Best herbal anti-biotics?

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by OldCootHillbilly, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    OK, fer ya herbists, what herbs make the best anti-biotics, where can ya get em, how da yall use em, an will they grow in zone 4?

    Durin emergencies, anti-biotics er gonna be important an in short supply, would be nice ta have alternatives.

    Thanks fer yalls help!
  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Right now I'm looking at bay (Laurus nobilis)

    (sweet) Bay is not widely used in modern herbal medicine. But studies in the 80's on the ability of herbs to inhibit bacterial growth showed bay to be one of the most effective.

    It needs winter protection ... in your zone as well as mine, but I've read it grows well indoors.

    As for the how to use ... well I'm looking into that also.:D

    but I do know the Natives used very low doses of bay infusions to treat minor infections ...
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

  3. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    Thanks *Andi, I'll do some checkin on that en to!
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Some of the others I'm looking at are ... Echinacea, Goldenseal, Sage, Peppermint, Thyme, Calendula, Cayenne.

    I'm looking for anti-biotic herbs that I can grow. ;)

    I'll get back to you with what I find. :)
  5. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    add oregano. I rely heavily on elderberry and honey on wounds has been known to speed healing for that reason.
    all of them can be done in zone 4:beercheer:
  6. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Retired Air Force

    We grow Aloe Vera for wounds
  7. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Thanks! :2thumb:

    You are right about honey, it prevents bacterial growth even when wounds are infected. (so I read ;))

    How do you use the elderberry?
  8. Momturtle

    Momturtle Well-Known Member

    Thinking of a time when even an infected mosquito bite could be fatal is pretty scary. It is important to keep as healty a diet as possible, keep your immune system strong and the ultimate infection fighter - prevention!

    However, life being what it is:

    For external infections:

    A strong decoction of thyme (chop up a bunch, stems and all, into clean water, simmer for 15-20 minutes until it is a dark greenish brown, makes a strong anti-bacterial wash for wounds and infected surface injuries. Have used it for some pretty serious injuries on man and beast. For a cut, wash it clean and wrap it in a clean rag soaked in the thyme solution. Keep cuts and such covered so that they are protected from outside infection.

    Oregano, sage and rosemary also work and have anti-fungal properties as well.

    Comfrey salve or wash helps with the healing.

    The first four CAN be grown in zone 4 but must be protected in the winter. Don't know about comfrey because I never grew it up north. A good way to grow the others is to either bring them inside (sometimes hard to keep alive), or build a little greenhouse over top of them and keep them warm enough to live and have plenty of light. If it is made with double glazed glass (recycled windows etc.) you can heat it enough with a kerosene lantern (or candles, or alcohol stove turned down real low) to keep them going Mulch them well. Rosemary, sage and thyme prefer well-drained soil. I can't seem to kill Oregano no matter where it goes, kind of like a mint. Rosemary gets crushed and broken by snow.

    The thing to remember is that you will need a LOT of these herbs for use as medicinals. Having 5 gallon buckets would not be too much. Each treatment of each injury uses about 1 cup and you treat several times a day until the infection subsides. If you can grow these plants, put them everywhere you can. Thyme can be stuffed in a lot of different places, a rosemary hedge is not too silly

    For Internal:

    Garlic, garlic garlic - good for everything.
    Goldenseal is a strong internal antibiotic-like herb but can be toxic in high doses, I have an herbalist friend to swears by it.
    Elderberry syrup - anti-viral properties (great for flu and such)
    Echinacea reinforces your immune system to help fight infection.

    These are all things that have worked for me and mine in the past.

    Keep learning.