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The A-Z of 228 natural antimicrobial and healing plants

Plants have evolved to produce their own powerful antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral chemicals to fight off bacteria, fungi and virus infections and, when consumed, these chemicals can have the same effect within the human body. In the 15th century, the spice traders and merchants were the 'pharmacists' of the day as they knew about the powerful properties of the herbs and spices they traded from India and throughout Europe. Thieves oil was a concoction they invented that had powerful antimicrobial properties that protected them from the bubonic plague. Read more

Abuta (Abutta officinalis, Cissampelos pareira)

Abuta acts as an antiseptic to the bladder and is used to treat malaria due to its antipyretic properties meaning it can reduce fevers. It can also be used as an expectorant because it expels phlegm.

Acacia (Acacia nilotica)

Acacia leaf extract has been scientifically proven to be a potent antibacterial herb against Lactobacillus acidophilus and can be recommended to prevent dental cavities. It can also fight off infections of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Acacia karroo, commonly known as the Sweet thorn, is a species of Acacia, native to southern Africa. In studies, the bark and stems of this tree have shown potent antimicrobial properties against against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the Candida albicans fungi due to its phenolic compounds.

Acai (Euterpe oleracea)

 

In Brazilian herbal medicine, the oil of the acai is used to treat diarrhoea and the grated fruit rind as a topical wash for skin ulcers. In the Peruvian Amazon, the toasted crushed seeds are used for fever and the root is used for many health disorders including hepatitis, kidney and liver disorders, malaria and other bacterial or viral diseases.

 

Agave (Agave schottii)

 

Agave, when unrefined, contains polysaccharides which are bactericidal and saponins and sapogenins that have antibiotic, fungicidal and antiviral properties however, agave syrup that has been processed contains very little of these or much nutritional value and has an extremely high sugar content.

 

Ajos sacha (Mansoa alliacea)

 

Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties a decoction or tincture made from the leaves or bark of the Amazonian ajos sacha plant is used for treating colds, coughs, fever and influenza. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce pain, spasms and swellings and it also lowers cholesterol and fights free radicals. An alcoholic maceration of the stem and roots is also used for rheumatism.

 

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

 

Alfalfa has been proven to be effective against many gram-negative organisms including the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and has antifungal properties. It is also rich in many nutrients required for healing and repair. Sprouting alfalfa seeds is the best way to gain the most nutrients and health benefits from this wonder food.

 

Alisma (Alisma plantago aquatic)

 

The leaves and roots of alisma have an antibacterial action against Mycobacterium (tuberculosis), Staphylococcus and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections. Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause bacteraemia (blood stream infection), ear infections, meningitis (infections of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and sinus infections and may lead to serious complications especially for young infants and the elderly. The alisma root, which is harvested before the plant comes into flower, can be used immediately or dried for later use. Caution is advised as the root is acrid if it is not dried or well-cooked before use and the leaves must also be well cooked.

 

Allspice (Pimenta dioica)

 

Allspice is the dried unripe fruit of the pimento tree and, when mixed with extractions of garlic and oregano, can work against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella infections. The eugenol in all spice has local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties and is useful in gum and dental treatment. However, allspice should be avoided in individuals suffering from stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis.

 

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis)

 

Aloe vera has components that enhance the functioning of the entire immune system, detoxify the body, promote the repair of a wide range of tissues and organs, improve digestive functions and help with the destruction and elimination of invading bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses and is particularly good for maintaining oral health, specifically the mouth and teeth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve pain and help with the healing of damaged tissues. Studies have shown that acemannan in aloe vera can boost T-lymphocyte cells that aid in natural resistance to infection. Aloe vera is particularly active against the herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2, Corynebacterium, Pseudomonos aeruginosa, Salmonella, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Aloe can be used simply by slicing open the leaves of the fresh plant to get at the gel and taken internally (a teaspoon of gel in fruit juice or a smoothie) but caution is advised as it can cause loose stools so increase the amount taken slowly. It is also one of nature’s most powerful skin healers when used topically.

 

Alum root (Heuchera)

 

Alum root is a strong astringent used to stop the bleeding of cuts, superficial abrasions and ulcers on the lips. It is used in dilute form as an antibacterial mouthwash or gargle effective for mouth and throat ulcers. Internally, it is useful as a tea to help ease malaria symptoms, diarrhoea, for loose bowels and excessive mucus in the urinary tract accompanied by frequent urination. A decoction can be made of grated alum root simmered in a litre of water until the liquid has halved, strain then drink when cooled.

 

CAUTION: Alum root can cause gastrointestinal irritation if taken in large amounts.

Anamu (Petiveria alliacea)

Anamu is a south American herb that can stimulate the immune system. In one scientific study, anamu increased natural killer cells by 100 percent. It also contains two compounds that kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

Andiroba (Carapa guianensis)

 

Andiroba seed oil has highly potent analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory properties. In Latin America, the oil of andiroba is often mixed with copaiba oil and honey as an aid internal healing.

 

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata)

 

Andrographis is an immune stimulant and anti-parasitic, antibiotic and anti-viral tonic herb used for treating hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, flatulence, healing and preventing gastric acidity, bowel complaints, colds, flu, sinusitis, tonsillitis, familial Mediterranean fever and upper respiratory tract infections. It also inhibits the body's inflammatory mechanism and can also help to stop the clumping of blood platelets which is the clotting process that can lead to heart attacks.

 

CAUTION: Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should avoid Andrographis. Safety during lactation is not known. Andrographis may increase glucose metabolisation which could unduly enhance blood sugar lowering medication. Those taking anticoagulant agents such as warfarin or heparin or anti-platelet agents such as ibuprofen should also avoid the andrographis herb.

 

Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)

 

Studies on angelica root have shown good antimicrobial activity against Bifidobacteria, Candida albicans, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcus faecalis, Eubacterium limosum, Lactobacilli and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius.

 

CAUTON: Angelica should be avoided if taking any type of medication that thins the blood or for hormone therapies and contraception.

 

Anise (Pimpinella anisum)

 

Anise, also known as aniseed, has been shown to possess potent antimicrobial properties and chemical studies have shown that most of this antimicrobial property is due to anethole present in the dried fruit.

 

Annatto (Bixa Orellana)

 

The seed and leaf of the annatto are used medicinally to treat diabetes, diarrhoea, fevers, fluid retention, heartburn, malaria and hepatitis. They are also used as an antioxidant and bowel cleanser and it can be used topically on the affected area to treat burns and vaginal infections and to repel insects.

 

CAUTION: In foods, annatto is used as a colouring agent which can cause many allergic side effects especially in children's behaviour. It is also known to cause urticaria (nettle rash) and flare-ups of angioneurotic oedema. It contains salicylic acid that has been implicated in asthma and hyperactivity.

 

Apples (Malus domestica)

 

Apples are known to have properties that can combat cholera caused by the Vibrio cholera bacteria. They contain a potent flavonoid called quercetin that can help the body defend itself against harmful micro-organisms and improve the tissue health of the intestinal wall which prevent an overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the intestines. The growth of many bacteria, fungi, viruses and yeasts are also inhibited by natural food tannins like those found in apples but eating too much of them without vitamin C can cause headache, migraine and kidney problems.

 

Apple cider vinegar

 

Apple cider vinegar has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and decongestant properties. It is particularly useful for oral and skin infections but also helps to cleanse the liver and kidneys which are responsible for clearing toxins and waste materials from the body. Take one tablespoon in a cup of warm water every morning before food during recovery from injury or infection. A teaspoon of pure honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice can also be added for extra antimicrobial action.

 

Arnica (Arnica montana)

 

Arnica is a yellow daisy-like member of the sunflower family with the active components of sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids which are known to reduce inflammation and ease pain. It also contains thymol, an essential oil that fights infection and carotenoid a powerful antioxidant. It is believed to work by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and dispersing fluid that accumulates around damaged, swollen joints thus relieving pain and inflammation. Arnica can boost immunity, accelerate healing and fight inflammation. It also helps the body combat bacterial infection and can be taken internally or applied externally.

 

Ash gourd (Benincasa hispida)

 

Ash gourd maintains the pH of the body which can be upset when consuming too much acid-forming foods such as dairy products, grains and other protein rich foods, alcohol, processed foods and sugar. Acidity in the body can cause an environment where certain microbes thrive. Ash gourd also has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Cloves, ginger and mint leaves taken in conjunction with ash gourd can help to relieve some of the unpleasant side effects it can cause such as indigestion.

 

Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei koidzmi)

 

Components in ashitaba leaves help strengthen the immune system by eliminating heavy metals from the blood, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels and exhibit powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Regular consumption is especially good for lactating mothers as they remove heavy metals from the milk and help to promote the immune system in the baby.

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

 

Ashwagandha improves the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count and has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties especially against the Lactone bacteria and has been known to successfully treat Lyme disease and malaria.

 

CAUTION: As it is a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, care should be taken and a professional health advisor consulted before taking this remedy.

 

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

 

Regular consumption of asparagus is highly effective against bacterial urinary tract infections and bladder or kidney stones and is very helpful in recovery from injury or surgery as it is a rich source of vitamin K which helps to mend bones and other nutrients that help with cell growth.

 

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous)

 

Astragalus is a Chinese herb and a member of the bean family. It has been shown to boost the immune system and inhibit certain bacterial infections such as scarlet fever and strep throat and viruses, such as the cocksackie B virus. It has a long history of preventing and treating the cold virus and various other respiratory-related conditions.

 

Aubergine (Solanum melongena)

 

The aubergine, also known as the eggplant, contains components that are particularly good at protecting brain cells. It is also rich in chlorogenic acid which has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

 

Bamboo shoots (Bambusa vulgaris)

 

Bamboo shoots contain lignans that have effective antibacterial, anticancer and antiviral activity. The phytosterols and polyphenols in bamboo shoots are anti-inflammatory so can also be useful when recovering from injury or surgery.

 

Banderol (Otoba acuminata, Otoba novogranatensis, Otoba parvifolia)

 

Banderol has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties and is useful as a natural remedy in the elimination of the Lyme disease and syphilis bacterial infections.

 

Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitate)

 

The baobab fruit is a highly nutritious ‘super fruit’ that has properties that can fight colds, stomach upsets and boost the immune system. The soluble fibre found in baobab fruit have been found to exert prebiotic effects which means it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut which will help to crowd out the numbers of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts that can also reside there.

 

Barley grass (Hordeum vulgare</ital)

 

Barley juice is used medicinally to heal stomach and colon disorders, duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and is an effective anti-inflammatory. It is rich in nutrients that can help with recovery from injury and surgery and is an unusual plant source of vitamin B12 that may be low in levels in anyone over the age of 55, those taking any medications, alcohol drinkers, vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin B12 is essential for many processes that involve nerve protection and fighting infections.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is highly effective against bacterial infections, especially salmonella, intestinal parasites and the viruses that cause colds, flu, herpes, mononucleosis and shingles. The essential oil of basil contains eugenol which works similarly to aspirin and ibuprofen in decreasing the swelling in joints and tissues and is therefore helpful in recovery from injury and surgery and reducing pain. A tea made of one handful of leaves to one pint of water simmered gently for 10 minutes with three crushed black peppercorns per cup will be effective for the above ailments. Adding a teaspoon of raw honey can provide addition benefits.

Bergamot (Monarda didyma)

Bergamot is an aromatic herb rich in thymol which is a natural antiseptic and good to apply topically diluted on skin infections or to inhale through steam for sinus or throat infections.

Betel nut (Areca catechu innaeus)

Betel nut and leaves have powerful activities against infections. It has been reported that areca nut extract exerts a direct antimicrobial effect against oral bacteria including Campylobacter rectus, Candida albicans, Eikenella corrodens, Fusiform nucleatum, Prophyromonas gingivalis, Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus salivarius. The chewing of betel leaf causes the suppression of bacterial activity in the oral cavity and prevents halitosis.

Bicarbonate of soda (Sodium hydrogen carbonate)

Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal substance that can also alkalise the body. Many diseases and infections can thrive in an acidic environment which often the body can become through consumption of too much sugar and protein. Take one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of water or milk can help to rectify the acid/alkaline balance in the body but, due to the sodium content it is best avoi8ded by individuals with high blood pressure. Cleaning the teeth with bicarbonate of soda can kill the oral bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease and bathing and washing the hair with bicarbonate of soda can treat fungal and bacterial infections.

Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus)

 

Bilberries contain a balanced mixture of the five major anthocyanins aglycons; delphinidin, petunidin, cyanidin, peonidin and malvidin bound to monosaccharides (glucose, galactose and arabinose). These monosaccharides have shown to possess antibacterial properties against Escherichia coli.

Bird cherry (Prunus padus)

Bird cherry has been shown, in scientific studies, to have antibacterial activity against the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) and its fruit has antimicrobial properties that are also toxic to flies, fungi and mosquitoes.

Biscuit root (Lomatium dissectum)

Biscuit root is one of the most powerful antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral herbs there is especially for those that affect the eyes and the respiratory and urinary tracts and contains a potent volatile oil called coumarin. Lomatium is best to use with a liver/urinary stimulant such as dandelion root to help avoid a lomatium rash side effect.

Bitter kola (Garcinia kola, Garcinia afzelii)

Bitter kola is a medium-sized tree that is common to central Africa. Its seeds are used as medicine throughout the region and has been known to cure Ebola, has anti-cancer properties and works against many viruses, including influenza. Unfortunately, this tree is a rare species which is on the endangered species list so acquiring the seeds may be very difficult.

Black seed (Nigella sativa)

Black seed is an immensely powerful seed which can kill a multitude of microbes inside the body and externally including bacteria, fungi and viruses and has been shown to be particularly effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). For serious internal infections take one teaspoon of black seed powder with honey in a cup of warm water and drink three times a day, one hour before meals and one before bed. Eat four to five cloves of garlic each day in conjunction with the black seed and honey. For external application mix black seed powder with coconut oil or honey to a paste and apply to affected area then cover with a dressing and leave on overnight. Remove the next morning and wash as normal. Apply again each night until the infection clears up which should be within a few days. The gel from an aloe vera leaf can be applied after washing to help with faster healing.

Black walnut hulls (Juglans nigra)

Black walnut hulls, also known as Jupiter’s nuts, contain a substance which helps the body eliminate parasites. Although this is the main use of this herb, it is also effective for poison oak, ringworm and skin ailments and it has antifungal properties and can promote bowel regularity. It must be harvested from the wild when the hull is green for optimal potency and is often used in tincture form and can be purchased as capsules.

Blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus)

 

Blessed thistle contains cnicin and polyacetylene constituents which have been shown to have effective antibacterial activities against Bacillus subtilis, Brucella species, Escherichia coli, Proteus species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus faecalis. It also contains anti-inflammatory lignans.

Blood root (Sanguinaria Canadensis)

 

Bloodroot has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can treat Lyme disease and syphilis bacterial infections, nasal polyps, poor circulation in the surface blood vessels, reduce tooth pain and sore throat (pharyngitis) and treat warts.

Blueberry (Cyanococcus)

 

Blueberry leaves are a good source of polyphenols that have powerful antimicrobial properties against fungi and Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhi-murium, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and are useful in preventing and treating urinary tract infections.

Blue flag (Iris versicolor)  

Blue flag has antibacterial properties and has been known to combat cholera which is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholera. The medicinal compounds in blue flag are iridin, isophthalic acids, resin, salicylic acids, tannins, triterpenoids and volatile oils. Blue flag can have side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and watery eyes and should never be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or children.

Blue vervain (Verbena officinalis

Blue vervain contains aucubin and oleanolic acid which help to protect the gall bladder and liver and can help to prevent respiratory infections.  It also has mild analgesic and sedative properties that can assist with recovery from injury and surgery. It also contains verbascoside which can inhibit the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Poultices made from the aerial parts of the plant, particularly the flowers, can be used to heal wounds and prevent infections.

NOTE: Excessive consumption of blue vervain can cause abdominal pain, convulsions, diarrhoea and vomiting so care must be taken. Pregnant women should avoid this herb as it may cause miscarriage and those with heart disease should also avoid this herb.

Borage (Borago oficinalis)

Borage oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is a fatty acid the body converts to a material called prostaglandin which has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to act as blood thinners and blood vessel dilators and is especially useful for protecting the brain. Fresh borage flowers have been shown in studies to contain highly effective antibacterial agents against Staphylococcus aureus.

Burdock root (Arctium lappa)

Burdock root contains polyacetylenes that gives the herb its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Very few, if any, herbs possess more curative powers equal this one and it helps the kidneys flush out impurities and has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a liver tonic. It is taken in tea form and has a slightly bitter taste, so honey can be used to sweeten it.

Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus)

Butcher’s broom gets its name because it was once used by butchers in Europe to clean their chopping blocks. As well as having antibacterial properties, it contains an anti-inflammatory and vein-constricting compound called ruscogen that can improve the tone and integrity of veins and shrink swollen tissues.

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitate)

Cabbage was once called the ‘doctor of the poor’ due to its ability to successfully treat tuberculosis. Regular consumption of cabbage can help to detoxify the liver, protect the cartilages and joints and encourage faster healing.  It can also be used as a poultice for infected wounds.

NOTE: Cabbage should be avoided by those who have an overactive thyroid gland.

Camphor (Cinnamonum camphora)

Camphor has anaesthetic, anti-neuralgic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, sedative and stimulant properties. Camphor oil is an effective stimulant, which boosts the activity of the circulatory and lymph system, metabolism, digestion, excretion and secretion processes. It is also very helpful in curing nearly all types of inflammation, both internal and external. Camphor oil is also an excellent disinfectant, insecticide and germicide and can be added to drinking water to disinfect it, particularly during the summer and in rainy seasons when there is a higher chance of water becoming infected.

Some of the active components of camphor are alcohol, borneol, camphene, camphor, pinene, safrol and terpene. It does have some narcotic effects, since it temporarily desensitises the nerves and relaxes the brain and because of this it can make a person lose control over their limbs if taken in excess. The smell and consumption of camphor oil is addictive, so caution should be taken.

NOTE: Camphor oil can be toxic and can be fatally poisonous if ingested in excess. Even two grams can be lethal. Ingestion of a slight overdose can still manifest symptoms of poisoning, including extreme thirst, vomiting and a drop in body temperature. It is always important to remember that a substance which is toxic for insects can be toxic in high enough doses for human beings as well.

Cape ash (Ekebergia capensis)

In studies, the cape ash tree bark and stems have shown potent antimicrobial properties against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the Candida albicans fungi due to its phenolic compounds and tannins.

Capers (Capparis spinose)

 

Capers are very rich source of quercetin (180 mg/100g) second only to the tea leaf which gives them powerful antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Their consumption should be limited in during pregnancy and patients undergoing any surgical intervention should avoid them as they act as a blood thinner and may result in excessive bleeding.

Caraway seeds (Carum carvi)

 

Caraway seeds contain coumarin and other volatile oils that have antibacterial properties and can be effective in mouthwash or toothpaste form. The oils are also antifungal, and antiviral can be used as a toxin free antiseptic and disinfectant.

Cardamom seeds (Elettaria cardamomum)

 

Cardamom seeds flush toxins from the body (especially caffeine) and increase blood circulation and have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)

 

Casacara sagrada bark contains polyphenols and tannins that have antimicrobial properties against bacteria, fungi, parasitic worms and viruses and are especially useful for colon health.

Cashew nuts (Anacardium occidentale)

 

Cashew nuts contain polyphenols and salicylic acid that have powerful antimicrobial properties against fungi and the Propionibacterium acnes) bacteria that causes acne.

Cat’s claw Uncaria tomentosa)

 

Cat’s claw has components that help to support the immune system. Cancer patients taking cat's claw, in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation treatments, have fewer side effects like hair loss, nausea, secondary infections and weight loss. Components in cat's claw can also aid in DNA cellular repair and prevent cells from mutating. They can also help prevent loss of white blood cells and immune cell damage caused by many chemotherapy drugs.

 

Celery seeds (Apium graveolens)

 

The active ingredients in celery-seed extract, known as phthalides, is a compound that has been shown to help prevent and treat arthritis, asthma, gout, heart attack and strokes. It can act as a diuretic to reduce fluids, improve circulation, promote cleansing of toxins such as uric acid, reduce inflammation and relax the walls of arteries and veins. It also provides a calming effect and has antiviral properties. Celery seeds are also useful in the treatment of bladder, kidney and gall stones and can help with recovery from injury and surgery.

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga mushroom is a type of fungi that lives on birch trees and a tea made from them is the most potent antimicrobial known in the fight against premature aging and for prevention of serious disease and infection due to its very powerful biological substances that are antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)

 

Chamomile flower tea is useful for treating gastrointestinal disorders, hay fever, inflammation, insomnia, muscle spasms and rheumatic pain. Its antimicrobial agents, such as anthemic and phenolic acid, can also inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori in the intestines and other microbes such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococci aureus and parasitic worms (helminths). The coumarins in chamomile are also antiviral agents.

Chancapuedra (Phyllanthus niruri)

 

Chancapuedra is a potent Amazonian plant that is effective against bacteria, fungi and virus infections including the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea that is becoming resistant to conventional lab-made antibiotics.

Chaparral leaf (Larrea tridentate)

 

Chaparral leaf resin has been shown to have significant anti-viral activity especially against the Epstein Barr virus. Natural ingredients from the leaf resin inhibit viral replication by at least three documented mechanisms. At least two of the active ingredients act to inhibit the activity of a certain gene promoter that is important for viral replication. When they inhibit this promoter, the appropriate gene cannot work, and the viruses cannot replicate. The lignans and nordihydroguaiaretic acid in chaparral leaves are potent agents against bacteria that can infect the skin.

NOTE: Chaparral leaf should not be used by pregnant or lactating (nursing) women or children under age 12. People have had or liver disease or who are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication on a regular basis should consult a physician before taking it. Discontinue use if any unusual symptoms such as nausea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain or jaundice (e.g. dark urine, yellow discolouration of the eyes or skin) should occur.

 

Chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia cebula)

 

Chebulic myrobalan is said to be the mother of all herbs for its many health benefits including being antiviral. The outer skin of the fruit is dried and powdered to use both internally to cure infections and as an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory paste with water that has a purifying and healing capacity for wounds.

 

Cherries (Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus)

 

Cherries, especially tart (Morello) cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants which are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. They are also known to be effective pain relievers for all types of injuries and promote faster recovery from the same.

 

Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

 

The leaves of the European chestnut contain ursene and oleanene compounds (pentacyclic triterpenes) that have the power to block the virulence and pathogenesis of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria without detectable resistance. It works by taking away the bacteria’s weapons which effectively stops the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause serious tissue damage which makes it a highly effective weapon against MRSA.

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can be used to treat skin disorders and hepatitis B.

Chilli pepper (Capsicum anuum)

 

Chilli pepper is one of the most powerful of the medicinal spices and assists in the body's utilisation of other herbs, when used in any herbal combination. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are second to none.

Chinese rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum, Rheum rhaponticum)

 

Chinese rhubarb root has potent antibacterial, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which makes it useful for both internal and external inflammation and infection.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Chives have natural antibacterial qualities that can eliminate a wide range of bacteria, particularly those in the Salmonella family. They are also antifungal and antiviral and the juice from the leaves can be used as an insect repellent.

Cinchona bark (Quinaquina officinalis)

Cinchona bark has powerful components that can kill malaria strains that have evolved and developed a resistance to the synthesised quinine drugs and it has been found that the natural quinine found in extracts from cinchona bark and the use of natural bark tea do not create resistant strains and can kill those that have become resistant. Due to its antibacterial properties, it may also be true of the antibiotic resistant bacteria which can probably be killed off by using naturally antibiotic plants instead of synthesised antibiotics. The plasmodium parasite that causes malaria is neither a virus nor a bacterium. It is a single-celled parasite that multiplies in red blood cells of humans as well as in the mosquito intestine. Cinchona bark also has potent antiviral properties.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

 

Cinnamon has shown to be a very potent anti-inflammatory, pain reliever and anti-microbial spice. It has the capacity to inhibit the formation and proliferation of bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori infection, yeast, fungi especially Candida albicans and virus infections. For this reason, simmered in milk and taken with a little honey, it is very helpful for digestive problems especially when accompanied by cramping, diarrhoea, gas and vomiting. Mix a tablespoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon for as potent antimicrobial syrup that can be taken daily to clear up all kinds of infections including colds, coughs and sinus congestion.

Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)

 

Cinquefoil is a herb with astringent properties and is used to cure diarrhoea, chronic catarrh, night sweats and inflammation of the digestive system. It is part of anthroposophy preparations to relieve non-traumatic bleeding such as in the digestive tract and is good to use as a gargle. A tea called kuril, which is made by steeping cinquefoil flowers, leaves and shoots in hot water for 10 minutes, is used in the treatment of various gastrointestinal infections. It is as potent as most modern antibacterial and antiviral drugs, but most importantly, does not cause dysbacteriosis (microbial imbalance) in the intestines, which occurs in patients receiving conventional antibiotics.

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia caryophyllata)

Cloves contain the most powerful germicidal agent in the herbal kingdom known as eugenol. It also contains caryophyllene which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs. Cloves are tremendously effective in killing malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, scabies and other bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi, including Candida. Cloves also destroy all bacterial species of Shigella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Eugenol in this spice is used in dentistry as a local antiaesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gums. Add three to three cups of herbal teas per day

Coccinia (Coccinia indica, Coccinia cordifolia)

 

The leaves and roots of coccinia have potent antibacterial properties which can treat many types of infections especially those of the digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. Coccinia also helps to open pores to stimulate sweat which helps to eliminate toxins in the body and is also a good wound healer.

 

Coconut (Cocos nucifera)

Coconut, in all its forms (flesh, oil and water), can eliminate infectious illnesses such as bronchitis,  Chlamydia, giardia, gonorrhoea, Helicobacter pylori infection, herpes, lice, Lyme disease, influenza, spirochaete ( Borrelia) infections, tapeworms, throat infections, toxoplasmosis, urinary tract infections and numerous other infections caused by microbes, bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and yeasts due to its compounds of capric acid, caprylic acid, linoleic acid, lauric acid, monocaprin and monolaurin. It may also be able to fight off infections that can cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease and related brain degenerative diseases. It is especially effective against the Clostridium and Staphylococcus species of bacterium.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

 

Coltsfoot has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents that make it useful in the treatment of colitis, gastritis, respiratory infections and sinusitis.

Copaiba oil (Copaifera pauper)

Copaiba oil contains powerful antibacterial and antifungal agents useful for digestive, respiratory and urinary infections and can also kill the bacteria responsible for gonorrhoea and syphilis.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps are a parasitic fungus that has been used for many years in Chinese and Tibetan medicine. They have properties that can help to reset and strengthen the immune system and, like many other mushrooms, they have strong antiviral and antifungal powers.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander, also known as cilantro, contains the antibacterial compound, dodecenal, that is a safe, natural means of fighting fungi, yeasts and food borne bacterial infections such as Salmonella. In studies, extracts taken from coriander stems have been shown to produce potent activities against the Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli due to their phenolic content. Coriander leaves are useful to consume with fish as they contain agents that help to eliminate toxic heavy metals from the body such as mercury often found in large deep-sea ocean fish.

Couch grass (Elymus repens)

 

Couch grass contains agropyrene oil which has potent antibiotics properties effective in treating infections and dissolving bladder or kidney stones.

Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Cranberries have been proven to fight off bacterial urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from attaching itself to the urinary tract. Specifically, a group of tannins called ‘proanthocyanins’ found primarily in cranberries interact with bacteria, especially Escherichia coli, at molecular level by creating an energy barrier, compressing the ‘fimbriae’ on the outside of bacteria, and suppressing bacterial ability to form biofilms. Drink half to one litre of unsweetened pure cranberry juice per day until the infection clears up. Cranberries are also very useful for individuals who need catheters after surgery or long term.

Cryptolepis (Cryptolepis sanguinolenta)

Crytolepis is one of the top five systemic herbal antibiotics in the world and tests have found the plant to be a stronger antibacterial than the pharmaceutical antibiotic 'chloramphenicol' and this is due to the antibacterial alkaloids cryptolepine, quinoline and neocryptolepine found in this plant. It is mainly found in the root and has been effective at treating people infected with malaria in West Africa as a decoction or tincture taken two times a day. It is also highly effective against Candida albicans, Escherichia coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Cubeb (Piper cubeba)

The cubeb, also known as Java pepper, is the red alternative to black pepper and the seeds have potent antibacterial properties especially against Micrococcus pyrogens var. aureus. The oil of this plant is effective against the influenza virus and Bacillus typhosus. It is also a good tonic for the spleen which can help fight infections.

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

 

Cumin seeds contain very potent antibiotic compounds that have been studied and found to be able to kill many types of bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Micrococcus luteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus. Aureus and other Proteus species of bacteria.

Curry leaves ( Murraya koenigii)

Curry leaves come from a small shrub and should not be confused with curry powder which consists of cardamom, coriander, cumin and other spices. In scientific studies, a monomeric protein found in curry leaves effectively inhibited many types of bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholera.

Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Damiana contains components that can fight bacterial infections, cancer, fungal infections and relieve pain. It has been found to modulate the neurotransmitter known as gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), in the body, which plays a role in the transmission of pain. As an antibacterial, damiana has been found to block some bacteria's ability to reject antibiotics (as is the case with MRSA). If used as an adjunct treatment with these medicines, their effectiveness will greatly improve.

Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion root has been used traditionally to purify the blood and to benefit the circulatory and glandular systems and its compounds have natural diuretic properties. It stimulates the removal of waste/toxins via the bile and the urine and spares the potassium that is otherwise lost with conventional diuretics. It is an excellent herb for recovery from injury and surgery and has antibacterial properties that can treat many infections including orchitis (inflammation of the testes) and urinary tract infections. It also has antifungal properties especially against the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dill has a unique health benefit from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene and anethofuran and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin. The volatile oil portion of dill has been studied for its ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth. In this respect, dill shares the stage with garlic, which has also been shown to have "bacteriostatic" or bacteria-regulating effects. Therefore, dill is good to consume with eggs and fish not only for the taste but the fact it can also prevent food borne bacterial infections from these foods.

Dragon’s blood (Dracaena cinnabari)

Dragon’s blood has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and is especially effective against Bacillus subtili and Escherichia coli. It is also an effective and quick acting natural medication for intestinal, mouth, stomach and throat ulcers and infections and diarrhoea and its effects may be felt in within hours.

The latex/sap of the dragon’s blood plant has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and is especially effective against Bacillus subtili and Escherichia coli. It is also an effective and quick acting natural medication for intestinal, mouth, stomach and throat ulcers and infections and diarrhoea and its effects may be felt in within hours.  It is an excellent instant bandage for children and adults and good for treating leucorrhoea and haemorrhoids etc. The alkaloid taspine hydrochloride has been found to be the main cicatrizant (promotes healing through the formation of scar tissue) and anticancer agent. 

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia)

Echinacea has active constituents which can bolster the body's defence known as phenols, alkylamides, caffeic acid derivatives, phenols, glycoproteins and polysaccharides. These substances are absorbed through the colon and move from the intestinal walls into the lymphatic system. When in the lymph, they interact with macrophages (white blood cells) to stimulate the immune response to destroy bacteria, fungi, viruses, other foreign invaders and even wayward cells. They are also able to modulate the mucosal immunity of the large intestine, an essential part of immune functions and healthy gut flora.

Regular consumption also activates the body's production of interferon, a specific protein which protects cells against the invasion of viruses. Echinacea can also be used to treat Chlamydia and syphilis creating a general improved condition after a few days and eliminates any evidence of the diseases without after-effects within as little as nine days.  It has also been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of respiratory infections and is also active against Mycobacterium (tuberculosis), Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus and abnormal cell growth. The leaves, flowers and roots can all be used medicinally. Use one teaspoon of the dried herb per cup of boiling water. Drink one cup three times daily at the first signs of a cold or flu.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Dried elderberries, flowers and leaves, made into a tea and drunk three times a day, can help rid the body cells of toxins, improve circulation and purify the blood. It is also one of the best antimicrobial remedies against the common cold and both influenza A and B viruses as well as the bacteria Branhamella catarrhalis and Streptococcus pyogenes, both of which are associated with upper respiratory tract infections.

Elecampane (Lula helenium)

Elecampane roots have volatile oils that are expectorant, anti-inflammatory and warming and can help break up congestion and calm coughs. Regular intake of elecampane root decoction can relieve symptoms of asthma, bronchitis and other chronic lung conditions. Its antibacterial property is so effective; it kills the organism that causes tuberculosis. A flower decoction or syrup is especially helpful for coughs or nausea caused by excessive mucous.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus labill)

The leaves and oil from the eucalyptus tree have powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can improve respiratory health, enhance mental clarity and the mood and relieve stress. It is also antiviral, a deodorant; and clears mucous from the lungs. Inhaling the vapour works well for chest complaints, asthma and colds or sinus congestion. A mouthwash made by distilling the oil and diluting with water can eliminate bacteria residing there. Hanging some branches in a hot shower will provide these same benefits as the steam will release the vapour.

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)

Eye bright is so named because it has powerful antibacterial properties and nutrients that can help with many eye disorders including cataracts, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), bloodshot or strained eyes, conjunctivitis (pink eye), ophthalmia (severe inflammation of the eye), styes and weeping eyes. It has also been found to be beneficial in treating allergies, sinusitis, respiratory conditions including bronchitis and colds and skin disorders such as acne and stretch marks, as well as a poor memory,

Fagara (Zanthoxyloides)

Fagara is a plant found in Uganda and the alcoholic extracts (tincture) of the root-bark possesses considerable antibacterial activity against Lyme disease and syphilis. The root bark is already used for treating abdominal pain and serious infections such as dysmenorrhoea, elephantiasis, gonorrhoea, malaria, sexual impotence, toothache, yellow fever and the zika virus due to its powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties.

False daisy (Eclipta alba)

False daisy has powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make it highly effective at preventing and treating infections. When taken for a urinary tract infection, it can quickly reduce discomfort and neutralise the bacteria to restore normal function to the bladder. Due to its antibacterial nature and it can clear up respiratory infections and coughs, while the expectorant qualities can force out any remaining phlegm or mucus where additional pathogens may be growing. It can be taken as a tea three times a day and purchased as a powder or in capsules.

 

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

 

Fennel seeds contain volatile oils such as anethole, anisic, cineole, limonene and pinene that are effective antibacterial, antiviral and disinfectant agents.  In scientific studies the agents in fennel seeds have shown to be particularly effective against many types of bacteria including Agrobacterium radiobacter, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Erwinia carotovora, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomona aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas glycinea, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri and Staphylococcus aureus. Fennel seeds are probably one of the best natural antibiotics to include in the diet to both prevent and treat infections.

 

Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa

 

The botanical name for figwort, Scrophularia, comes from the plant’s traditional use as a remedy for scrofula, a tuberculous infection of the lymph nodes in the neck. It contains many antimicrobial substances and is a good diuretic that also has mild laxative and analgesic properties and a stimulating effect on blood circulation, the heart, liver, and lymphatic system. It is also used externally for chronic skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis and to treat itching and haemorrhoids.

NOTE: The figwort is closely related to foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and both plants contain glycosides that can adversely affect the heart. Although figwort contains far less of these compounds, caution should be taken when using it internally and it should be completely avoided by individuals any with heart problems as well as children and pregnant or lactating women.

 

Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)

 

Frankincense has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and astringent properties. The oil is effective as an antiseptic and even the fumes or smoke obtained from burning it have antiseptic and disinfectant qualities that eliminate the germs in the space where the smoke filters out which is why it is often used in religious ceremonies. It is also good to help protect internal wounds from getting infected and helps to fight infections anywhere the body. For internal use always make sure that the oil purchased is food grade and be cautious to use very small doses or take with a carrier oil such as coconut as it can cause oesophageal irritation. Frankincense oil blends well with lime, lemon, orange and other citrus oils as well as benzoin, bergamot, lavender, myrrh, pine and sandalwood oils when used in an essential oil burner.

Garlic (Allium sativa)

Garlic is one of the best antimicrobial foods on the planet as It has volatile substances that are highly effective against Bacillus subtilis, Campylobacter spp., Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, the herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2, HIV/Aids, influenza B, Mycobacterium (tuberculosis), Protues merbilis, Pseudomonos aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigell dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Toxoplasma gondii and many other infectious agents. Consume at least four cloves of garlic in meals per day until the infection clears up. As with chives, leeks, onions and spring onions, always let them stand for ten minutes, after chopping, to allow the biological reaction to take place that only produces the antibacterial agent allicin when the plant is damaged. Once it is being cooked this process ceases which therefore reduces the health benefits.

Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

 

Gentian root is a powerful germ killer especially against the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) and orchitis.

 

NOTE: The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations so care must be taken.

Ginger (Gingiber officinalis, Zingiber officinale)

Ginger has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic and expectorant properties, promotes perspiration in a fever, cleanses the digestive tract in cases of diarrhoea, lowers blood pressure and thins the blood. It is especially effective against infections of the respiratory tract and Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. It also helps the body to eliminate wastes through the skin, enhances circulation and acts as a catalyst for other herbs, to increase their effectiveness.

NOTE: Individuals taking blood thinning medications need to be cautious as ginger works just as well and may cause excessive bleeding if too much is consumed at the same time. Pregnant women should also be cautious.

Ginger Thomas (Tecoma stans)

Ginger Thomas is a small shrub that has powerful components in its bark that can kill the Treponema pallidum bacteria that causes syphilis.

Ginseng (Panax)

Ginseng is known to have strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, especially against the Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the fungi Sporothrix schenckii and Trichophyton rubru.

NOTE: Ginseng can provide relief for many serious illnesses but, high dosages may cause insomnia and nervousness and should be strictly avoided by individuals of an anxious or nervous disposition and some others. See precautionary notes below.

Golden rod (Solidago)

 

Golden root has potent antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and acts as an effective diuretic. It is mostly used to treat infections and disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, including bladder and kidney stones, but can also treat catarrh, colds, coughs, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disorders, influenza, sore throats, whooping cough and inflammation causing arthritis and rheumatism. It is also effective against fungal infections such as Candida and oral or vaginal thrush and can treat the symptoms of viral infections including fever and stomach disorders and this is effective against mosquito borne infections such as yellow fever and the Zika virus.

 

Golden seal (Hydrastis Canadensis)

 

Golden seal can clear parasitic worm infestations as well as bacterial infections of the mucous membranes within various human tracts such as the respiratory and gastrointestinal. It can also eliminate the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Goldenseal's potent properties are primarily due to the alkaloids berberine, canadine and hydrastine which are alkaloids that produce a powerful astringent effect on mucous membranes, reduce disease-causing inflammation and have antiseptic effects.

 

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)

 

The aerial parts (above the ground) of gotu kola contain a large amount of vellarin which is a substance that fights infectious diseases like leprosy and syphilis. Evidence from studies shows that asiaticoside, also found in gotu kola, damages the cell walls of the bacteria that cause leprosy. The weakened bacteria are then easier for the body's immune system to eliminate. Care is taken to dry this herb in the shade to preserve these valuable substances.

 

Grapefruit Citrus paradise)

 

Grapefruit peel contains terpenoids that are very effective against fungi. Grapefruit seed extract is used for killing a wide variety of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, fungi including Candida, herpes, parasites and viruses. It is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, as well as many single-cell and multi-celled parasites. It has also proven to be effective against food poisoning and diarrhoea. Many professionals, such as doctors, veterinarians, farmers and consumers praise its value and effectiveness.

 

NOTE: Grapefruit can interact with some medications, so care must be taken. Grapefruit can interact with up to 85 medications including some antibiotics, cancer and heart drugs and stains so care must be taken. This is because grapefruit contains furanocoumarins that block an enzyme that normally breaks down these medications, so levels can rise dangerously high.

 

Green tea (Camellia sinensis)

 

Green tea has a direct antimicrobial effect on the plaque causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria by preventing its attachment to oral surfaces. The effects of 11 catechins, which are antioxidants in green tea, exhibit bacteria-killing activities, even at low levels. In some studies, green tea demonstrated more antibiotic properties than some widely prescribed drugs such as tetracycline and vancomycin. It is also effective against the Shigella and Vibrio groups of bacteria and viruses.

 

Himalayan pink salt crystals

 

Himalayan pink salt crystals have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that purify and detoxify the lungs and sinuses. Irrigating the nasal passages with the pink crystals can quickly clear infections of the sinuses. Dissolve the salt crystals in warm water and either use a syringe (with the needle removed) or simply sniff the liquid up each nostril.

 

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum),

 

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, contains excellent antibiotic, fungicide and disinfectant agents such as eugenol that is especially effective against Micrococcus luteus and Salmonella typhimurium. It can treat many types of infections that affect the eyes, intestines, lungs and skin including ringworm and has been proven to speed up the healing of bone injuries.

 

Honey

 

Honey acts as an expectorant for coughs and catarrh, sinusitis and hay fever and its antiseptic and preservative properties help prevent food poisoning and relieve diarrhoea and vomiting and can prevent hay fever if locally produced honey is consumed. Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase two-fold when diluted with water and Manuka honey is especially high in antibacterial qualities. Honey can be used topically to help heal minor burns and other skin disorders and infections.

 

Honeysuckle (Lonicera pericylmenum, Lonicera japonica)

 

Honeysuckle flowers have antibiotic properties and can be drunk as a tea to treat asthma, bladder infections, colds, coughs, diabetes, diarrhoea, fevers, headaches, infections caused by the Streptococcus bacteria, intestinal bacterial infections such as Salmonella</’ital>, inflammation, sore throat, tuberculosis and upper respiratory tract infections.

 

Hops (Humulus lupulus</ital)

 

Hops can be used in an alcoholic extract (tincture) in different dosages to cure different diseases such as leprosy, pulmonary tuberculosis and acute bacterial dysentery. Lupulon and humulon are two of the other antibiotic bitter acids present in the herb, which provide effectiveness in treatments involving hops.

 

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

 

Horehound root is a very effective antiseptic and expectorant remedy and drinking just a single cup of warm horehound tea can rapidly loosen the impacted and accumulated phlegm in the lining of the throat, lungs and sinuses. This remedy is also very effective in helping relieve a headache induced by infection in the sinuses. The tea may be made by pouring boiling water on the fresh or dried leaves, 28 grams (one ounce) of the herb to the pint. A wineglassful may be taken three or four times a day.

 

NOTE: Excessive use of horehound root may lead to high blood pressure and this herb should be avoided by pregnant women.

 

 Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

 

Horseradish has been proven in scientific studies to have powerful activity against various types of bacteria especially those that effect the bladder, lungs, sinuses or urinary tract. For sinus infections take a quarter of a teaspoon of the freshly grated root and hold it in the mouth until all the taste is gone. It will immediately start dissolving the mucus from the sinuses to drain down the throat. This will relieve the pressure and help clear infection. For lung or urinary tract infections, mix three to four tablespoons of the fresh grated root with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and honey to taste. Take the whole amount throughout the day.

 

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

 

Horsetail has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and oil from the root can be used to treat the Toxoplasma gondii infection that can be caught from cats and undercooked meats.

 

Hu huang lian ( Coptis chinensis)

 

Hu huang lian is a Chinese medicinal herb that contains berberine which is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, antimicrobial, fungicidal and antiviral agent meaning it can be used to treat many infectious diseases including acute viral hepatitis, bacillary dysentery, diphtheria. malaria, scarlet fever, typhoid and tuberculosis to name but a few.

 

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

 

Hyssop contains volatile oils and other ingredients that are in the leaves and green stems that have antibacterial, antiviral and other beneficial properties that are especially effective for intestinal, respiratory and urinary infections. The essential oil in hyssop contains pino-camphone. This ketone can cause convulsions and seizures when taken in high doses and it is not advisable to take hyssop for longer than a period of two weeks.

 

Indian nettle (Acalphya indica)

 

Indian nettle has antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic and wound healing properties. Clotrimazole is a medication used to treat yeast infections of the vagina, mouth and skin such as athlete's foot, jock itch and body ringworm. In studies, it was found that the agents in Indian nettle were more potent than this medication in controlling the fungiAspergillus niger and Candida albicans and the bacteriaEscherichia coli.

 

Japanese or Chinese Knotweed ( Fallopia japonica, Polygonum cuspidatum)

 

The root of knotweed contains agents, such as resveratrol, known to aid the central nervous system and specifically targets the Leptospira and Treponema denticola types of bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. This herb can be used in two forms, capsule and tincture.

 

NOTE: Avoid Japanese or Chinese knotweed if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin and ibuprofen due to the risk of bleeding. Pregnant women should also avoid this herb.

 

Jergon sacha (Dracontium loretense)

 

The root of the jargon santa plant has very powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and is especially useful in fighting HIV/AIDS and cancer (taken together with Cat's Claw and/or Pau D'Arco).

Juniper berries (Juniperus communis)

Juniper berries have very powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral and diuretic properties. Amentoflavone is the antiviral agent. The bark, berries, fruit, needles and roots all contain the medicinal active components which are particularly effective against Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus.

CAUTION: Juniper berries should not be consumed when pregnant as they are a uterine stimulant. Repeated use can cause kidney damage and those with serious kidney disorders should avoid them. They may also cause increased menstrual flow.

Kudzu root ( Pueraria lobatam)

Daidzein and saponins found in the roots of the kudzu plant, that is also known as Japanese arrowroot, have potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can combat both gram-negative and gram-positive food borne pathogens in various foods, especially liquid foods.

Land caltrop (Tribulus terrestris)

Extracts from the seeds, roots and leaves of land caltrop contain antimicrobial substances, such as saponins, carboline alkaloids, that can treat infections of urinary tract.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula. stoechas, Lavandula luisieri)

There are four species of lavender, as mentioned above, that have potent antimicrobial properties against the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Results of studies have shown that the necrodane-rich Lavandula luisieri oil interacted synergistically with Lavandula stoechas (high in 1,8-cineole, fenchone and camphor) and Lavandula langustifolia (rich in linalool and linalyl acetate) to produce larger inhibition zones of these bacteria than the studies of each individual oil.

Lavender, neem leaves and rosemary contain natural insecticidal properties and act as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. These herbs together with aroma therapeutic ingredients such as tea tree oil and rose geranium can eliminate external parasites including pubic lice and prevent re-infestation.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm contains many potent volatile oils such as caffeic, ferulic and rosmarinic acids and tannins that can combat viruses such as the herpes simplex virus, HIV/AIDS, influenza virus, myxoviruses, Newcastle disease virus, Semliki forest virus and vaccinia.

It is equally effective against oral and vaginal bacteria including Actinomyces odontolyticus, Capnocytophaga gingivalis, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Peptostreptococcus micros, Porphyromonas gingivalis,

Prevotella spp. and Veilonella parvula and a multi-resistant strain of Shigella sonei.

It is also affective against many yeast species including Dekkera anomala, Pichia membranifaciens, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Yarrowia lipolytica and Zygosaccharomyces bailii .

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus Steud)

There are some volatile oils in lemongrass that can inhibit the growth of the multi-drug resistant bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. When combined with honey, these oils show more potent activity against Staphylococcus aureus.

Lemons (Citrus limonum)

Lemon contains compounds that are antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, a cleanser of blood, lymph glands and kidneys, a natural diuretic and protective of the liver and kidneys. Lemon and its peel contains a potent antibacterial substance called limonene and many other antimicrobial substances such as bioflavonoids.

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia)

The inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day can be protective against the contraction of cholera, a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera.

Liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

 

Liquorice root has components that are effective against Bacillis subtilis, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, malaria, Mycobacterium (tuberculosis), Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Toxocara canis  (roundworm infection), Trichophyton rubrum  (causes fungal infections of the nails) and Vibrio cholera.

 

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica

 

The loquat leaf contains a variety of acids that produce antigens which are antiviral agents. Two of these chemicals are called megastigmane glycosides and polyphenolic constituents and the triterpene chemicals may help prevent and treat rhinovirus (the common cold).

 

Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)

 

Lungwort contains the bioflavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol and has antibiotic properties that are particularly effective against infections of the chest and lungs such as tuberculosis hence its name.

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Marigold is often used in lotions or ointments as a natural antiseptic and to aid wound healing and prevent wound infection, for burns, sores, abrasions, wind burn, fungal skin infections and varicose veins. It can also be used as a mouth wash after tooth extraction and for inflamed gums and laryngitis. Extracts can be taken internally to cure inflammations of the stomach or gall bladder and to aid healing after surgery. A tea can be made to relieve the symptoms of measles and expel worms and parasites that will also heal any tissue damage the worms have caused in the bowels.

Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Marjoram oil is especially effective against the Beneckea natriegens, Erwinia carotovora and Moraxella species of bacteria and the fungi Aspergillus niger. The Moraxella bacteria can cause infections of the central nervous system, eye, joints, middle ear and respiratory system of humans.

Marshmallow root (Alcea diditata, Althea officinalis)

The Marshmallow plant, especially the leaves and roots, contains polysaccharides that have antibacterial properties that are especially effective against the Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae strains of bacteria. A syrup made from the roots is good for treating respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, laryngitis and whooping cough and urinary system infections. It is also good for healing a leaky gut which can prevent autoimmune reactions and can help to treat inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s disease, enteritis, hiatus hernias, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria

Meadowsweet is a mild, but effective anti-inflammatory herb used to treat arthritis and other aches and pains. Meadowsweet leaves and flowers contain salicylates, compounds that are converted by the body to aspirin. Salicylates are analgesic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and can reduce fevers. It is astringent and helps to tighten and tone the lining of the stomach which can help to heal ulcers.

Mint (Mentha arvensis)

Mint is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal and stimulant for the heart and circulatory system. It is useful in chills, fevers, coughs, colds, flu, hiccups, colic, wind, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Use externally for skin infections, cuts, grazes and sores and the oil can help in toothache. Mint vapours can be inhaled to relieve the effects of a cold.

Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

The leaves, roots and seeds of moringa, also known as drumstick, have potent antimicrobial properties against many infections that can take place throughout the body. Moringa seeds are especially effective against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus</ital.> and Pseudomonas aeruginosa as they contain the potent antibiotic and fungicide terygospermin. The fresh leaves mixed with lime juice are effective against acne, blackheads, boils and conjunctivitis and powdered seeds can purify water.

Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)

Mountain mint has powerful antimicrobial properties that can combat many different infections in the body when consumed as a tea. It can also be added to baths for skin infections and makes a very effective insect repellent.

NOTE: Pulegone is the natural insecticide component of mountain mint and should be avoided by pregnant women as it can be dangerous for the foetus.

Mucura (Petiveria alliacea)

Mucura is an Amazonian plant that is a strong immune system enhancer as well as a powerful pain killer. There are compounds in mucura that increase the actions of the body’s immune cells which are responsible for tracking down and removing foreign cells like bacteria and cancer. It also has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties against a wide variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses and yeasts including Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Shigellastrains).

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Mugwort is in the same family as wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and both are very effective at ridding the body of microbes and parasites including Bacillus dysenteriae shiga, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococci.

NOTE: Mugwort should not be taken medicinally for more than one week. Break for several weeks before taking mugwort again as regular use can cause liver damage, nervous issues and convulsions. Mugwort should never be used internally during pregnancy or lactation or by anyone who has pelvic inflammatory issues as it can cause uterine contractions and can be passed through the mother's milk.

Mullaca (Physalis angulate)

Mullaca has potent antimicrobial properties against numerous types of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus and antiviral activities against herpes simplex, HIV/AIDS, measles and polio. It is also a useful antiseptic against skin diseases and disorders such as dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea and scleroderma and can help to fight off various parasites including the one that causes malaria.

NOTE: Mullaca may thin the blood and lower the blood pressure so should be used with caution if taking medications to thin the blood.

Mullien (Verbascum Thapsus)

Mullien has been referred to as a "natural wonder herb" which soothes the lungs and irritations associated with the respiratory tract and the lymphatic and glandular systems. The leaves and flowers activate lymph circulation and can be useful for swollen glands, especially when lymph nodes in the throat, neck, arms and groin swell or are congested and it removes mucus from the system.

Mushrooms (Asidiomycotina)

Several types of mushrooms can boost the immune system by stimulating white blood cells especially those of the phylum basidiomycetes family. Maitake and reishi mushrooms are known to have antiviral properties. Some varieties of healing mushrooms are edible and others are inedible and, historically, inedible mushrooms with medicinal properties were heated in hot water and made into a tea or broth. Chaga mushrooms have very potent antimicrobial actions.

 NOTE: Consuming too many mushrooms may cause hypoglycaemia in some people with diabetes and can cause itching. They are sometimes known to trigger herpes attacks in some individuals with the virus.

Mustard (Brassica juncea)

 Mustard greens and seeds have antiseptic as well as anti-fungal properties. This makes them very useful for purging the digestive system and increasing the body's natural defence system and reducing fever. They have compounds that are potent against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica which also makes them good for using as a natural disinfectant in the kitchen against food-borne bacteria.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

 

Myrrh is an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating herb and can be used to treat wounds and prevent infections especially acne, athlete’s foot and ring worm. It can also be used as a treatment for the parasitic fascioliasis infection. Myrrh can also help to relieve inflammation of the mouth and gums caused by diseases such as gingivitis and mouth ulcers and, if used as mouth rinse, can prevent gum disease. Myrrh has the power to increase the function of white blood cells, critical for wound healing and was found to decrease the incidence of ulcers and improve their healing time in scientific studies.

 

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

 

Nasturtium leaves, flowers and seeds have been shown in studies to be active against all 46 strains of Staphylococcus pyogenes aureus bacteria which are frequently responsible for inflammatory diseases of the kidneys, respiratory system, skin and urinary tract. Nasturtium leaves or petals can be ground up using a mortar and pestle to make a paste that has antibiotic, antiseptic and antifungal properties and can be used to treat acne, minor cuts and skin irritation or rashes.

 

NOTE: Nasturtiums contain benzyl mustard oil which can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and skin. Excess use can cause albuminuria (the presence of protein in the urine). It should also be avoided by those with intestinal ulcers, kidney disorders and young children.

 

Neem (Azadirachta indica)

 

 Neem leaves, bark and seeds have been demonstrated to exhibit antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-malarial, anti-mutagenic, anti-parasitic, anti-ulcer, antiviral, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties without adverse side effects.

 

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

The common stinging nettle contains many antimicrobial compounds including lectin agglutinin that has chitin-binding properties which result in strong antifungal and mild antibacterial functions. Nettle tea can treat many types of infections throughout the body including those that affect the hair and skin, nose and throat, lungs, urinary system and the teeth and gums. The leaves should be made into a tea with raw honey and taken three times a day during infection.

 

 NOTE: Nettle tea should be avoided by individuals with heart or kidney disorders, pregnant or lactating women and children under 12 years of age.

 

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

 Antimicrobial compounds in nutmeg are α-pinene, β-pinene, p-cymene, β-caryophyllene and carvacrol which have been found to effectively combat infections of bacteria and fungi such as Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida and Staphylococcus aureus.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa)

 

Oatstraw is a concentrated source of silica (silicon dioxide) which, among dozens of other functions, is key to the development of healthy skin, hair, nails, and bones and can therefore help with the repair of bones and other tissues after injury or surgery. It also has potent antimicrobial activities against various bacteria and fungi and is useful for treating respiratory, skin and urinary tract infections.

 

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus

 

Also known as lady’s fingers, okra maintains healthy mucus membranes and skin, treats acne, helps to develop immunity against infectious agents, reducing episodes of asthma, colds and coughs, strengthens the bones and treats lung inflammation, sore throat and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Oleander (Nerium Indicum)

 

In studies, extracts of the bark, leaves and roots of oleander showed moderate antimicrobial activities against Bacillus pumillus, Bacillus subtitlis and Staphylococcus aureus and very potent activities against Escherichia coli.

 

NOTE: While oleander may possess many healing properties, much like many powerful botanical remedies, this plant can also be deadly when taken or prepared incorrectly. One raw leaf has enough poison in it to kill a small child, as well as any pet. It is advisable to only take this herbal extract to treat a condition under the guidance of a fully qualified herbalist.
 

Olive (Olea europaea)

 

Olive leaf's broad killing power includes an ability to interfere with critical amino acid production for viruses; an ability to contain viral infection and/or spread by inactivating viruses by preventing virus shredding, budding or assembly at the cell membrane; the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop viral replication. It is especially useful in combating the hepatitis and herpes viruses. Oleuropein is the compound in olive leaves that are responsible for the anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities and can effectively combat many microbial pathogens including Candida krusei, Herpes and Salmonella typhi. Olive twigs have been chewed in the past to protect teeth and gums against oral bacteria.

Oregano (Origanum compactum)

Oregano contains powerful antimicrobial agents that work against many infectious organisms including the Escherichia coliand Helicobacter pylori bacteria, the Dientamoeba fragilis trophozoites and Toxoplasmosis gondii parasites and viruses such as the Norovirus and others that cause colds and influenza.

Oregon grape root (Berberis aquifolium)

 

Oregon grape root is a rich source of berberine which is a compound that is highly effective against fungi, protozoa, worms and parasites as well as bacteria and viruses. Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid present in the roots, rhizome and stem bark of this herb.

 

NOTE: There may be an interaction between berberine and many prescription medications, including metformin, and it should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to potential for adverse effects for the foetus. Excess berberine can cause brain, kidney and liver problems and should never be taken as a supplement on its own. It has been shown to cause liver tumours in rats and people with heart problems can be induced by berberine to have arrhythmia attacks.

 

Papaya (Carica papaya)

 

Papaya, also known as paw paw, has the enzyme papain in its peel, caricin in its seeds and the alkaloid carpaine in its leaves which are all potent antibiotics and capable of killing parasites. Papain also lowers inflammation, enhances the immune system, aids with faster repair from injuries and has pain relieving properties. After treatment with antibiotics eating papaya, or drinking its juice replenishes the good intestinal bacteria, which was destroyed by the antibiotic treatment. Home applications of papaya leaf and bark extracts can be used to deal with sore gums and toothaches and papaya peel can be used for skin wounds that do not heal quickly as it encourages renewal of muscle tissue.

Paprika (Capsicum annum)

The anti-inflammatory properties of paprika makes it a good analgesic to use topically for skin disorders. It does contain the antibiotic component capsaicin but not as much as is found in the chilli pepper. However, it is useful for those that find chilli pepper unpalatable.

NOTE: Paprika is not suitable to be used medicinally by pregnant women.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

In studies, extracts taken from parsley stems have been shown to produce potent activities against the Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli due to their phenolic content. Parsley is a good choice to prevent and treat infections of the eyes, genitals, intestines, urethra and urinary system. Parsley can also be used externally, as a tea, on abscesses, eczema, itching, rashes, toothache and wounds and kills head lice and oral bacteria.

NOTE: Parsley is one of the most potent foods of the common vegetable kingdom and, as a juice if properly and completely extracted, it is wise not to drink more than four ounces daily without the addition of other vegetable juices because otherwise it is likely to create a serious disturbance of the nervous system.

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passicol, an alkaloid found in passionflower, kills a range of bacteria and fungi and it also contains other antimicrobial components such as flavonoids and glycosides. In studies, the stem tissues of the passionflower showed high levels of inhibition against the following:

Bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Torulopsis glabrate.

Moulds: Arthroderma flavescens, Aspergillus fumigatus, Epidermophyton floccosum, Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum cookie and Penicillium notatum.

Yeasts: Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Cryptoccoccus neoformans and Rhodotorula.

Ethyl acetate extracts of the passionflower stems also showed potent activity against all these as well as the mould Trichophyton quinckeanum and the bacteria Clostridium sporogenes, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica serovar Stanley and Shigella sonnei. This involves shade drying the stems at room temperature in a clean environment to avoid contamination for 14 days and then grinding them into a powder. Extract of this plant can be made by the maceration method using ethyl acetate as a solvent for 72 hours at room temperature.

Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis)

Passionfruit can help with the recovery of liver and kidney disorders as well as trigger immune enhancement and increase the strength of antibodies in the blood.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin, Herba pogostemonis)

Patchouli has very powerful antibacterial properties and can promote the secretion of gastric juices, enhance the digestion, relieve gastrointestinal spasms, dilate the capillaries and induce perspiration. It is sometimes used with galangal root to treat malaria and patchouli leaf and tangerine peel can be used to treat the profuse watery diarrhoea and vomiting caused by cholera.

Pau d'arco (Tabebuia serratifolia, Tabebuia impetiginos)

Pau d’arco can successfully treated yeast infections such as Candida albicans and bacterial infections such as Brucella, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus and Helicobacter pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers) and others that can cause dysentery, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The bark contains the active antimicrobial principles, mainly lapachol, quercetin and other flavonoids.

Peelu (Salvadora persica arak)

Peelu twigs have powerful antibiotic properties and have been used as a ‘toothbrush’ since the middle of the first millennia to protect teeth and gums against oral bacteria. The bark is stripped back and the fibres chewed to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Peppercorns (Piper nigrum)

 

Peppercorns contain agents that can fight against fungi and bacteria especially Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus and Micrococcus luteus. Ground pepper is ideal to add to foods that may be infected with any of these bacteria as it will destroy them before they can do any harm in the intestines. Because of its effective antibacterial properties, pepper is often used to preserve food.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

The oil of the peppermint has been studied by scientists and shown potent activity against Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin sensitive Staphylococccus aureus (MSSA). Japanese peppermint (Mentha arvensis) showed the same abilities. It can be taken as a tea three times a day or the vapours inhaled to relieve sinus infections associated with the cold and influenza viruses.

 NOTE: Avoid peppermint oil if pregnant or suffering from gastric reflux or active stomach ulcers and do not apply peppermint oil to the face, especially under the nose of a child or infant.

Pepperwort (Lepidium meyenii)

The glucosinolates found in the root of the pepperwort help to combat serious invasive infection. They are the substances that are also found in other members of the Brassicaceae family (including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables) and are said to be particularly effective in building the body's defences against serious malignant illnesses.

Because pepperwort is so rich in essential fatty acids, minerals, protein and vitamins it is known to aid in repairs of the body’s tissues and bones and is particularly effective in helping with faster recovery from sports injuries.

Perilla (Perilla frutescens)

Being a member of the mint family, the leaves of the perilla have potent antibiotic properties that can act as an antidote to food poisoning from food-borne bacteria and this is partly due to the presence of rosmarinic acid. It has also shown, in studies, the ability to protect against mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis that can be caused by an infection of the Streptococcus bacteria.

NOTE: Perilla leaves are poisonous to cattle.

Phyllanthus amarus (Phyllanthus niruri)

 Phyllanthus amarus is very effective in treating viral infections of the liver, specifically hepatitis B, and is useful in the treatment of kidney stones and gallbladder stones (active stones and as a preventative), colds, flu, tuberculosis and other viral and bacterial infections such as cystitis, prostatitis, venereal diseases and urinary tract infections. It has also been proven effective in other liver diseases like jaundice and liver cancer.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus)

Fresh pineapple is rich in bromelain, a group of sulphur-containing proteolytic enzymes which digest protein breaking it down into amino acids, its basic building blocks, thus aiding digestion and can also reduce inflammation and swelling.

Bromelain is also anti-parasitic meaning it can kill various parasites and worms in the intestines when drunk on its own during a three day fast. It is also useful for oral health as it can remove stains and plaque build-up on the teeth and help to treat gum infections. The protease in pineapples is useful in the body as it also helps to fight bacterial infections and parasites. Pineapples are rich in iodine which can help to improve thyroid function and some autoimmune disorders.

Pineapples are also rich in many nutrients required for recovery and fast repair of bones and cartilage and can help to rehydrate the body after fever or diarrhoea caused by infections.

NOTE: To maximise the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects, pineapple should be eaten alone between meals or its enzymes will be used up digesting food instead.

Pine needles (Pinus aphremphous, Pinus koraiensis, Pinus sabiniana, Pinus sibirica, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus taeda)

Pine needles contain powerful components that can kill the bacteria and viruses that cause colds, respiratory, sinus and urinary infections and helps the body to expel phlegm and mucous. Taking pine needles as a hot tea or inhaling the hot vapour has this effect and is also very rich in immune system enhancing nutrients such as vitamin C. A hot bath infused with pine needles can help to relieve pain and treat infections of the skin.

 

Pink cedar (Tabebuia heterophylla)

 

Pink cedar has powerful antibacterial properties and is consumed with molasses to kill the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria that causes gonorrhoea and for the treatment of food poisoning from fish, as a diuretic and for backache and toothache.

Plantain (Plantago lancelota, Plantago major, Plantago ovato)

The plantain herb has wide-ranging antimicrobial properties besides being anti-inflammatory and analgesic. A decoction of plantain roots is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, cystitis, diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis, hay fever, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids, peptic ulcers and sinusitis. Its seeds can kill parasites and the leaf is an antiseptic useful for cuts, insect bites and wounds that can prevent infections and accelerate healing. It is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding as it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue without scarring. The active biochemical aucubin is mainly responsible for the antimicrobial action of this herb.

Plantain can cause allergic reaction to the skin so should be tested on a small area too. If taken internally it may cause diarrhoea and low blood pressure.

Poke root (Phytolacca americana, Phytolacca decandra)

Poke root has anti-arthritic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-viral properties and is also very effective in treating lymphatic disorders and boosting the immune system. It is also known to treat various types of skin disorders, fungal infections like acne, ringworm and scabies and eye infections such as conjunctivitis. Decoctions made with poke root can also treat catarrh, constipation, dysmenorrhoea, dyspepsia, Lyme disease, mumps, pharyngitis, respiratory infections, sore throats, syphilis and tonsillitis.

It is also helpful in treating diseases related to the immune system such as HIV/AIDS as it has certain properties that help strengthen the immune system by interacting with the body’s T-cells. Poke root contains glycoproteins, resins, tannins, triterpene saponins, many other components and an active glycoprotein lectin called pokeweed mitogen which stimulates lymphocytes.

NOTE: The whole of the plant is toxic and increases in toxicity through the year with children at risk of its very poisonous purple-red ripe fruit. The juice of poke root can be absorbed through the skin and therefore contact of plant parts with bare skin should be avoided. Care must be taken to prepare it properly when using this herb medicinally.

Pomegranates (Punica granatum)

The ellagitannins in pomegranates have a beneficial impact on human gut flora, inhibiting the growth of pathogenic Clostridia and Staphylococcus aureus. The predominant antioxidant polyphenols found in pomegranates are punicalagins which protect the endothelium, a tissue that covers the internal areas of blood vessels and therefore this fruit is useful to consume when recovering from injury or surgery and it is low in potassium so is also a good choice when renal disorders are present. It also helps to alkalise the blood which is useful for preventing infections by organisms that thrive in an acidic environment.

 

Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, Zanthoxylum americanum)

Prickly ash is known to be an effective remedy for scrofula or lymphadenitis which is a bacterial infection of the lymph nodes in the neck. It supports and enhances circulation throughout the entire body and is also effective against Lyme disease and syphilis.

Propolis (Beeswax)

Propolis is a wax made by bees that has potent anaesthetic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic properties and can help to boost the immune system. It can be used both orally and topically to help treat a wide range of health disorders including cancer of the nose and throat, cervicitis, colds, cold sores, canker sores, gastrointestinal problems, gingivitis, H1N1 “swine” flu, Helicobacter pylori infection, herpes, parasite infections including giardiasis, respiratory disorders, periodontal disease and other dental problems, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis, vaginal infections and skin wounds.

Psyllium husks (Plantago ovato)

 If there is one herb that everyone should consume daily for a healthy colon and digestive system, it is psyllium husks which are the husk of the seed of the plantain herb mentioned previously. They are very useful to prevent infections in the gastrointestinal tract and because they help with the easier passage of stools can be invaluable when an individual is recovering from injury, surgery or infections of any type and any inflammatory bowel disorders. Psyllium husks should be taken daily with plenty of water.

Pumpkin seeds (Curcubita pepo)

The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of pumpkin seeds have been shown to do better than most anti-inflammatory drugs but without the negative side effects. They also help to enhance the immune system and the oil from the seeds has powerful antimicrobial properties especially against Staphylococcus aureus. They also contain a natural fat that is toxic to parasite eggs known as curcurbitin which can paralyse worms, so they drop off the intestinal walls. This makes them very useful for treating acute schistosomiasis and tapeworm infestations. A small handful of dried pumpkin seeds can be consumed daily to gain the health benefits. They can be sprinkle on many dishes or added to sandwiches and salads.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea, Portulaca sativa)

Purslane has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal intestinal and colon issues and enhance the immune system. It is also a useful herb to help with the repair and healing of bones and tissues after injury or surgery and can reduce pain in the joints.

NOTE: Purslane contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. 100 g fresh leaves contain 1.31 g of oxalic acid, more than in spinach (0.97 g/100 g) and cassava (1.26 g/100 g). Therefore, people with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating purslane and certain vegetables belonging to Amaranthaceae and Brassica family. Adequate intake of water is also advised to maintain normal urine output.

Quince (Chaenomeles)

Quince fruits has active components responsible for reducing pain, inflammation and spasm known as saponins (glycosides), which also have antibacterial properties. Quince is useful for helping with the repair of tissues such as tendons. Studies have shown that extracts taken from quince, especially from the seeds, can kill the bacteria Escherichia coli and Enterobacter aerogenes).

Radishes (Raphanus sativus)

Raphanin is the main sulphur component found in radish seeds that inhibits the activity of viruses, some fungi and various bacteria including and Escherichia coli, Pneumococcus, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococus and Streptococus strains. Radishes also contains volatile oils that are very effective as a solvent for mucus or phlegm to help eliminate it from the body. Radish is very good for the liver and for treating jaundice as it helps removing bilirubin and checks its production. The black radish and the leaves are best for this purpose.

Raisins (Vitis Vinifera)

Oleanolic acid in raisins are a phytochemical that protects teeth against brittleness, cavities and tooth decay. It effectively prevents the growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans two of the species of bacteria which are most responsible for cavities and other dental problems. Raisins are also a rich source of boron that also plays a very important role in checking growth of germs in the mouth as well promoting the health of bones and teeth.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red clover is one of the few sources of deoxybenzoins which are polyphenols that have potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties and can help to relax arteries in the human body and protect the heart. Red clover is also known to clear congestion and thin the blood and is best consumed as a sprout.

Red raspberry seeds (Ubus idaeus)

Raspberry seeds usually pass through the human system, but when ground up, contain one of the most powerful antioxidants known, ellagitannin (ellagic acid). Aside from being used very successfully in cancer treatment, ellagitannin has also been found to be a powerful destroyer of parasites and has very strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and promotes wound healing.

Red sandalwood (Santalum album)

Red sandalwood tea has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are especially effective against infections of the urinary tract. It can also be used topically to treat damaged skin and boils.

Rhodiola (Sedum roseum)

Rhodiola both stimulates and protects the immune system by reinstating homeostasis (metabolic balance) in the body. It also increases the natural killer cells (NK) in the stomach and spleen. This action may be due to its ability to normalise hormones by modulating the release of glucocorticoid into the body.

Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Rhubarb contains a potent antimicrobial called rhein that is effective against the bacteria Bacillus megaterium, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Staphylococcus aureus. Rhubarb is also useful to help expel parasites, eggs and larvae. It is not addictive like other colon movement stimulants and is very powerful even in a low dosage. A dessert bowl of lightly stewed chopped rhubarb stalks can provide these health benefits, but a more powerful remedy would be to dry and powder the roots. However, excessive use can lead to kidney problems therefore only use for a few days at a time.

NOTE: Pregnant women and individuals with intestinal blockages should not use medicinal rhubarb remedies.

Rocket (Eruca sativa)

Rocket leaves and stems contain di-indolyl-methane which is a lipid soluble metabolite of indole that has immune modulator, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is useful in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused by the human papilloma virus.

Rosehips (Rosa canina, Rosa nutkana, Rosa pisocarpa, Rosa woodsii)

Rosehips from the fruits of the dog rose contain polyphenols that can combat infection by the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and other gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. Powdered rosehip is three times better at reducing pain than paracetamol, according to research, though just why is unclear. There were also none of the side effects associated with conventional painkillers such as constipation, diarrhoea or drowsiness or liver damage, so it makes a good choice when recovering from injury or surgery due to its high content of vitamin C and other healthy and healing nutrients.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties, stimulates the circulation and detoxifies the system. It has been shown in studies to be active against Bacillus cereus, Botrytis cinereal, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Listeria monocytogenes, Penicillium roquefortii, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans.

 Rough Chaff (Achyranthes aspera)

Rough chaff's components can combat various bacterial infections especially the Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria that can cause acute cholecystitis, bacteraemia and septicaemia, cellulitis, eye infections, haemolytic syndrome, kidney disease, meningitis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis, pneumonia and respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infection, and wound and soft-tissue infections.

Saffron (Carthamus tinctorius)

Crocetin and safranal found in saffron can increase anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity in the body and saffron also reduces inflammation and acts as a natural diuretic and helps with kidney and liver function. It is especially effective against acne and other skin infections and urinary tract infections as well as the viruses that cause colds and coughs.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

The primary biologically active component of common sage is its essential oil which contain ketones; α-thujone and β-thujone. In addition, sage leaf contains cineol, borneol, tannic acid, cornsole, cornsolic acid, fumaric, chlorogenic, caffeic acid, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, flavone glycoside and oestrogenic substances. These compounds are known to have counter irritant, anti-allergic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Sage also helps to break-down excessive mucus in the body.

NOTE: Sage should be avoided if pregnant or suffering with epilepsy and only used as a remedy for one week by anyone else.

Salt (Sodium chloride)

Salt is the world’s oldest effective antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral substance and Himalayan pink salt crystals and unrefined sea salt are far more effective than refined table salt which has had many important minerals stripped from it. Salted water (brine) has been used to preserve food for centuries as it inhibits the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria for up to a year. Consuming food that has been brine pickled can aid digestive health as it adds extra beneficial bacteria to the guts and adding salt to a hot bath can help to clear up many skin infections.

Sarsaparilla (Smilax longiflora, Smilax regelii)

Studies have proven that sarsaparilla is effective in the treatment of syphilis, probably by stimulating the body's defensive mechanism and it may be also effective against the bacteria that cause gonorrhoea, Lyme disease and others. It can also safely help to increase the metabolic rate and balance the glandular system.

Savoury (summer savoury: Satureja hortensis, winter savoury: Satureja montana)

Savoury (savory USA spelling) is an aromatic herb similar in structure to thyme that comes in two varieties. Both contain thymol that has scientifically been found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. They also contain carvacrol which inhibits the growth of several bacteria strains such as Escherichia coliand Bacillus cereus. Fresh savoury leaves can be used in salads. It can be steeped in hot water for 20 minutes and consumed as a tea. It can also be used in soups, sauces and to marinate chicken, fish and meat dishes. As with most herbs, prolonged cooking may result in the evaporation of savoury's essential oils, so it should be added at the end of cooking meals.

Saw palmetto berry (Serenoa repens, sabal serrulata)

The saw palmetto berries have properties which can reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system and are especially effective at treating urinary tract infections and preventing an enlarged prostate.

Scutellaria (Scutellaria baicalensis, baical skullcap, huang-qin, skullcap root)

Scutellaria is part of the Lamiaceae plant family and is a native of China. It is a very powerful antiviral herb with no side effects and ideal for the treatment of pandemic diseases. The root of this plant, which has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time as the herb Huang-qin, is extremely effective for treating contagious flu-like viruses. There is no better anti-infection agent in herb kingdom.

Senega root (Polygala vulgaris)

Senega root is particularly effective at treating respiratory infections including pneumonia, pleurisy and whooping cough. It also has powerful antiviral properties against colds and coughs due to its phenolic acids and saponins.

A decoction is prepared by adding a pint and a half of water to 28 g (one ounce) of senega root and 28 g (one ounce) of liquorice root, boiling down to a pint, and straining. Use 28-56 ml (one to two fluid ounces) of this liquid as an expectorant three or four times a day for no more than two to three days.

NOTE: Caution should be taken as it excessive consumption can cause violent vomiting and it should be avoided by pregnant women and individuals that are sensitive to salicylates or aspirin.

Shiric sanango (Brunfelsia grandiflora)

Shiric sanango is an Amazonian plant with powerful antimicrobial properties due to its lactic acid, quinic acid, scopoletin and tartaric acid content. A leaf decoction or root infusion can be used to treat chills, fevers and bacterial and viral infections including syphilis and yellow fever.

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva, Ulmus rubra)

The inner bark of the slippery elm can be used to treat bladder and urinary tract infections, colic, constipation, coughs, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, herpes, irritable bowel syndrome, sore throat, syphilis and for expelling tapeworms.

Sour plum (Ximenia caffra)

In studies, bark and stems of the sour plum have shown potent antimicrobial properties against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the Candida albicans fungi due to its phenolic compounds and tannins.

Soursop (Annona muricata)

 

Soursop, also known as guanabana, is useful for several health issues including being a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent for both bacterial and fungal infections, effective against internal parasites and worms, lowers high blood pressure and is used for depression, stress and nervous disorders. Research shows soursop can protect the immune system and avoid deadly infections and help the patient to feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment for any infection or injury.

 

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

 

The oil of the spearmint herb has been studied by scientists and shown potent activity against Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin sensitive Staphylococccus aureus (MSSA).

 

 NOTE: Avoid spearmint oil if pregnant or suffering from gastric reflux or active stomach ulcers and do not apply spearmint oil to the face, especially under the nose of a child or infant.

Stephania root (Stephania tetrandra)

Stephania has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In Japan, it is used as a pain reliever and to treat inflammation and stiffness of the shoulders and back. In China, it is used to treat flatulence, kidney and spleen disorders and as an effective diuretic to relieve oedema. It is also known be effective in treating Lyme disease and syphilis and can prevent silicosis.

St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St John’s wort has been successfully used both topically for repairing of minor burns and skin wounds and internally as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral herbal medicine. It can help to fight the resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) due to its antibacterial substance hyperforin and has ant-inflammatory and pain- relieving abilities as powerful as the common preparations, such as Ibuprofen, but without the adverse side effects.

Stone root (Collinsonia Canadensis)

Stone root is a medicinal herb in the mint family and its active components are mucilage, resins, saponins and tannins that can help to reduce the build-up of mucus and fight infections in the bladder, intestines, sinuses and throat.

Suma (Pfaffia paniculate)

Suma, also known as Brazilian ginseng, has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to fight off a variety of infections throughout the body. It enhances the immune system and can speed up recovery from injury, surgery and infections. The root powder may cause an asthmatic allergic reaction in some individuals if inhaled.

Sumac (Rhus coriaria)

Sumac is an astringent herb used as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral and antiseptic medicine. A decoction of the cambium or an infusion of the leaves can be used to treat asthma, cold sores, diarrhoea, dysentery, gum problems, skin infections, sore throat and urinary tract infections. The crushed or ground seeds of sumac are effective against the Aspergillus fungus which causes lung infection and infection to other organs. The cambium of a plant is the layer of actively dividing cells between the xylem (wood) and phloem (bast) tissues that is responsible for the secondary growth of stems and roots.

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum)

The ability of tamanu oil to heal the skin surpasses that of most, if not all, modern day skin care products. Scientific studies show that it is a significant healing agent because of its ability to produce new skin tissue and because of its antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic and antiviral properties. One of the most important features of tamanu oil is its ability to penetrate all three layers of the skin i.e. the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis and help to heal and clear infections and swelling. Used as a topical ointment, it has powerful properties for all disorders that can affect the skin including acne, ringworm and scabies and promotes fast healing of damage including chemical burns or surgery, reduces scarring and has analgesic properties to reduce pain.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

The bark, flowers, fruit pulp, leaves and seeds of the tamarind can be used as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicine to treat bowel and intestinal disorders, such as constipation and dysentery and liver disorders such as jaundice Tamarind also can be used topically for skin disorders such as. boils, burns, inflammation, sores and sunburn and can relieve the itching caused by rashes such as measles. It can also act as an antidote and is used as a home remedy for insect bites and sting.

 Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

Tansy has been used medicinally since the times of the ancient Greeks to treat digestive problems, fevers, flatulence, gout, jaundice, migraine, neuralgia, rheumatism, scabies and intestinal worms. The dicaffeoylquinic acid and axillarin found in tansy are antiviral compounds that have been found to be active against the herpes simplex virus. However, its dangerous toxicity makes it a herb to avoid unless under the strict guidance of a professionally trained herbalist.

Tarragon (Artemisia dranunculus)

Tarragon is an age-old herb that can fight food poisoning bacteria, inhibit the growth of helicobacter pylori and protect against and fight lung infections such as tuberculosis. It contains over thirty antiseptic components that are particularly effective against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella and Staphylococcus aureusbacterium. It also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties particularly useful for toothache and has the ability to kill intestinal worms.

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree oil is an oil extracted from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternafolia tree that has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral qualities and can be used topically for skin diseases and as a toothpaste as it kills the bacteria that cause gum disease, plaque and tooth decay. It should be diluted before use and is toxic to cats, dogs and other mammals.

Thyme and lemon thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Thymus x citriodorus)

A tea made with thyme is commonly used for bronchial problems such as acute bronchitis, whooping cough and laryngitis.  It is also beneficial for the treatment of diarrhoea, gastritis and lack of appetite. It can also help to treat alcoholism, excess mucus, hangovers, headaches, parasites and worms, respiratory problems and stomach problems including cramps.  It is said that thyme is to the trachea and bronchitis what peppermint is to the intestines and stomach. It contains an aromatic oil called thymol that is responsible for many of its excellent properties.

Externally, its antiseptic properties make it a useful mouthwash and cleansing wash for the skin. It will destroy fungal infections such as athlete's foot and skin parasites such as crabs, lice and scabies. For those purposes, a tincture is made from four ounces of dried thyme to a pint of alcohol. 

Turkey berry (Solanum torvum)

Turkey berries have been used as a herbal medicine for centuries in India. They contain a compound called methyl caffeate, an ester of hydroxycinnamic acid, which is a naturally occurring polyphenol with antibiotic and antiviral properties that can help to fight off infections by bacteria such as Klebsiella, Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium. It also hinders HIV replication

 

Turmeric (Curcuma longa

 

Turmeric is the bright yellow of the spice rainbow and a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli and fungal and viral infections. It can be used internally and externally to heal wounds, relieve pains in the limbs, break up congestion and as a restorative after the loss of blood from injuries surgery or childbirth.

 

 Usnea (Usnea lapponica)

 

 Botanically, usnea is a slow growing lichen which is a symbiotic integration of a fungus with algae. It was first used medicinally by the ancient Greeks, Chinese and Egyptians over 3000 years ago. The usnic acid, that can be extracted from this lichen, is a potent antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent. It can inhibit 16 known gram-positive bacteria (both the resistant and non-resistant strains) such as Mycobacteria, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. Usnea is used for acute and chronic lung infections, such as pneumonia, and for treating colds and influenza and as an adjunct to tuberculosis (TB) treatment. Usnea kills bacteria by disrupting their metabolic function through cutting off the energy supply to their cells. Unlike bacterial cells, human cells are less permeable to usnic acid and are not adversely affected. It can be used as a wash for the treatment of impetigo which is a bacterial infection of the skin. Usnea is also active against several viruses that present sores and lesions including the Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex and polyomavirus (a tumour causing virus) as well as the Junin and Tacaribe viruses. Usnea has also shown to be effective as an antifungal against Candida albicans.

 

Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Berberis aristata)

 

Also known as bearberry or Indian barberry, uva ursi is an ancient medicinal herb with powerful components, such as berberine, that can greatly improve the immune system. It also has antimicrobial properties that can help to treat inflammation of the bowels, brain, gall bladder, heart, liver, spleen and urinary system. It is also good for treating a wide variety of bacterial infections including those that affect the gums and throat.

 

Walnut (Juglans regia)

 

The twigs of the walnut tree have properties that can help with mouth hygiene. If the bark is stripped away and the fibrous insides are chewed it can help to prevent cavities and gum disease caused by oral bacteria.

Water lily (Nymphaea caerulea, Nymphaea nouchali))

Some species of water lily have traditionally been used in the treatment of sore throat and diarrhoea. The flowers have been found to have antibacterial properties against the pathogenic bacteria that can infect humans such as Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Sarcina lutea without the side effects of conventional antibiotics.

 

Wasabi (Wasabia japonica)

 

Wasabi is a paste made from the ground-up root of this cruciferous Japanese brassica vegetable that can kill harmful food-borne bacteria, reduce blood pressure, kill cancer cells, improve bone strength and liver function, detoxify the body of free radicals and improve gut actions. It is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral and stimulates the body’s natural immune system.

White oak bark (Quercus alba)

White oak bark is a powerful herb to help nourish and strengthen injured areas of the body. It has been used successfully for many applications, including fortifying blood vessels and tissues. It also has astringent properties and it can sooth a sore throat.

 

White willow (Salix alba)

 

White willow bark benefits the bowels, intestines and kidneys. It works like a mild and natural analgesic which is gentle on the stomach. Its anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties are known to relieve chronic lower back pain, headaches, influenza, joint pain, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis and tendon pain.  Salicylic acid, found in white willow bark, is a monohydroxybenzoic acid which is a type of phenolic acid that has antibiotic properties.

Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotine)

Wild cherry bark is a very useful expectorant for treating bronchitis, coughs and congestion of the chest as well as digestive disorders and diarrhoea.

NOTE: The bark, leaves and fruit of the wild cherry tree contain a chemical similar to cyanide (hydrocyanic acid) that in large doses can cause serious poisoning and even death and therefore administration should only be done under the supervision of a professional herbalist.

 

Wild rice (Zizania)

 

Wild rice is known to encourage the production of white blood cells. It also contains important components such as bioflavonoids like anthocyanins. The high levels of mineral, protein and vitamins, found in wild rice, help in producing collagen which is needed to repair cells of the organs, tissues and blood vessels so is a useful addition to the diet when recovering from injury, surgery or infections.

Wisteria (Bolusanthus speciosus)

In studies, wisteria tree bark and stems have shown potent antimicrobial properties against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the Candida albicans fungi due to its phenolic compounds.

Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and astringent properties of witch hazel oil make it an idea remedy to help heal and relieve the pain and inflammation caused by infections of the skin or scalp. It can also be used as a gargle for throat infections and as a mouthwash for gum disease. As an ointment, it should be diluted in equal portions of water, arnica oil or extra virgin olive oil and applied 2-3 times daily but should not be used on serious open wounds.

 Wood betony (Stachys spp.)

There are many species of wood betony. Extracts of eight different Stachys species have been found to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, including Stachys alopecuros Bentham, Stachys scardica (Griseb.) Hayek, Stachys cretica ssp. cretica, Stachys germanica ssp. heldreichii (Boiss.) Hayek, Stachys recta, Stachys spinulosa, Stachys euboica Rech., and Stachys menthifolia. Wood betony works well for both children and adults. It is said to help migraine headaches and a poultice or compress made with wood betony can treat skin ulcers, cuts, insect bites and sores.

NOTE: The medicinal species of wood betony should not be confused with Canada lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis) which is also called wood betony.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow has been known to have powerful healing properties since the time of the legendary Greek Achilles and therefore it is also known as soldier’s woundwort.  Yarrow flower tops and leaves are the parts of the plant used for medicinal purposes. It can be taken as an infusion (yarrow tea) or as a tincture. Yarrow essential oil, extracted from the plant, is also used. It is antibiotic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and astringent due to the presence of resins.

NOTE: Yarrow should not be used during pregnancy as it may stimulate the uterus or if breastfeeding or scheduled to undergo surgery. Yarrow may also cause drowsiness and increase urination and affect blood pressure.

Yellow dock (Gentiana lutea)

Also known as gentian, yellow dock has powerful antimicrobial properties. The root of this herb is especially effective against the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) and also has antifungal, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties.

 NOTE: The highly toxic white hellebore (Veratrum album) can be misidentified as yellow dock and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.

Yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum)

Yerba santa helps the body expel mucus from the respiratory tract and is a blood purifier and strengthens the digestive and immune systems due to its potent flavonoid known as eriodictyol. A tea, tincture or syrup is typically made from the leaves, sometimes including the flowers.

Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

Ylang ylang contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to avoid both sepsis and tetanus by inhibiting microbial growth and disinfecting wounds and protecting the body from infections from bacteria, virus and fungus. It also helps to speed up the healing process of wounds. It can also be used to cure infections of the colon, intestines and urinary tract.

NOTE: Some cases of sensitivity, nausea and headache have been observed when taken in excessive amounts. Otherwise, when taken in recommended doses, it is non-toxic and is not reported to cause any irritation, however, it should not be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Yoghurt (plain, organic and containing live bacteria cultures)

Yoghurt fortifies the immune system and enhances the immune response system and has powerful antifungal properties for use both internally and externally. It is especially useful for treating thrush infections of the vagina.  It can also relieve stomach upsets especially when caused by antibiotics, due to its ability to replace the beneficial bacteria in the gut. It should be consumed 30 minutes before a meal in order for some of the beneficial bacteria to get past the strong stomach acids.

NOTE: Yogurt is required to undergo a fermentation process with both Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles, the most commonly used bacteria found in food products. Once the yogurt has fermented, however, there is no regulation stating these cultures must stay in the yogurt. Some companies use heat to remove the cultures after the yogurt has fermented. These yogurts will not include the 'active cultures' or 'live cultures' label on the yogurt. Yogurt containing an 'active cultures' label clearly on the packaging is the best choice.

Zhi mu (Anemarrhena asphodeloides)

Zhi mu is a small ornamental plant that has been used in Chinese medicine and its first recorded use was in 200 BC. It has powerful antibacterial action inhibiting the growth of Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus. paraatyphi, Bacillus typhi, Proteus and Pseudomonas and Salmonella typhosa. It can effectively treat infections of the intestines, lungs, skin and urinary system and can also be used as a mouthwash in the treatment of ulcers. Extracts of the plant contain compounds called saponins, one of which is asphonin, and can be used to effectively treat lower back pain. Between 6-12 grams of dried rhizome is normally used in water as a decoction. A qualified Chinese medicine practitioner should be seen for information on the appropriate dosages and any possible drug interactions.

Potent medicinal blend

A blend of the following herbs is especially potent against deadly bacteria:

NOTE: Avoid scutellaria if pregnant or breastfeeding.

NOTE: Lomatium dissectum is best to use with a liver/urinary stimulant such as dandelion to help avoid a lomatium rash side effect.

Precautionary notes on what to avoid and when

NOTE: The ginseng and yohimbine herbs should be strictly avoided under the following circumstances:

What to be aware of when using essential oils

Related articles

References

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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