How To Make Your Own Herbal Antibiotics At Home

How To Make Your Own Herbal Antibiotics At Home | Growing Up Herbal | Want to learn how to make your own "herbal antibiotics" at home using antimicrobial herbs? Here's how!

Don’t you think it would be nice to manage ailments at home using herbs before the need for prescription antibiotics arises? Not only would this help cut down on the overuse of antibiotics, but it would benefit the overall health of your body as well.

If you agree, then let me tell you about how to make your own herbal antibiotics at home using time-tested, science-backed herbs. It’s not as hard as you may think, and it could help you (and the world) in the long-run.

Can You Overdo It On Antibiotics?

Alexander Fleming, the man who accidentally discovered penicillin, noted how bacteria would adapt to the antibiotic and change itself around in order to prevent being killed by it. He warned in numerous lectures during the 1940’s that overuse of antibiotics would cause problems. Over the past 15 years… we’re starting to see he was right.

So what can you to do to prevent overusing antibiotics?

The answer isn’t to ban antibiotics at all costs. There may come a time when you really need them. I’m personally very grateful that we have drugs as “options” if we need them, but they’re not my first choice when it comes to dealing with illnesses, especially when they’re caught at the first stages. I prefer to search for herbal alternatives and use them to keep me from needing strong prescription antibiotics. 

How To Make Your Own Herbal Antibiotics At Home

Before I tell you how to make your own herbal antibiotics at home, I’d like to offer a word of caution… or rather, common sense.

If you are sick or concerned that you are getting worse, it’s always a good idea to be evaluated by someone with medical/herbal experience. This is especially important when it comes to infections. Infections are nothing to mess around with, and they can go from bad to worse quickly. It can be smart to err on the side of safety and be monitored by someone who has advanced knowledge and experience.

First, Understand What “Herbal Antibiotics” Are & Are Not

I use the term “herbal antibiotics” loosely.

You see, Google defines an antibiotic as “a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms.” Seeing how herbs aren’t technically “medicines” even though they’re often refered to as herbal medicines, it’s not really accurate to call antimicrobial herbs “herbal antibiotics.” I’m simply referring to them as such based on the fact that this is the common terminology used by lay people, and that’s how these kinds of herbs are understood.

Now that we’ve got that settled, antimicrobial herbs, specifically those that are considered antibacterial herbs act in a few different ways.

  1. They can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
  2. They can sometimes destroy it on their own.
  3. Oftentimes, they stimulate the immune system to destroy it.

There have been numerous studies done on herbs and specific bacteria, and many have shown promising results. However, herbs have been used since before the first antibiotic was discovered to manage and deal with infections. I’m all for good scientific research that helps me understand how and why herbs work as they do. However, I deeply value the experience and wisdom that has been passed down from person to person just as much. 

Sure, there may come a time when herbs aren’t enough to help the body overcome an infection alone. However, there will also be times when pharmaceutical antibiotics aren’t enough to manage a resistant bacteria. It’s in those times when herbs can come alongside modern medicine, as it did so often in years past, and really help the body overcome something difficult.

Know this. Antibacterial herbs are not medicines. They don’t work as quickly as antibiotics, and they work in a round-about way rather than directly.

You see, antibiotics often kill all sorts of bacteria… healthy and harmful alike, but herbs tend to act on the harmful bacteria only. Sure there are some very potent antibacterial herbs (and other natural products) that can decrease healthy bacterial count too, but that’s more the exception than the rule. In my mind, starting with commonly used antibacterial herbs first is the best approach. If you don’t get the results you’re looking for in a reasonable amount of time, moving on to more powerful antibacterial herbs may be the next best step.

Next, Do Your Research

There are a lot of herbs that fall under the action of “antibacterial.” Below, you’ll find a brief list of antibacterial herbs. Keep in mind, this is not a complete list!

  • Goldenseal
  • Echinacea
  • Usnea
  • Hyssop
  • Garlic
  • Spilanthes
  • Yarrow
  • Rosemary
  • Red Root
  • Eucalyptus

This is just a list of 10 herbs known to have antibacterial properties. How do you know which one is the right one for you? 

First, it’s wise to research your condition in order to understand what’s going on in your body. The more you know what’s happening and how your body responds, the better. This will not only help you to find the right herbs for your situation, but you’ll be able to get faster, more effective results as well.

Yesterday, I told you how to research herbs. If you follow those steps, you can figure out which herbs have antibacterial properties and are best for your particular situation.

Once you know which herbs have antibacterial properties you can then do a bit of research on each herb in particular. You’ll want to find out what responses it causes in the body, whether it acts systemically or locally, if it has any affinities for specific body systems, how it’s been used in the past, and if any scientific studies how it to be effective against certain kinds of bacteria. You can also find out which preparations have shown the best results as well.

This may all sound a bit overwhelming, but don’t give up. If you’re using a source such as the Herbarium, the information will be easier to come by. 

Third, Stock Your Home Apothecary

Once you’ve narrowed down your herb choices, you need to have those herbs on hand. Most people prefer storing herbs in dried form, but you’ll also want to have some foundational preparations made as well. These foundational preparations are an infused oil and a tincture.

If you come down with something, you need access to herbs quickly. Infused oils and tinctures can take weeks to make. This is why it’s a good idea to have preparations made ahead of time. That way, when you need them, they’re ready for you to use. If you don’t have preparations on hand, chances are, you’ll end up paying higher prices at a health food store or you’ll end up at the doctor’s office.

How To Use Herbal Antibiotics Successfully

When you’re sick and you want to use herbs to support your body, you don’t want to waste your time. You want your efforts to be effective so your body overcomes whatever it’s dealing with. Right?

The first step is finding the right herb for your situation; however, there are several other things you need to keep in mind as well.

  1. Use them early. (The earlier you get started using herbs, the better the chance that they will help you before you get worse.)
  2. Use the correct preparation. (Wounds often use powders, washes, or salves. Internal infections often use infusions, syrups, or tinctures.)
  3. Use the correct dose. (Herbs are often dosed according to body weight and taken frequently for days or weeks for acute situations.)
  4. Be consistent. (Herbs work slow and steadily to bring about changes in the body. Consistent use is a must for effective results.)

And there you have it. This is how you can make your own herbal antibiotics at home and use them to successfully support your body during an illness. Again, let me just stress the importance of seeking help if you feel that you need it. It never hurts to get a second opinion!

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  1. becca says:

    Perfect timing on this post! Having a conversation on FB about antibiotics and going to definitely share your post! 🙂 I’m definitely in the learning stages of using herbs so don’t have any stories to share. My son & I just got over colds / sinus infection for me… I used your post on coughs to research different homemade cough syrups. We are big vitamin D believers, so amped up our IU’s and ended up using thyme, honey and lemon concoction for the cough. I also added fresh garlic to my tricks. After 2 weeks of symptoms I went to our Dr. to check ears/chest and thankfully my son looked great! I on the other hand had not been heading these remedies and paid for it.
    What about RSV type symptoms… anyone have any good advice for that?

    • Meagan says:

      Oh I love your cough recipe. I’m learning more about Thyme… it’s great, and I love that I can run out and quickly get it out of my garden. Garlic is my go-to herb for… well everything! LOL! I’m not sure about the RSV symptoms. I think that’s a basic cold, but if affects small children the most. I’ll have to look into that more. If anyone else knows, let’s hear about it!

  2. Shelli says:

    One thing I always keep on hand every flu season and it is soooo easy to make. I take Manuka Honey because it is a great natural antibiotic ( you can buy this at most health food stores ), regular unfiltered honey (another natural antibiotic), lemon (a great antibacterial and antiviral property) and minced garlic in its own juice (another natural antibiotic and immune system booster as well as a decogestant ). Take 1/2 cup of each honey and put into a blender. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon into the honey and add 1tbl spoon of the minced garlic. Blend on liquify for a couple of minutes then put in a glass jar and refridgerate. When cold or flu season hits you take two tablespoons every 3 to 4 hours with a huge cup of cinnamon tea ( which helps with respiratory and circulation). This is great for cough, sore throats, colds and flu. This remedy has knocked the normal duration of the listed above down to half the time for my family and helps the body feel better as well.

    • Meagan says:

      That is awesome Shelli! I have a post that’s very similar on how to make garlic syrup that uses honey and garlic. No lemon though, and I don’t specify the types of honey either so I love that you’ve shared this… so much good info. I’ve never thought of the cinnamon tea though. What a great idea. Do you use any of the normal immune boosters along with these things like echinacea tinctures or elderberry syrup? I’m always curious to see what others do. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Shelli says:

    Yes we do drink Echinacea tea. I was raised with a great grandmother that always treated us with alternative medicine. So my kids are fourth generation to this. We have over 22 different teas in the house, I work with aromatherapy, we grow our own herbs, fruits and veggies. So as you can see we are very familiar with natural remedies. I love your website and just happen to come across it by accident. I put yo in my favorites!

    • Meagan says:

      Oh great! That’s so fun that this is nothing new to you! I remember my grandmother talking about natural remedies here and there, but it was nothing big in my family. I suppose I got into it because I loved the history of it here in the Appalachian Mountains and because I looked up to other young up-and-coming herbalists. Anyway, I’m all for tips and suggestions if you have any. I love learning from other people who’ve been there and done it!

  4. Tom says:

    It was not Louis Pasture who discovered Penicillin , it was Alexander Fleming

    • Meagan says:

      LOL! Thanks Tom. Now that’s what I get for not doing MY research and coming up with names from memory! It’s all fixed now. I appreciate you letting me know!

  5. Sheldon says:

    Thanks for your input I am learning alot more on these natural medicines , I use honey with garlic all the time for colds and it works great cleaning away mucus but now am trying the manuka honey as an antibiotic and also the goldenseal tea

    • Meagan says:

      Good for you Sheldon. It’s great to hear how people are using herbs. Just putting this out there though… I recently read about how goldenseal is thought to have more of a local antibacterial effect, working on the areas it comes into direct contact with, rather than being systemic and working in the whole body. Basically it works really well for skin and gut issues, but not so much for respiratory infections. Hope that helps you a bit!

  6. Monica says:

    One thing I learned this year that helps me , is lightly add oregano and it cousin sweet marjoram to my food. Oregano especially, is natural antibacterial. Here is a website that gives you more information on oregano. Even helps get rid of excess phelm.
    Lemon thyme is my backup if too much phelm I use raw honey in my area and lemon thyme tincture together. So far I haven’t had to use too much of this tincture, now I know why Oregano has been keeping the excess at bay. Hope this helps someone else.

  7. Anonymous says:


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