The Natural Remedy that Beat Antibiotics

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Scared about antibiotic-resistant bugs? Come find out about the Natural Remedy that Beat Antibiotics!

{Today, I am pleased to welcome Leah, of Ponderings From My Heart. She is here to share about her recent scary bout with a Staph Infection–and how she treated it naturally!  This is an amazing story.  Leah’s blog is really new, but she is a talented writer and will be joining us again in the future with nourishing recipes and health tips.}

Sitting alone in the cold stale doctor’s office, I was gripped with fear.

The paper beneath me crinkled as I moved to adjust the drab gray hospital gown from revealing any more of my vulnerabilities.

Finally, I could hear footsteps coming down the hall. The door opened and the doctor stepped in and sat down.

“No one can treat you here.” she said. “You’ll need to go to the emergency room. I called ahead. They’re expecting you.”

(Please note: This is merely my story and my experience with a staph infection. What I’ve shared here is what worked for me in my situation. The remedy that I used may not work for you in your situation. Please do not take this as medical advise. I am not a doctor and cannot medically advise.)

I quickly wiped away the hot tears that rolled unbecomingly down my face. A grown woman crying in the doctor’s office. How pathetic! But I was scared.

In no more than a week, my world had been turned upside down. By what?

In a word – staph.

How Did I Get Staph?!?

When you hear the word staph do you picture a frail elderly person lying in a hospital bed?

I do.

Or at least, I did.

You may be wondering how a seemingly healthy woman in her early thirties contracted this germ.

The same reason so many otherwise healthy adults and children are being infected: it’s everywhere and it’s becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. 

Staph is not just a hospital-acquired bacteria anymore. People can get infected from many different sources. In fact, it is very likely that you have staph bacteria living on your skin and in your nose right now.

Usually, staph can live on your skin without causing any harm; but today, more and more people are finding themselves with a life threatening infection. The doctor who treated me at the emergency room had already treated three other people with staph that very same evening.

What is Staph?

Staph is short for staphylococcus.

There are several different kinds of staph bacteria, but staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria that causes skin infections like the one I had.

The infamous MRSA (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is simply an antibiotic-resistant form of staph aureus.

Left untreated, a staph infection on your skin is fast growing and fast spreading.

Within just a week, my dime sized “pimple”, had grown to the size of a small egg and was spreading rapidly, with two smaller boils nearby.

The Natural Remedy that Worked for Me

On that unforgettably painful night in the emergency room, my abscesses were opened, drained, and packed.

I was given a prescription for bactroban ointment and oral doxycycline antibiotics, along with a bag full of medical supplies for packing the abscess. (The doctor also recommended purchasing some tea tree oil…an excellent suggestion, but more on that in a sequel post.)

My poor hubby had the job of packing my infection sites for the next few weeks. I was glad I wasn’t him!

Amidst the long painful, dark, weeks to follow, I developed a low grade fever and the doctor switched my prescription from doxycycline to Bactrim. I was on antibiotics for about 3 to 4 weeks.

The smaller boils were healing up nicely but the largest one was still draining. The estimated two week recovery time turned into two whole months.

When I asked my doctor why the large boil was still not healed, she had no advice for me. She suggested that I just apply some Neosporin and give it time.

I knew that giving the boil more time wouldn’t help. The boil hadn’t shown any progress in a month. Why would it show progress in another month? I was sick and tired of waiting anyway.

Frustrated and out of patience, I cried out to God yet again. I believe God heard my cry for help because as I was searching for answers that morning, He brought to my attention a wonderful natural remedy for my staph infection.

Manuka honey.

Healing with Manuka Honey

(Please note: Following are affiliate links to products.  If you make a purchase after clicking on the links, I might make a commission.  Your support of my blog is much appreciated – thank you!)

Manuka honey is a special kind of honey native to New Zealand. It is derived from the pollen and nectar of the manuka (leptospermum scoparium) plant.

It has amazing natural antibacterial healing properties.

After reading online testimonials from others who used manuka honey to successfully treat their staph infections, I searched high and low and finally found a product called Medihoney.

Medihoney is sterilized manuka honey, suitable for open wounds. The sterilization destroys any bacterial spores, apparently without loss of product effectiveness.

I applied the Medihoney directly to my open abscess about twice a day, or every time I changed the bandage.

Each day there was visible progress!

In just a week, the abscess that had remained open and draining for so long had finally closed up and healed completely.

You cannot imagine how elated I was. I felt like I had just been given my life back!

I praise God for His healing hand and for His awesome creation that brought me back to health. (From Adrienne–this is unbelievable to me. An infection that doesn’t respond to antibiotics–responds to honey.  Wow.)

This is the manuka honey that I used: Medihoney by Derma Sciences.

Other good choices include Dr. Nordyke’s Wound Honey and BIO 15+ Manuka Honey.

Please note that the manuka honey worked great for my open wound that would not heal. However, the manuka honey will probably not be as effective for a staph infection (boil) that hasn’t been lanced. I tried applying manuka honey on a recurrent staph infection six months later and it didn’t help to clear the infection at all. In my case, the antibiotics helped get the staph infection under control and the manuka honey helped the wound close quickly and completely.

Not Done Yet

Sadly, although this was my first and worst bout with staph, it wasn’t my last. I’ll be writing more about it soon at Ponderings From My Heart.

If you or your family has struggled with staph infections, I’d like to hear what you did to fight it. I’d especially love to hear about any natural remedies that helped you get well!

More Natural Remedies:

- Natural Headache Remedy
- Unbelievable Ear Infection Treatment
- Easiest and Cheapest Wart Treatment
- How We Avoided the Pink Stuff (more ear infection remedies)

(Disclaimer:  Please remember that the information in this post is not meant to diagnose or medically advise. Please do not make changes to your diet, exercise, or supplement plan without consulting your physician.)

Have you ever had a staph–or other tough infection?

What did you do to treat it? 

profilepicture150Leah, wife and mother to two, lives in the great southwest where the lizards and rattlesnakes slither. She sometimes manages to sneak from beneath the dinner dishes and laundry piles to share new discoveries she’s made in her journey through life. You can find her writing at: and follow her on Facebook here.


 Shared at The Prairie Homestead, The Better Mom, Real Food Forager, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, Time Warp Wife, Intentionally Domestic, Growing Home, Nap – Time Creations, Far Above Rubies, We Are that Family, Frugally Sustainable, and Skip to My Lou.
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  1. I love natural remedies! I hope you’ll stop over and share this on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Our 100th Edition is this week and we’re celebrating! The linky is open for another 12 hours and we’re hoping to get 100 posts (almost there). Many of the hosts are offering giveaways too, BONUS! :)

  2. Just wanted to throw in a natural, herbal extract called Vitae Elixxir (VE) that I have used for a number of health issues including genetic colon cancer (take orally) and a growing-not-healing actinic keratosis on my leg that I topically applied VE to for a week. Wonderful results! I have not had an infection that I have applied it to, but others have successfully.

  3. A few years ago my teenage daughter had some odd looking “pimples” on her leg. They were there for several months without much change until one of them began to grow. It grew to a large puss filled boil and one by one the others began to do the same. After some research we realized it was MRSA. We tried several natural remedies (turmeric, garlic, tea tree oil, plus others) and they all helped, but none could heal them completely. I visited an herb store near us and asked what else we could do. She said to add a daily liver cleanse and that would take care of it.

    I left skeptical, but ready to try anything. Each morning on an empty stomach she drank a glass of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it and 1 drop each of Peppermint and Lemon essential oils (Be Young brand) They all healed within a couple of weeks, but we continued the cleanse for a month. It was so simple, but it worked great.

    About 6 months later she had a few suspicious bumps show up again on her leg so we did another month of the liver cleanse. They have never returned.

    I love using and learning about natural remedies and this web site is a great place to learn. Thanks Adrienne for sharing your wealth of information and resources with us.

  4. Thanks for sharing this!! I used to get staph infections all the time that sound much like the one you had–huge, painful boils. I got them on my backside and on the backs and insides of my thighs, and there were times they were so painful I couldn’t sit down. My doc would prescribe antibiotics and that always did the trick for me. She said that I was some kind of carrier of staph or something that made me more susceptible to getting infections. I have always been a germophobe, and religiously paper the toilet seats of public restrooms when I am forced to use them (I avoid them at all costs, when I can!) but I started papering ALL seats–even those of my friends and family–when I had to use them. I also clean the seats at my own house before using them if someone outside the house comes over and uses the bathroom (yep, even my parents!) Since I’ve been doing that, I haven’t had any more issues. If I do though, I will be grabbing some of that awesome honey!

    • Susan, you sound just like me! I avoid public restrooms like the plague! lol!! Isn’t it a wonder how us germaphobes can even contract these crazy germs when we are so very careful? I’m so glad you are well now and haven’t had any more issues!

      • I just wanted to add that, although the manuka honey is truly amazing, it is most effective when applied to an OPEN boil. I wouldn’t suggest treating a staph infection with manuka honey alone.

  5. While I have not dealt with staph, I recently had a tooth infection that caused pain and great swelling. I didn’t want to go to the dentist just to be told I had an infection and here’s a prescription for an antibiotic.

    I had dealt with them before and the dentist always said the same thing take ibuprofen every four hours as needed along with the antibiotic. No, not this time I took ibuprofen every four hours, but there was still pain and swelling, this started on a Monday night.

    I was not sleeping through the night due to the pain, and woke up Thursday morning at 3 in the morning. Unable to get back to sleep and still in pain and hungry I decided to get up. By this time it was 7:00, I decided as long as I was up to research some natural pain relievers, and natural antibiotics. I found that turmeric not only is a pain killer, but also anti-inflammatory, and then discovered that oil of oregano is a natural antibiotic.

    That was a week ago, the swelling is gone along with the infection, and I’m happy to be pain free naturally.

    Pinning to my health and wellness board.

    • My goodness, you must’ve been so uncomfortable. I’m so happy you were able to fight off the infection naturally, though! Turmeric and oil of oregano are both staples in my home. Love them!

    • clove oil is great for mouth sores as well! just for future reference :)

  6. Oh my goodness! I hope you’re better now Leah! I’ve been using Manuka Honey for years and I haven’t had a cold in all that time – it’s amazing!! I haven’t had the need to buy the medical grade honey yet thank goodness!

    This is a very informative post, I’m just sorry you had to go through what you did to find out about the honey!

  7. About a year ago, my husband had multiple MRSA boils. He went to the dr. and the dr. prescribed a topical gel ointment (I do not remember the name of the drug) to treat the MRSA. Within a week, the boils had started to dry up.

    The information our dr. gave us then, concerning the MRSA, was that it is indeed increasingly common, but that most healthy people are able to avoid infection. Those that do become infected, if they are otherwise healthy, are able to recover in a reasonable amount of time. He also said that, some dr’s are finding that the old antibiotics are actually working better than the new, harsher ones.

    The point of my rambling here is simply to say that, MRSA is generally not something to panic about. Yes, it most certainly must be treated timely and aggressively, but it shouldn’t cause a generally healthy person to panic. It’s great to know that your treatment worked and if I or my husband are ever afflicted with MRSA again we will surely give your method a try first – since we prefer more natural remedies rather than chemical drugs, whenever possible. So thank you for this information, but don’t panic if you see it recurring again. :)

    • I’m so glad your husband’s boils cleared with the gel! I was given some bactroban cream for my boils but unfortunately it didn’t do a whole lot for me. The manuka honey will work wonderfully if you apply it to an OPEN boil. It doesn’t do a lot of good unless the staph infection has already been lanced and drained, though. And you are so right about treating staph timely and aggressively. I also want to stress the fact that manuka honey, although amazing, is not a cure all for a staph infection. You cannot use it alone. You really need to throw everything at it, including the kitchen sink!! I’ve had the most success when you attack staph both internally and externally. There’s more to say about this than I can fit here so I’m planning to blog more about this in the near future. Thank you for your comment and best wishes for staying healthy!

      • Actually, we have used Manuka Honey MF 18 (East Cape brand) on smaller, unlanced/closed MRSA boils successfully. Ours is unprocessed and so natural you could eat it. I think that may be the difference.

        • We have not found that we need to use anything else but the Manuka honey on hubby’s MRSA if we treat it immediately. Please note that my hubby is fairly young (under 40) and otherwise physically fit and active. I think that makes a big difference. Someone who is older and having other health issues may have more problems getting rid of it without medical intervention.

  8. This is such good information! My husband has had quite a few staph-caused boils and they’re HORRIBLE. I am currently overcoming a staph-caused stye (that luckily is going away on its own). I’ll have to get some of this stuff to have on hand for our first aid kit!

    • Manuka honey is definitely a wonderful addition to any first aid kit! It’s most effective when it’s used on an open wound. I’m so glad your infection is going away on its own. Yay!

  9. I had MRSA after my C-section and was scared and freaked out, understatement! My incision burst open and I had a 3″ open wound. I couldn’t breastfeed and take the really strong antibiotic they like to give MRSA patients, so I started eating raw cloves of garlic – I ate one clove 3x a day. I also sipped hot water with apple cider vinegar and honey all day long. I had to clean and pack my wound 4x a day and was too scared to try the Manuka honey in it, so thank you for sharing your story. I killed off the MRSA in record time and was able to keep breastfeeding my baby. Huge win for natural medicine!

    • My goodness, what an awful time to be infected with staph. Having a baby to take care of and recovering from a C-section is enough already without the added stress of fighting off an awful infection. And you even packed your own wound?! Whoa! You are one strong amaaazing woman!! You were doing all the right things taking the garlic and the ACV. You must’ve done your research! Thanks for sharing your inspirational success story!!!

  10. Perfect timing. I just started a new job this week (!) and there’s an empty desk next to me. The person there is in the hospital with a bad staph infection. It has me feeling kind of wiggy about it. Anyway, this has calmed me down some and is very helpful, along with the readers’ comments and other suggestions. It’s really so scary..

    • Oh goodness! Being the germ freak that I am, I’d be very uncomfortable in that situation. I’ve been drinking a glass of water with a tablespoon or two of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar every day, and taking lots of probiotics to help boost my immune system. Stay healthy!

  11. My oldest son who is now 12 got boils repeatedly as a baby/toddler. The doctors kept putting him on antibiotics and they would clear up the boils but after he finished a round, he would get more boils and then more antibiotics and so on. One got so bad the reddened area around it was the size of a dinner plate…. on a TODDLER! (It was on his back) They sent us to a dermotologist and he was simply diagnosed with “atopic dermatitis” and we were told not to bathe him too often because that would strip his skin of natural defensive oils. And we went back to the boils/antibiotics routine. Finally, our doctor had us try an antibiotic cream that we put on q-tips in his nose. It was once or twice a day for about a week and he never got another boil. My step-dad was getting boils and when he heard about that, he tried using the young living essential oil blend, Thieves, across the bridge of his nose for a while and it worked and he totally stopped getting them.

    • Wow, that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing about the Thieves oil. I have some but never thought of using it in that way before!

  12. My mom had boils that would not close for over a year (treated by a Dermatologist the whole time). I read about essential oils and that lavender and frankincense would close an open wound like a boil. Within a week, the boil was gone!

    • I love to hear about the amazing benefits of using oils! I’ve heard so much about frankincense but this is really exciting to know. Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. I’m really sorry about your recurrent bouts of Staph infections and I think it would not be a bad idea to ask your Doctor to do some tests like nasal swabs to determine if you or other persons you are in close contact with are a Staph carrier because could be the source of the infections.

    Besides that I praise God for His healing hand which works through nature, doctors and most importantly through Jesus Christ.

  14. Thank you for such an interesting and informative post. Honey and pollen are amazing, aren’t they for their healing properties. I hadn’t ever heard of Manuka honey before though. So great that it worked for you!

  15. In this house tea tree in front line for cuts however illnesses from colds to uti are all treated with LOTS of raw garlic. I also use a little oil of oregano at times but garlic is awesome, affordable, and easy to grow. We did do a round of Pleo Not for a really bad sinus infection once and it worked really well.

  16. wow. amazing. scary, but amazing. Adrienne, I just found your site through the frugal days sustainable ways link -up. Can’t wait to read more. Glad you are ok Leah. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I have been a believer in the healing properties of honey for a few years now, ever since I had to stop taking decongestants for seasonal allergies. When this happened, I had to find a replacement. Local honey did the trick for me. It took some time to build up in my system, but now I suffer less from allergies than I did while taking the medication. It tastes much better, too.

    Looks like I’ll be adding some Manuka honey to my medicine chest now as well.

  17. carrie long says:

    in a hospital bed as we speak. i had tailbone surgery on june 26,a few weeks later i was admitted via er with mrsa. had an i&d and one week stay with iv antibiotics. was sent home on oral meds and wound vac.finished the meds and the infection returned. second i&d done tuesday. i have a wound 5.5cm long, 3.5cm wide and 5cm deep. going home today on wound vac and iv antibiotics. yuck! prayers are welcomed!

  18. I also found Manuka honey after my second bout with a nasty MRSA infection. I, however, have found that manuka honey has been helpful in stopping an infection in its tracks. I felt the oh-too-familiar pain of a boil forming on my inner thigh/bottom. I coated a gauze pad with The Synergy Company’s Healing Honey, and slept with it over night. The next morning, there was no more boil. I thank the Lord for manuka honey’s healing properties. I also have Redmond Clay, as it is known to draw out impurities. I’m happy you are sharing natural remedies for staph. God bless you!

  19. My children got infections (confirmed MRSA) and essential oils helped, but colloidal silver worked even faster. There is a topical gel and also a kind you can take internally. I had manuka honey on my list to buy but the colloidal silver worked so quickly I didn’t buy it…..yet!!! :)

  20. Hubby had a MRSA infection last fall. He had a very large boil, went through the lancing/packing process multiple times. He was on antibiotics for a couple weeks. It cleared up the infection, but then returned in the form of smaller boils around the original site. Did the antibiotics routine again, but they still kept coming back. Finally, I looked into alternatives and found out about Manuka Honey. I bought East Cape Manuka Honey MF 18. It has been great! When he has had a recurrence (only a couple times since then) the Manuka honey has cleared it up right away…no need for lancing or antibiotics!

  21. I had Staphylococcus for over a year and tried almost all natural remedies, Antibiotics and hospitalization, nothing worked. Then a specialized doctor in Germany told me that Staphylococcus comes on weak bodies, with low immune system. So she reccomended me to stard a high proteins diet (soups, meat,legumes..) and try to avoid eating much sugar and fruits. Immediately I started eating lots of meat (Chichen soups, etc), all staphylococcus left and gradually I have even returned to be vegetarian again, eating lots of natural proteines. Since then haven’t got sick at all, not even a fever. If you are experiencing difficulties with staphylococcus try to increase the proteins you eat daily and you will see you will get better.

  22. can I sign up to receive updates on your blog??

  23. Hi Leah, I recently had a staph infection, impetigo. It started out as what I thought was a small pimple, but in a days time spread to about 2 square inches on my chin, was oozing and forming a yellow crust. I tried tea tree oil and was eating several cloves of garlic each day. I initially had some relief, but it was still spreading and starting to get worse again. I needed relief fast and read that grapefruit seed extract worked well. I bought liquid and tablets. I washed the area with mild soap and water several times a day, followed by a rise of diluted hydrogen peroxide 3 parts water to one part peroxide. The diluted peroxide really helped to remove the crust. I dried with paper towels to avoid contaminating my towels, then applied the liquid grapefruit seed extract to my skin infection without dilution. I also took three tablets per day too help fight the infection internally. Within about two weeks it was mostly cleared up. I continued to take the tablets till the bottle was empty and then I started adding 30 drops of the liquid to my water each day. I wanted to prevent any recurrence and since I also have been healing naturally from Candida, I had read out was good for that as well.

  24. Kelley Duehring says:

    My 21 year old son just got his 5th infected skin boil in 10 months. They have all been from staph. I will be looking for this honey to see if will help the wounds heal. He just had one lanced today, The pain and pressure is terrible. It breaks my heart to see this big college boy have to come home to get help and because his face gets so deformed where the cyst is. When will,it stop? We’ve done the doctors route and the natural route and like you said, neither get rid of it forever, it’s just a matter of time till another one shows up.

  25. I have suffered with nine cases of MRSA. It’s the most miserable painful thing anyone can go through I believe! I’m so glad to have found this site! The last time I had this it was on my forehead and I ended up in the hospital for three days on strong Iv antibiotics. I was so scared when the doctor told me he thought it was already to my brain and I may have a day to live. Thankfully after a ct scan it was paper thin from being in my brain! I bathe in hibicleanse everyday and I’ve had no problems since but it’s so good to know there are other natural things out there! I always used Epsom salt warm compresses to draw the infection out and also put some neosporin on a bandaid along with sprinkling some echinacea and golden seal root mix and that helps to draw it too. Thank you sooooo much for posting this! I hope you stay healthy from here on out;)

  26. My daughter and son keep giving MRSA back and forth to each other. The doctor on call this weekend, has all of us soaking in a Clorox bath for 10 minutes. Mix 1/4 of Clorox in your bath water 3-4 times a week for 2 weeks, the take a shower. She said this will keep the staph from growing. Even thought this is NOT a natural remedy I am definitely will try anything at this point. Its been over a month and I have cleaned and disinfected everything. Right now my daughters spots have not grown very much so the bactroban is helping right now. But any other remedies for the healing part for kids would be GREAT to hear about…they are 4 and 6…and again right now they are NOT boils.

  27. Good Afternoon,

    Would this treatment work to treat scalp folliculitis? I do not wish to use any more antibiotcs and was hoping for an alternative method, such as this one. Has anyone tried any alternative treatments for scalp folliculits?

    Thank You

  28. I am a nasal staph carrier. Mupirocin ointment is the treatment the medical community uses but it does not work for me and I have a negative reaction to it. Manuka Honey UMF 16 I love for many things but does not work for this issue. Any suggestions ?

    • Hey Cindy. The author didn’t want to address comments any longer. I have no idea. Is there a fundamental reason you can’t ditch this? Have you looked into an FDN practitioner? I am working w/ one whom I really like. Thanks.

  29. Molly Moblo Perusse says:

    Great article. I recently contracted a staph infection. I won’t go into the long paranoid itchy story but to say that my wonderful holistic doctor prescribed Natures Sunshine “Silver Shield” which stopped the spreading of bumps immediately and healed up my mostly pimple sized sores in just a few days. He also prescribed homeopathic Sulphur for the itching. He called it “Hot Tub Folliculitis” after hearing that my itchy flea bite like first spot showed up after I took a hot bath at home. I have been a long user of Silver Shield whenever I or my kids started any crud, and had for whatever reason recently stopped using; silly me. I will now remember to use it on a more regular basis.