honey used for immunity

We love fall with the spectacular colors, chunky cardis and roasted veggies… if only they didn’t come hand in hand with cold and flu season. The minute we start feeling a little run down, we have our go-to holistic preventative solutions like zinc and bone broth and vitamin D. But what happens when you’re past the point of prevention and just need to help your immune system fight off infection?

There’s a time and a place for medical intervention, for sure, but we wanted to learn a little more about conventional antibiotics and some natural alternatives, so we turned to Food Matters, one of our go-to educational resources. Here’s Food Matters with the scoop, plus their list of seven natural antibiotics to help combat the sniffles and help you sail through the season…

Since the 1940s antibiotics have been internally embedded as conventional medicine amongst the medical profession for a resolution to bacterial infections. Although antibiotics have had their place in society, we need to ask ourselves: Are antibiotics really worth the underlying risks?

Studies show that even short-term use of a course of antibiotics can effectively disrupt the body’s natural gut flora and potentially lead to a spread of antibiotic resistance. This is a concern because bacterial resistance cannot be controlled or killed by antibiotics. Studies show the organisms that are responsible for diarrhea, urinary infection and sepsis are resistant to older antibiotics.

So why should you care?

It is important to be aware of the effects antibiotics have on our bodies, as it has become a public health burden on us in more ways than one. It is not just the medical industry that capitalizes on the use of antibiotics, but our global food system as well.

Take the agricultural use: Antibiotics are injected into animals or animal feed and are then sold to us for consumption. Antibiotic residue can linger in these meat and dairy products. You can find out more on how to avoid exposure to these forms of harmful chemicals in our foods here.

Another common misuse of antibiotics is inadequate diagnostics. Have you ever gone to the doctors when you were unwell and have been prescribed antibiotics, despite not being given a diagnosis yet? According to the CDC, a comparative report on antibiotic prescribing revealed that some doctors were over-prescribing more so than others.

Due to such over-consumption, treating infections with antibiotics today unfortunately, leads to more damage than good, to our immunity and digestive systems.

Luckily, we have the choice for our health to be in our own hands, in Mother Nature’s hands. Here are 7 of our favorite natural antibiotics that have been around years, with no negative side-effects.

7 Natural Antibiotics To Consider Before a Prescription

Raw Honey

Raw honey is still the best antibiotic with many healing benefits. It fights infections on multiple levels and does not lead to resistant bacteria. Manuka honey is another delicious multi-purpose wonder! Again, naturally containing antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties. It can be used as an ointment, topically or can be taken orally for internal health.  


Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic, which helps to clear sinuses. Due to the high levels of sulfur compound and allicin, it has the ability to kill various forms of bacteria. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is natural bacteria fighting agent with multiple proven benefits. It can be used as probiotic as well as a disinfectant! Not convinced? Here are 25 more things you never knew you could do with apple cider vinegar! 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is quite possibly one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts.
Not only can it be used in delicious recipes, it is also great for the skin and, due to its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, it makes a perfect oil for oil pulling

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi have been around for centuries.

They are full of health-promoting properties and rich in probiotics for gut health and digestion. Learn how to make your own fermented foods here!

For the full list of natural antibiotics, visit Food Matters by clicking through here.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program. 

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From our friends


  1. I battled a sinus infection for two weeks straight and trying every type of medicine. Last night I was miserable. I went to a meeting about oils hoping to find a solution. A lady there told me to take 2 or 3 cloves of raw garlic in broth and even better chew a garlic clove. I bought chicken broth and added the following: 1 tsp of curry, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of Ghee to 8 ounces of broth. (Her recipe) After it boiled and cooled down to warm then I was to add the 3 pressed cloves of garlic. Then I drank it. (The cayenne pepper had me coughing once in while drinking the broth). After the broth, I did eat a small garlic clove. I was desperate. For the first time in two weeks, I slept 5 hours straight and didn’t even wake up during the night. So all day I drank 4 cups of the broth with all the other ingredients and I want to say, that I feel great. I can’t believe that something so natural took my sinus cold away.

    Yazmin | 10.29.2015 | Reply
  2. Okay, so:

    A) Why would I want natural antibiotics for cold/flu season, when those are viruses and antibiotics only kill bacteria?

    B) One of the reasons that antibiotics are dangerous is because bacteria, which don’t want to die, develop a tolerance for them to the point where they are no longer effective. This means that if you get an infection with this bacteria, you may not be able to kill it and it could then kill you. Bacteria don’t want to die, so they adapt and evolve the same way animals do.

    If any natural antibiotics helped kill bacteria, bacteria would adapt to them as well in order to survive. Then you would have “natural antibiotic resistant bacteria.” Bacteria doesn’t say “oh, you’re killing me with honey instead of Amoxycillin? Well that’s okay then!” No, bacteria doesn’t want to die, and resistant bacteria would grow as a result if it actually worked.

    C) The other reason that antibiotics are dangerous is because there is no way for it to pick and choose the bacteria it kills, and in the end it can kill a lot of bacterial colonies that you need to be healthy. Theoretically, if eating raw honey was in any way helpful, then it would cause the same problem. Raw honey isn’t going to point to a colony of bacteria and say “that one – that’s the only one we need to kill” and then eliminate it.

    So there you go. Thank you for propagating misleading information fed to you by unregulated natural supplement companies. Their 20 billion dollar industry thanks you.

    Jake Johnson | 04.05.2016 | Reply
  3. Dear Liza, you are mistaken with how antibiotics are made and how they work. Pharmaceutical antibiotics are made to specific bacteria and thus are developed for a specific chemical compounds. Thus, bacteria are evolving to immune to those antibiotics primarily cause of its over usage around the world.

    Whereas, natural forms of antibiotics are proven to be powerful to not let bacteria, viruses, fungi to its resistance. Primarily because of its complex chemical compounds present in it. For instance Garlic has more complex compounds that has proven to be 100 times powerful and 10 times faster than the strongest pharmaceutical antibiotic.

    So your assumption that bacteria will evolve to resist natural antibiotic much like pharmaceutical antibiotic is absolutely incorrect.
    In fact you seems to be an advocate of multi trillion dollar Pharmaceutical industry for their medicine that just addresses symptoms and not cure the cause of a problem. That is another reason pharmaceutical medicine always have number of side effects. Doing so once a patient will always be a patient for numerous other side effects issues to deal with and its medicine cause few other side effects its a viscous cycle of medicine trap.

    Well Aware | 12.04.2016 | Reply
  4. Oops! I was replying to Jake Johnson instead addressed to Liza.

    Well Aware | 12.04.2016 | Reply
  5. Wow Jake please go take a microbiology class before you go talking like you know anything

    Natalie | 02.03.2017 | Reply
  6. As a young girl I would always get tonsillitis, my Mom did what she thought was best and took me to the Doc, it was constant antibiotics….. When I was old enough (16-17), I told my Mom I was done with synthetic antibiotics…… she was ok with my path… I fully believe there are natural forms of anti-biotics, since my awakening with natural products, from food to essential oils my immune system ROCKS!! I rarely, if ever get sick, tonsillitis……gone (still have my tonsils), I am 49 years young and can’t remember the last time I had a fever or any illness. Also, my 10 year old son, has probably been sick 3 times in his precious life, his immune system ROCKS too!! I have been in the medical field for 18 years and see what is happening, but WE have a choice……you can decide what you want to do, I chose my path and I’m living each day healthy and loving life!!!

    Christine | 11.11.2017 | Reply
  7. I also would like to add, that plants that provide the natural anti-bacterial properties also continue to evolve as the bacteria evolve and pass those benefits on to us. Many plants have properties that are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal to protect the plant from these microscopic predators that they encounter in their natural environment. Pharmaceuticals are synthetic versions of these properties which do not evolve since they are man made.

    Kristen Klein | 07.10.2018 | Reply
  8. Which plants?!

    Holly Taylor | 03.28.2021 | Reply

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