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Natural Antiseptic Herbs

Natural Antiseptics that can easily be found in our kitchen.

Thousands of plants have antiseptic value, and many have active antibiotic ingredients. For home and outdoors, use the following herbs and recipes.

Cabbage White
cabbage leaves contain rapine, an antibiotic active against some fungi. White cabbage leaves have an affinity for pus or ulcers to absorb pus. Break down the large thread veins, warm the leaves, and place them on the sore. Replace when warm.

Boil carrots, mash them, and apply them to sores to extract pus and heal the area. Carrots are a very strong antiseptic.

Cinnamon Bark

Cinnamon bark contains an active fragrant, volatile, antigermicidal oil. Use the bark in mouthwashes, gargles, combinations of herbal teas for taste and antiseptic ability.


Clove oil, like cinnamon bark oil, is a strong germicide; both are considered more powerful than carbolic acid. Use bruised cloves in teas and externally to deaden skin pain.

(Sweet) Clover

These attractive 'wayside weeds contain a broad spectrum antibiotic. Creosote (Bush) This plant contains nordihydroguaiaretic acid, an antibiotic active against skin bacteria,

(Red) Currant

Heat the juice of the red currant over a slow fire for an old fashioned dessert, "Rob," or as the ancient English remedy for sore throat. Red currant jelly may be added to peppermint or ginger tea as an anti sore throat aid.


Extracts of garlic buds contain allicin, a powerful antibacterial agent. In Russia during World War 11, in the absence of penicillin and other antibiotics, the Russians used garlic powder on wounds. For a tasty anticold remedy, combine finely cut beefsteak tomatoes, red onions, mashed garlic buds, vegetable oil, and lemon juice. Eat as much as you can stand.

Wild ginger contains a broad spectrum antibiotic active against bacteria and fungi. Ginger root or ginger powder added to herbal drinks at the onset of a cold causes perspiration and alleviates cold symptoms. Do not use in great amounts. Use a small amount in bathwater, too.


The root of goldenseal contains berberine, an antibiotic with broad spectrum antibacteria and antiprotozoa activity. Goldenseal is especially useful for mouth and gum problems. Use the powder of the root directly on canker sores, or combine it with tincture of myrrh and water or sherry for a healing mouthwash.


There is an active antibiotic in the horseradish root. Note the various apple cider vinegar and horseradish recipes and drinks, particularly for sinus problems, in Section Three. juniper The berries have many uses in home herbal care. They contain an antibiotic.


Onions have always been known to have antibac terial action. Since cut onions easily absorb bacteria, they can be used in a sickroom for this purpose. However, note that this also means that in average home use cut onions should always be completely covered and kept in the refrigerator. See also anticold salad (Garlic) above. Onion broth is restorative. Roasted onion may be used as an effective poultice. To reduce the aftertaste of raw onions, note recipe under internal use Onions.

One old English folk remedy for boils utilized placement of a slice of radish on the boil. Do not eat wild radish seeds.


Add sage leaves to tea or gargles for sore throat and other antiseptic action. Steep 2 tablespoons in a pint of boiling water for seven to ten minutes. Sage may be bitter if allowed to steep too long in boiling water.


The oil extracted from fresh thyme is complex and contains thymol, which is an exceptionally antiseptic substance similar in antiseptic action to carbolic acid. Thymol may be used in miniscule amounts (one part to a thousand of water) for the dressing of wounds. It is successful even when iodine or other such antiseptics have proved unsuccessful. Though not as potent as the oil, garden thyme can be crushed, added to boiling water, steeped, then strained, and used for baths, compresses, and directly on the body for sprains and bruises.

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