Can spices kill bacteria?

“Natural antibiotics” from the kitchen

The best up front: in our garden, on the balcony or in the supermarket there are numerous antibiotic foods to be found. Natural antibiotics have an antibacterial effect, so they can work against germs and kill pathogenic bacteria. And that without the typical side effects of conventional chemical drugs and often without causing resistance. The healing active ingredients can be used acutely to relieve pain, loosen phlegm, inhibit inflammation or alleviate intestinal complaints. But we can also preventively support our immune system through a healthy diet and protect ourselves as well as possible against colds and infections. A great side effect, many of our cells thank us and you can see that we have a diet rich in vitamins - you are what you eat.

These foods are among the natural antibiotics


The popular sweetener is probably nature's best-known antibiotic. It contains numerous substances that can help us with sore throats, hoarseness, inflammation and small wounds. Honey is an effective medicine thanks to various enzymes, lactic acid bacteria and flavonoids. For example, the enzyme glucose oxidase in honey converts the sugar contained in the honey with oxygen, among other things, to minimal amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which gives it a disinfecting effect. The healing power is enhanced by the sugar, as it removes water as the basis of life for bacteria and germs. In particular, the New Zealand Manuka honey is said to have numerous healing properties. By the way: if you sweeten your tea with honey, it should have a temperature of below 40 degrees, otherwise the effect will be lost.

Tip: The combination of honey and turmeric is recommended for an effective natural antibiotic. Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with 100 grams of honey and take a teaspoon of the mixture two to three times a day.

Garlic and onions

These two spicy ingredients are real bacteria killers. Garlic cloves in particular are called a natural antibiotic due to the sulfur compound allicin, which is produced from its ingredient alliin. This compound has antibacterial properties and attack pathogenic germs, fungi and bacteria. Another plus point: The essential oils in garlic promote digestion, are good for the intestine and spare the good intestinal bacteria. With their essential oil, sulfur-containing compounds and flavonoids such as quercetin, onions also inhibit harmful bacteria and fight pathogens. In naturopathy, both types of vegetables are known to relieve coughs, digestive complaints and all kinds of inflammation.

Tip: Prepare your dishes with garlic and onions every day. The intense smell can be reduced by chewing parsley or mint leaves.


Herbs such as sage, thyme or mint not only taste delicious in food but are also considered natural remedies. The essential oils, tannins and bitter substances contained in most herbs have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant or antispasmodic effects. Tea with honey is beneficial for sore throats, coughs and stomach problems.

Tip: The concentrated plant power tastes really good in a spicy herbal pesto, best combined with lots of garlic and good olive oil.


Spices have it all: The hot substances in ginger, chilli or mustard in particular have germicidal and activating effects on the body. Cloves, cinnamon and turmeric can also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and relieve pain. Cloves are often used for toothache and cinnamon for digestive problems. Ginger can provide a remedy for the first scratchy throat and, thanks to the ginger oil contained in its essential oil, it can develop its anti-inflammatory effect. Other hot spices such as mustard, chilli, horseradish or pepper really heat up and stimulate the metabolism.

Tip: Prepare a brew or a spice paste from the spices and use the aromatic mixture when cooking various dishes.


By the way: Medicinal herbs and foods with an antibiotic effect are no substitute for conventional medicines for severe or chronic illnesses. Anyone who is ill for a longer period of time or the symptoms do not improve should definitely consult a doctor.


On my blog you will find numerous recipes with natural antibiotics.