There are times when antibiotics are necessary - in people with severely compromised immunity, newborns or overwhelming infections, antibiotics are life-savers.

But for chronic or less serious infections, and for viral and fungal illnesses, there are herbal options that can help. Antibiotic resistance is a massive problem worldwide - pathogens can outsmart antibiotics because unlike herbs, pharmaceutical drugs don't contain hundreds of biologically active compounds.

So here are a few of my favourite herbal medicines that have potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and/or anti-fungal activity. Please note that herb quality is paramount, so it is best to consult with a Naturopath or Medical Herbalist to ensure you are taking an extract that is lab tested for purity and quality.

Herbal Anti-virals include:

  • Hypericum perforatum (St Johns Wort - caution with this herb due to its ability to interact with some pharmaceutical drugs - consult a practitioner)

  • Eleuthrococcus senticosis (Siberian Ginseng - but not in acute infections)

  • Astragalus membranaceus

  • Phyllanthus amarus

  • Lentinus edodes (the medicinal mushroom aka Shiitake)

  • Allium sativum (Garlic)

  • Thuja occidentalis

Herbal Anti-Bacterials include:

  • Citrus seed extract

  • Andrographis paniculata

  • Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)

  • Allium sativum (Garlic)

  • Vaccinium macrocarpa (Cranberry)

Herbal Anti-fungals include:

  • Citrus seed extract

  • Horopito

  • Pau D'arco

  • Thymus vulgaris (Thyme)

  • Allium sativum (Garlic)

So for infections that don't require antibiotics, or where antibiotics have not resolved the illness, then consider your Herbal medicine options more closely...