the co-owner of the Pickeyweedz Metaphysical Store located in South Abington Township, PA.)



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