There are many natural antiseptics that if not already within your home can be easily made with just a few simple ingredients. Homemade antiseptics have the benefit of being natural and low in cost. They also do not contain potentially harmful additives. Many plants, herbs and foods contain natural antiseptic properties, and whipping up a quick sterile solution for cuts or infections is easy if you know what to use.
Common Household Ingredients
Raw, unfiltered honey is an effective antiseptic treatment for topical wounds, burns or scrapes and helps inhibit the growth of bacteria. A recent study done in Canada at Ottawa University found that ordinary honey kills the bacteria found in sinus infections, in many cases more effectively than other antibiotics. However, never administer honey internally to children less than one year in age.
Lemon is also an antiseptic, is beneficial for the skin and has been tested for positive effects upon the digestive, circulatory and lymphatic systems. The antibacterial properties of lemon may be used to sterilize bites and wounds and soothe sunburns. You can also add lemon juice to a spray bottle with water to sanitize the air.
Garlic is another natural food with antiviral, antibiotic, anti-parasitic and antifungal capabilities and has a history of being used in WWI and WWII for the prevention of infections. The active ingredient in garlic--allicin--is effective against strep and staph germs and in some cases has even been shown to combat bacterial strains that are resistant to regular antibiotics. Use garlic topically or internally in raw clove form. For those who cannot tolerate garlic in clove form, garlic capsules are available.
This amazing herb belongs to the Berberidaceae family and contains the compound berberine (also found in goldenseal) which aids it in its antibiotic effect. A compress made from an infusion of barberry root is able to combat pinkeye. Barberry has been used to treat dysentery and cholera in addition to salmonella and E. coli, and has effective properties against staph and strep infections. For internal use, boil 1/2 teaspoon in one cup of water for 30 minutes and let cool. Drink up to one cup per day; children under 2 or pregnant women should not take barberry.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular antiseptic and disinfectant for skin or mouth infections and may be used in strengths of 5 to 15 percent depending upon the condition it treats. Tea tree oil has been used to treat ringworm and fungal infections such as jock itch and athlete's foot. Tea tree oil has antibiotic, antiviral and fungicidal properties that make it a useful item to keep on hand in the medicine cabinet for topical applications.