A friend was unwell recently and was reluctant to take another course of antibiotics, having taken several courses and read stories about antibiotic resistance in the media. It is always important to heed your doctor’s advice and, while she did so, my friend asked me about natural alternatives too. Although naturally-derived antibiotics like essential oils act slowly, they not only kill the bacteria or virus, but also stimulate the body’s immune system to strengthen one’s resistance. Taking strong drugs, on the other hand, is rather like taking a sledgehammer to a nut, for they not only kill the harmful bacteria, but also destroy the beneficial ones in our intestines, which are responsible for maintaining a good environment for digestion and for making significant quantities of B complex vitamins. As such, essential oils can be an attractive alternative to chemically-derived antibiotics, though only if prescribed / recommended by a qualified medical practitioner (and must not be taken orally).