7 Herbs and Foods with Antibacterial Properties Print Write e-mail
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Herbs - Herbs 2012
Written by Frank Mangano   
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 01:19


Several decades ago, when people have not yet discovered commercially-made and synthetic medicines, natural remedies were used to treat certain illnesses and heal wounds or cuts. Even at today’s modern age, there are still a good number of people who continue to seek the aid of natural medicines instead of the commercial ones. Aside from being cheaper, these natural medicines are more effective and safer than the ones typically prescribed by doctors. To cope up with the present age without completely leaving what were once used to be, some pharmaceutical companies have decided to produce commercial medicines made out of extracts from herbs.

Despite the advent of several medicines which were produced under rigid process using high quality equipment and with the combination of various chemicals, some people would still opt for natural remedies instead. Below are 7 herbs and foods which have antibacterial properties and are still widely used at present:

  1. Garlic. Garlic is a well-known natural antibiotic and is most commonly used because of its antibacterial properties. In the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur once conducted an observation with regard to the ability of garlic to effectively fight harmful bacteria and, eventually, he has seen under laboratory conditions how garlic was able to kill the bacteria. A few years later, several studies have confirmed that garlic is certainly an effective remedy to block, fight, or prevent the occurrence of harmful bacteria in the body. Wright State University also stated that garlic is more or less a percent as powerful as penicillin. To add up, researchers weighed the effectiveness of garlic against that of antibiotics which were commercially prescribed and results have shown that garlic is a more effective tool against a variety of bacteria. One should remember, however, that raw garlic should be taken in to avail its antibacterial components since cooked garlic has zero antibiotic value.

  2. Honey. A number of clinical observations have proven that honey is indeed effective in curing burns, yeast infections, cuts, insect bites, fungal infections, and several skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The capability of honey to treat is effected by its antibacterial properties which were produced from an enzyme when the said food slowly releases hydrogen peroxide upon application. It was found out through scientific research that harmful bacteria and fungi cannot endure in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Moreover, the antibacterial properties of honey contain an antimicrobial action in defense to certain fungi and bacteria; thus, actively promoting the therapeutic development. Also, these antibacterial properties have no undesirable effects on slowing the healing process.

  3. Cranberries. For more than 30 years already, cranberries are known to be beneficial to one’s health. Researchers in the early 1980’s have found out that cranberries are a powerhouse of a number of health benefits. People with UTI or Urinary Tract Infection can greatly take advantage of what cranberries could offer. Having antibacterial properties, cranberries are said to be effective in cleansing both the internal and external infections, which is why even UTI can be gradually cured through the intake of cranberries. These dry berries contain compounds which have the ability to prevent the occurrence of bacteria and the possible generation of other more bacteria in the body. Through putting a stop to the attempts of bacteria to get inside one’s body, the probability of getting infected is reduced. There are two effective methods in consuming cranberries and making use of their antibacterial agents – either you drink cranberry juice or eat cranberry jam. Both methods will still give you the same result.

  4. Turmeric. Turmeric was first cultivated in Southeast Asia and is now being planted in many other parts of the world since it has been known to be one of the most powerful herbal medicines, aside from being used for culinary and cosmetic purposes. Turmeric is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic which can cure infections or treat wounds. It is also capable of disinfecting and hindering the growth of bacteria and fungi. In addition, turmeric, according to a study, has the ability to fight microbes and infections brought about by bacteria.

  5. Oregano. Originally coming from Europe, oregano has been recognized to bring a number of health benefits to a person. Aside from its pleasing aroma and strong flavor, oregano is famous for its powerful antibacterial properties. The volatile oils contained in oregano enable it to be capable of combating the harmful bacteria – including those kinds which can cause serious illnesses. Giardia, yeast infections, and amoeba are just some of the serious illnesses which can be prevented when oregano is consumed. For less serious cases such as cuts or bruises, oregano oil may be applied for cleaning the area and avoiding infections.

  6. Peppermint. Peppermint is an herb which is commonly known for its flavor, fragrance, and pharmaceutical and therapeutic uses. Its leaves are the main source of its flavor and scent while its oil is primarily essential for its medicinal and cosmetic functions. The menthol compounds present in peppermint is the one responsible for its antibacterial effect. These compounds had an inhibitory function which is directly related to its capability to fight against bacteria and other microbes.

  7. Basil. Basil is one of the most famous herbs in the whole world. It is not merely used for flavoring in many dishes, but is also commonly preferred by nutritionists for people who are health conscious since it brings a lot of health benefits. Scientific data proves that the volatile oils present in basil are the ones responsible for boosting the immune system of an individual. These volatile oils contain antibacterial properties and can, in fact, be used for cleaning and treating infections. Applying basil leaves on infected areas or on wounds is the easiest but most effective way of eliminating the risk of infections and eventually treating it. On the other hand, to prevent or cure viral infections such as flu and colds, ingestion of basil either as a cooked herb or as a supplement is recommended.





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