When used appropriately, antibiotics can save lives and treat illnesses very effectively. However, when overused, antibiotics can causemore harm than good. Rather than purchase expensive antibiotics withpotentially harmful side effects, look to your pantry or nearest health food store for healing and, normally, tasty alternatives. Here are some fantastic natural remedies as we head into flu and cold season here in the Bay! 

Manuka Honey- Manuka honey is from New Zealand but can be found at most local health food stores. Manuka honey has strong antibiotics properties which makes it great at relieving fever like symptoms. You can also apply it to minor cuts and scrapes. Be sure to look for the UMF symbol on your manuka honey which means it’s authentic. Levels with 10+ have the best levels of antibacterial potency.

Garlic- Very powerful antifungal and anti-virus remedy when used raw. Garlic is best used to treat flus, chest congestion, digestive disorders and fungal infections. It has also been known to reduce cholesterol plaque in the aorta and blood homocyseine levels.  Try combining it raw with a salad dressing or buy the raw capsules.

Pau D’Arco- This tree is native to South America and has powerful antibacterial properties. The tree’s inner bark is said to help relieve yeast infections and parasitic infections. Be sure to look for 100% ground inner bark on the ingredient list.

Goldenseal- This plant is grown in the US and is fabulous at soothing throat and respiratory infections, the common cold, strep throat prevention, skin irritation and also aids in digestion. Be sure to contact your physician before using Goldenseal as high doses can lead to Vitamin B deficiencies, breathing problems and blood pressure issues. As always, if you are pregnant or breast feeding speak with your physician before use. 

Coconut Oil- My favorite! I love coconut oil and use it for everything. Coconut oil is not only a fantastic health food but a beauty product too. Coconut oil has an abundance of Vitamin E with is great at repairing dry skin, has anti-aging benefits, heals wounds and can smooth and soften your damaged hair as well. I normally slather it on my face and in my hair before I got to bed, then wash it out in the morning to find my face and hair glowing!

Coconut oil is also great for low temperature cooking, in your coffee or for baking. Eating/drinking coconut oil can improve hormone balance, increase metabolism and lower cholesterol levels.

When purchasing herbs and supplements please always look for the highest quality available and don’t always assume that because it is on the shelf at a health food store, it’s high quality. Read every label, do your own research and ask questions.

*References- Institute of Integrative Nutrition- Traditional Medicinals