Natural antibiotics can often be used as powerful alternatives to the harmful prescription versions that leave your system wiped clean of all bacteria, including those that your body requires in order to fight against infection, viruses, and other harmful invaders.

To sweeten the deal, many natural antibiotics also happen to have natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and immune-boosting properties too. This list of natural antibiotics will prepare you to handle common infections, and you'll be one step ahead as cold and flu season approaches.

Olive Leaf Extract is possibly the most powerful herb you can have on-hand when it comes to viruses, bacteria, and even fungus as it has the ability to inhibit growth and even kill most viruses. Olive leaf extract can also come in handy as a fever reducer.

Manuka Honey is a medicinal food with antiviral activity. In its raw form, is a potent antibiotic that's been found effective against over 250 different bacteria strains, including multiple strains of MRSA bacteria.

Wild oregano oil can be used in the treatment sinus infections. Sinus infections often go hand in hand with the common cold and influenza virus, so it's important that you know how to treat it should an infection arise.

Simply add a few drops of pure wild oregano oil to a pot of steaming water and while keeping your face at a comfortable distance, breathe in the steam until you feel relief. This method of treatment can be repeated multiple times daily as needed.

Echinacea is one of the few herbs that receives due credit for its usefulness in the treatment of the flu, common cold, and even respiratory infections. Other notable ailments that have been treated using this simple herb include Staphylococcus aureus, septicemia, candida overgrowth, syphilis, malaria, and herpes.

The recommended daily dosage is 300 milligrams of echinacea taken three times daily. This herb can also be taken consistently in tea form to relieve a bout of the flu or a cold.

Garlic is a triple threat against bacteria, viruses, and even fungus. Whether you're looking to prevent these bugs from reaching you or you're trying to get over the lingering symptoms, garlic is your go-to food. It's so powerful that it's considered to be one of the best natural antibiotics for MRSA resistant "staph." The antibiotic qualities found within garlic can be attributed to the sulfur content, which is also found in onions.

If it isn't already, fresh garlic should be included frequently in your diet. It's rich in B-Vitamins, minerals, and Vitamin C, all of which are useful when trying to fight or avoid infection. Since garlic is such a versatile and flavorful ingredient, you can mince it and use it as a topping to as many dishes as you like.

Ginger has shown to have effective antibiotic properties that are effective against food borne pathogens like salmonella. Fresh, raw ginger is preferred if it's going to be used as a natural antibiotic. It can also be used in combination with garlic for higher potency. Ginger can be eaten fresh or taken in tea form.

Eucalyptus is an antiviral that should be a staple in all medicine cabinets as it's useful to relieve colds, the flu, and even bronchitis. It's an expectorant and decongestant, so it'll provide relief from coughing and respiratory congestion. Eucalyptus can also be used to prevent viruses as well.

Likewise, rosemary has antiviral properties and it works as an expectorant and sinus decongestant. Consume rosemary on a regular basis to help improve breathing and circulation. Alongside rosemary, other notable herbs such thyme, cinnamon, melissa, and hyssop are also used for their potent virus-fighting abilities. Thyme, for example, is so powerful against harmful, foodborne germs  that it's used as a preservative. Both thyme and cinnamon will provide you with protection from dozens of harmful illnesses, including bacterial and viral sickness.

Geranium essential oil is a natural antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial, meaning it kills and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Used as a tonic or added to your tea, geranium essential oil improves your overall health and increases urination to remove toxins from your body.

To treat and fight bacteria, the essential oils of lemon, eucalyptus, lemon grass, and tea tree oil are also among the list of essential oils recommended by The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Lemon is a natural antiviral while lemongrass has both and antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Umeboshi is a rarely heard of superfood that shares the same species as apricots, and alongisde being touted as a healing food, umeboshi also plays the role of a natural antibiotic. Its most impressive quality is its ability to destroy staphylococcus and dysentery infections.

It restores the body's natural acid-alkaline state, promoting an unfriendly habitat for chronic illness and disease. Umeboshi protects from the flu and helps fight symptoms if you've already caught it. Additionally, the fruit is rich in minerals. Although the fruit is said to taste salty, umeboshi can be enjoyed as you would a plum or in pickled form.

Sources:

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

 http://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/most-commonly-used-essential-oils/?keywords=antiviral

Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

The antibacterial activity of honey against coagulase-negative staphylococci

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2005 Jul;56(1):228-31. Epub 2005 Jun 7.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941774/

Umeboshi:   Dr. Kyo Sato, Hirosaki University, Aomori, Japan.

http://www.macrobiotics.nl/library/UME1.html

http://www.flu-treatments.com/umeboshi.html

http://www.mitoku.com/products/umeboshi/healthbenefits.html