12 Ways to Get Rid of MRSA & How to Use Them

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that has grown resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin, hence the name [1].

Infections caused by this bacterium are usually minor such as boils and sores, but can also be serious, dangerous and difficult to treat [1, 2].

Examples of life threatening conditions are pneumonia, sepsis, and bloodstream infections [3].

People who work in hospitals and healthcare facilities, as well as those who have weak immune system are at risk of MRSA infections [1, 4].

The good news is, MRSA is only resistant to antibiotics, and not to natural remedies.

Here are some that you should try to combat infections caused by this bacterium.

1. Tea Tree Oil

Known for its “broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity,” tea tree oil has been widely investigated by researchers [5].

Experts explain that most of its antimicrobial mechanisms can be attributed to its components namely, terpinen-4-ol, 1,8-cineole and alpha-terpineol [5].

Several studies show that it works even on antibiotic-resistant microbes such as MRSA [6, 7, 8, 9].

Australian researchers did a comparative analysis of the efficacy of two antibacterial preparations in eliminating drug-resistant microbes [6].

The first one was a combination of percent tea tree oil body wash and 4 percent tea tree oil nasal ointment, while the other was a combination of 2 percent mupirocin based nasal ointment and a body wash made with triclosan chemical [6].

Results demonstrate tea tree oil’s superiority over the standard combination but further studies should be done on a larger scale [6].

In another study also conducted by Australian researchers, it was reported that tea tree oil can destroy up to 66 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus [7].

As for kill time, tea tree oil can eradicate these harmful microorganisms within a 24-hour timeframe [9].

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils.
  • Apply oil mixture on skin infection.
  • Repeat once or twice a day until infection clears.

2. Garlic

It was in 1944 when allicin, the main compound in garlic, was recognized as a potent antimicrobial phytochemical [10].

Since then, garlic’s antibacterial actions have become the subject of numerous studies [11, 12, 13].

It has also become a household remedy for all sorts of bacterial infections.

Interestingly, it also has significant inhibitory effects on MRSA, as proven in a laboratory experiment performed by Taiwanese researchers [14].

They conclude that oral intake of garlic dramatically reduced the negative impact of MRSA in the liver, spleen, kidney and bloodstream [14].

These findings support the theories that garlic has “multiple protective functions” against the infectious diseases caused by MRSA [14].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Crush 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Boil water.
  • Add crushed garlic to hot water.
  • Drink the solution two to three times a day for one week.
  • Grind the remaining garlic cloves.
  • Apply on infected skin.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  • Repeat remedy everyday for one week.

3. Honey

The potency of honey as an antibacterial agent has been confirmed in scientific research [15].

Scientists from the United Kingdom have also become fascinated by honey’s actions against microbes that are resistant to antibiotics.

Their clinical data reveals that Manuka honey inhibited the growth and spread of MRSA by up to 20 percent [16].

After MRSA isolates were exposed to this type of honey, it was observed that their cell division was disrupted [16].

Honey is particularly effective for skin infections caused by MRSA as it also has wound healing properties that speed up recovery [17].

Researchers also believe that honey is even more effective in combating MRSA when it is combined with antibiotics [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Spread a thin layer of honey on infected skin.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Pat it dry thoroughly.
  • Follow this treatment method once a day for one week.

4. Oregano Oil

The oil extracted from the oregano plant has been widely used as a flavoring agent in food and alcoholic drinks [18].

Apart from this, oregano oil is also known for its antibacterial properties.

Researchers have observed that this essential oil can successfully inhibit the growth and biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus [19, 20].

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A study published in the FEMS Microbiology Letters indicated that oregano oil worked not only on “methicillin-susceptible” but also on methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococci [21].

Using an agar dilution test, researchers found that oregano oil worked almost as effectively as thymol and carvacrol in eliminating MRSA [21].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Blend oregano and olive oil.
  • Apply mixture on affected skin.
  • Repeat twice daily for four to five days.

5. Turmeric

A group of researchers from Brazil examined the efficacy of photodynamic therapy using turmeric’s main compound curcumin on methicillin-resistant bacteria [22].

Results show that the combination of light and curcumin had killed the bacterial strains by reducing cell metabolism by up to 80 percent, offering an “alternative treatment for eradicating MRSA” [22].

Many other studies verify turmeric’s antibacterial activities whether used independently or in combination with antibiotics [23, 24, 25].

Various forms of turmeric extract have been found potent in preventing MRSA from invading healthy cells, reports a study conducted in South Korea [23].

A 2013 study recommends using curcumin to create new antibiotics for the treatment of MRSA infections [24].

Scientists from Iran, meanwhile, reveal that curcumin has the ability to enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics in suppressing the activities of drug-resistant microbes [25].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix turmeric powder and water to form a paste.
  • Smear paste on the skin.
  • Do this remedy once a day for one week.

6. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has been used since the ancient times to treat microbial infections [26].

Its antibacterial actions against various strains of bacteria have been proven in many studies [27, 28, 29, 30].

Iranian scientists report that eucalyptus works against 56 strains of Staphylococcus aureus, 12 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, 25 strains of Streptococcus pyogenes and seven strains of Haemophilus influenzae [27].

All these bacterial isolates are known to cause respiratory infections [27].

Not surprisingly, eucalyptus is also a powerful “anti-MRSA agent,” a viable alternative to killing and inhibiting the growth of microorganisms that are resistant to conventional antibacterial agents [31].

It was observed during the experiment that both the essential oil and water extract of Eucalyptus oil worked in combating MRSA [31].

The effects of the essential oil, however, are slightly stronger compared to the water extract [31].

Responsible for this action is its main component called 1,8-cineole [32, 33].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute eucalyptus oil in jojoba oil.
  • Apply mixture on skin.
  • Do this technique everyday for a week.

7. Rosemary

Most people know about rosemary’s antidepressant effects, and how it can effectively uplift the mood and reduce anxiety [34].

Now, apart from boosting one’s emotional well-being, rosemary also works on the physical level, combating bacterial infections before they affect one’s body.

Rosemary’s inhibitory actions against Staphylococcus aureus have been validated in a 2004 study done by American researchers [35].

Contributing to its antibacterial mechanisms are several compounds that have been identified in the study, and these include carnosic acid, carnosol and 12-methoxy-trans-carnosic acid [35].

This highly potent herb works by decreasing the number of bacteria and damaging the bacteria’s cell walls [36].

Whether used alone or in combination with an antibiotic like cefuroxime, rosemary can efficiently destroy drug-resistant microbes such as MRSA [37].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of rosemary leaves
  • 5 drops of rosemary oil
  • 3 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil water and add rosemary leaves.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain the leaves.
  • Add rosemary oil.
  • Use this solution to wash affected skin once daily until symptoms disappear.

8. Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf enjoys the distinction of being the “first botanical mentioned in the Bible” [38].

Since the ancient times, it has been used to cure a wide array of ailments including bacterial infections [38].

Responsible for its antibacterial mechanisms are the polyphenols in olive leaf [39].

Olive leaf can fight many different strains of bacteria such as E. coli, K. pneumoniae, Salmonella and the hard-to-treat MRSA [38].

This herbal remedy can cure not only those infections caused by MRSA, but also those that are triggered by other strains of bacteria.

  1. coli and Salmonella for example can cause food poisoning while K. pneumonia is often the culprit in pneumonia cases.

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of olive leaf extract
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add olive leaf extract to water.
  • Use this to rinse affected skin after bathing.
  • Repeat daily until condition improves.

9. Geranium Oil

Since the Middle Ages, essential oils such as geranium have been used for various purposes—as an anti-inflammatory, anesthetic, sedative, flavoring for foods and so on [39].

The volatile compounds in these oils have also been found potent against microbial infections [39].

In 2012, researchers from Poland assessed the antibacterial properties of geranium oil against one standard strain of Staphylococcus aureus and 70 of its clinical strains [40].

Results yielded from the experiment reveal that geranium oil has strong inhibitory actions against all the bacterial strains, including those that are multidrug resistant [40].

If you suffer from an infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, and the condition keeps on coming back, it’s a good idea to try controlling it with the help of geranium oil.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of geranium oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine geranium oil and olive oil.
  • Gently rub oil solution on infected skin.
  • Repeat three times a day for one week.

10. Grapefruit Extract

Grapefruit comes from an evergreen tree that grows in tropical countries in Asia [41].

It has various uses in traditional medicine, including treating acne, toning the skin, and inhibiting bacterial activities [41].

In a study published in the Phytochemistry Journal, it was reported that grapefruit oil extract has strong inhibitory effects on antibiotic-resistant pathogens like MRSA [42].

In addition, it enhanced the efficacy of some antibiotics which normally could no longer control MRSA infections [42].

If your doctor has prescribed you medications that don’t seem to work, you can try using grapefruit extract to enhance their efficacy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of grapefruit extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Blend the two oils in a jar.
  • Spread a small amount on your skin.
  • Follow this remedy twice daily for one week.

11. Echinacea

Echinacea has long been recognized for its ability to inactivate different strains of viruses and bacteria that cause infection in the respiratory tract [43].

It is also effective in curbing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that trigger the body’s inflammatory response [43].

A study conducted by a team of scientists from Switzerland and Canada show that an herbal formulation made with Echinacea was effective in controlling both sensitive and resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus [44].

The product has been found to exert a two-fold action against drug-resistant respiratory bacteria: suppressing the bacteria and reducing inflammation [44].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of Echinacea
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Add Echinacea.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cover, and steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Stir in honey.
  • Drink the tea twice a day until infection is cured.

12. Thyme

Thyme is a popular herb that’s commonly used to spice up dishes in different parts of the world.

As a traditional medicine, it has also become known for its vast array of curative purposes.

A comparative analysis of the antibacterial effects of thyme and eucalyptus reports that both essential oils can inhibit the growth and spread of MRSA [45].

Thymol is the active compound in thyme that’s believed to contribute to its antibacterial mechanism [45].

Another study confirms that thyme does not only stop MRSA but also many different strains of bacteria [46].

Using this remedy is actually a great way to keep infectious diseases at bay.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 cup of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Steep thyme in a cup of warm water.
  • Use this to wash infected areas of the skin.
  • Do this technique three times a day for one week.

Control infections caused by MRSA with the help of natural remedies that this bacterium has not yet grown resistant of.