Staph infection is a common problem caused by staphylococcus bacteria, commonly found on the skin. An infection occurs when the bacteria penetrate the skin through an opening or lesion. Staph infection causes a range of signs and symptoms.
Some of the skin infections caused by the staphylococcus bacteria are boils, impetigo, cellulitis, and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.
This bacterium also causes food poisoning with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and low blood pressure.
This problem is contagious and can affect anyone, but some people are at a higher risk of developing this infection. They include diabetics, nursing mothers, small babies and people with weak immune systems, respiratory illnesses, kidney failure requiring dialysis, cancer and other chronic diseases.
The infection can spread easily through cuts, abrasions and skin-to-skin contact. It can also spread from one part of the body to another through touch.
If not treated timely, staph infection can progress to conditions that are more pervasive. So, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
In addition, certain kitchen ingredients and herbs can also help treat the infection. Home treatments focus on easing the symptoms, quick healing and preventing further progression.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for staph infection.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Due to its strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is effective for treating staph infection. It also relieves skin discomforts caused by the infection.
According to a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, tea tree oil was found to be a promising antimicrobial for treating staphylococcus aureus and wounds.
- Put 2 or 3 drops of tea tree essential oil on a moistened cotton swab. Dab it on the infected area. Leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.
- Alternatively, mix a few drops of tea tree oil in 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel or raw honey. Apply it on the infected areas and leave it on for a few hours before rinsing it off.
Follow either of the remedies once or twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.
Note: Do not consume tea tree oil orally as it can lead to side effects.
2. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, a special type of honey from New Zealand, contains natural antibacterial and healing properties that can help control a staph infection. It sterilizes the wound, speeds up healing, and eradicates the infection.
According to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, the phytochemicals in Manuka honey help inhibit the growth of the bacteria causing the infection.
- Apply some Manuka honey on the affected area.
- Allow it to sit for a few hours before washing it off.
- Repeat a few times a day until you are satisfied with the results.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for staph infection due to its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It helps fight the bacteria and promotes quick healing. In addition, it boosts your immune system to fight as well as prevent further infection.
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and clean water. Use the solution to clean the wound once or twice daily for a few days.
- Also, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 2 times daily. You can also add a little raw honey to it.
Turmeric is another good remedy to fight this infection. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties that help fight the infection quickly and successfully. In addition, it gives a boost to your immune system.
- Apply turmeric powder on the affected skin a few times daily to relieve symptoms.
- Boil 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 4 cups of water and then allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and drink this turmeric tea 2 or 3 times a day.
- You can also take turmeric supplements after consulting your doctor.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps fight the bacteria responsible for staph infections. It helps reduce the intensity of the symptoms and discomforts associated with this type of infection. In addition, it is good for your immune system.
- Clean the affected area, smear some garlic oil on it and then cover it with a bandage. Remove the bandage after a few hours. Do this twice daily for a few days.
- Eat a few raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily. Also, include garlic in your cooking.
- You can opt to take garlic supplements, after consulting a doctor.
6. Oregano Oil
You can use oregano oil for treating staph infection due to its antibiotic properties. Several chemical components in oregano oil help in reducing infection as effectively as traditional antibiotics.
According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, researchers found there was a positive effect of oregano essential oil on staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcus epidermidis strains.
- Dilute 8 to 10 drops of oregano oil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or any other carrier oil. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off. Reapply several times a day.
- Mix 5 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water or fruit juice. Drink it twice daily for a week.
Note: Pregnant women should avoid intake of oregano oil.
Goldenseal has antibacterial as well as antiseptic properties that can help disinfect and heal wounds. The compound called berberine helps kill the bacteria responsible for this infection. This herb also helps strengthen the immune system.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of goldenseal to a cup of hot water.
- Steep for 20 minutes, then strain it.
- Use a cotton ball to apply this solution directly on the infected skin.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks.
Contemporary herbalists consider echinacea an effective remedy for staph infection. This herb contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulant properties that help ease the symptoms as well as promote recovery.
According to a 2010 study published in the Phytomedicine journal, researchers concluded that a standardized Echinacea preparation could control symptoms associated with bacterial respiratory infections.
- Apply echinacea cream or ointment topically on boils, open wounds or skin rashes a few times a day.
- Drink 1 to 2 cups of echinacea tea a day.
- You can also take echinacea supplements, after consulting your doctor.
Note: Those suffering from autoimmune disorders must avoid this herb.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very effective for treating staph infection, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid which helps fight bacteria. It also provides relief from the various skin discomforts.
- Rub some extra-virgin coconut oil gently on the affected skin so that the oil penetrates into the skin.
- Leave it on for a few hours, then wash it off.
- Reapply several times a day until the infection is gone.
You can also take a few tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil internally.
10. Eucalyptus Oil
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions of eucalyptus oil are effective against staphylococcus aureus and act as a useful broad-spectrum drug against antibiotic-resistant disease.
According to another 2010 study published in the Phytomedicine journal, the synergistic effects of eucalyptus oil are effective against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Dilute a few drops of eucalyptus oil in any carrier oil like olive or almond oil. Apply this diluted oil directly on wounds, cuts and skin infections and leave it on for a few hours before rinsing it off. Repeat twice daily for a few days.
- To help boils ripen quickly, apply a warm compress at regular intervals.
- Do not touch the affected skin if you have sores or open wounds as it may delay the healing process.
- Maintain a high level of hygiene to prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the body or to other people.
- Wash your hands properly before eating anything. Make sure to use a hand sanitizer.
- Keep wounds, cuts and abrasions clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal.
- Avoid sharing personal items with others.
- Wash clothing and bedding in hot water and dry them under direct sunlight.