Foods with medicinal properties...
Recently I developed a rather painful infected spot on the back of my neck, and while many people’s advice was start a course of antibiotics to help fight the infection, my immediate thoughts were that something more natural may be sufficient to help cure the so-called boil. While I’m certainly no holistic enthusiast, and fully believe in the power of man-made medicines, natural is always a good way to go.
Unfortunately antibiotics are a drug that get widely misused by many people, and this can lead to the development of drug resistant strains of bacteria and viruses that cause infections and disease.
For this reason I’ve always thought that one should only take antibiotics when it’s absolutely necessary, and that particular case a simple infected spot might not warrant taking that chance of the body, building up a tolerance to drugs that can be used to fight much more severe ailments.
So, in hope to reduce the swelling and cull the infection attacking the spot on my neck, I went in search of foods that can help fight infections naturally. Thankfully there’s lots, and most are delicious.
Natural Foods That Help Fight Infection
Garlic has a proven track record for being a great ingredient that helps fight bacteria, viral, fungal and parasitic infections. The active compound is allicin, which is similar to penicillin.
While eating garlic can help fight staph, strep and whole host of other infections, garlic oil can be applied to the skin to treat scrapes and burns, it can also be used to help fight ear infections.
Note that when cooking garlic, it does lose some of its medicinal benefits. Holding raw garlic under the tongue, or drinking its juice is the most effective way to absorb its healing properties. But since the herb is rather pungent, taking garlic pills might be a better option.Image Credit: Lowjumpingfrog, 2008.
A relative of garlic, onion has similar medicinal properties. This flavorsome bulb can be eaten to help reduce pain, inflammation, and increase circulation. It has also been used for hundreds of years in the treatment of cold and flu.Image Credit: Daniel R. Blume, 2007.
Honey has a long history of being used as a topical treatment for infections. The sweet substance has also been shown to be effective against fighting certain antibiotic resistant strains.Image Credit: Kurtsik, 2008.
When combined with honey, cinnamon makes for both a great decongestant, and topical paste that can be applied to the teeth and skin. There are many recipes to treat different ailments:
- One teaspoon of honey mixed with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon can be consumed to help clear cough, cold and sinuses and a little more
- 5 teaspoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon – can help clear baldder infections.
- 5 teaspoons of honey mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon can help relieve toothache.
- To make a topical paste that can be used to treat skin infections, insect bites, burns and eczema, mix equal parts of honey and cinnamon.
- And finally, those prone to acne can reduce the symptoms by mixing 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and applying it to the skin overnight.
Fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C
Vitamin C is known to help strengthen the body’s immune system and ability to fight disease. Over the years various studies have also shown vitamin C to help heal snake bites, bacterial and viral infections.Image Credit: Kanenas, 2012.
Eucalyptus has powerful decongestant properties, but it’s also a great natural antiseptic that kills fungus, bacteria, and viruses. The best way to consume eucalyptus is by drinking herbal tea.Image Credit: Jon Moss, 2008.
Only consumable via capsules, this natural extract can be taken to help fight all types of infection.Image Credit: Francesco Minchiatti, 2011.
Colloidal silver was a popular treatment used in place of antibiotics until the 1940’s. Made from pure silver, the liquid is still popular today with many health enthusiasts colloidal silver is very effective for treating upper respiratory ailments.
Note that CS destroys both good and bad bacteria, so you’ll need to up your intake of disease fighting good bacteria. Overuse of the liquid has also been linked to cases of the skin turning grey.
Herbs and Spices
There are also a whole list of herbs and spices that have natural antibiotic properties including: Wild Indego, Allspice, Oregano, Thyme, Cumin, Cinnamon, Tarragon, Cloves, Bay leaf, Chili peppers, Rosemary, Marjoram, Caraway seed, Coriander, Dill, Basil, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Pepper, Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Mint sage, Mustard, Parsley, Basil, Coriander.