The SHTF day has finally arrived, and you are sitting proud on a mountain of survivalist knowledge, food, tools and utensils. You have a stockpile of water, and there is even a trash can root cellar in your backyard. All the bases are covered, right? Wrong. Perhaps you need to take a long look at your medicinal supplies again, because you are probably lacking a cache of survival antibiotics.

What Antibiotics Do

To clear the air of any misunderstandings, antibiotics are medications used to treat infections and diseases caused from harmful bacteria, such as:

  • Ear pain
  • Sinus infections
  • Whooping cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sore throat
  • Strep throat
  • ColdFlu
  • And more

Antibiotics work by blocking the effects of bacteria on the system then either kills the bacteria or stops them from multiplying. These medicines can be either broad spectrum or narrow spectrum. Broad spectrum will often kill both good and bad bacteria.

Why You Need to Stockpile Antibiotics

So you got a little paper cut. Psh, big deal. But that there is the kind of thinking that can do you in. A scratch is not just a scratch in a survival situation. It could be the end-all of your days.​

How so?

Think about it. Right now, even with medical advancements being as great as they are, millions of people in America alone get severe sepsis [1]. 28-50% of those people die, even after hospitalization. Bacterial skin infections (like staph infection) have a mortality rate of 11%. It takes just a little scratch, some bacteria, and improper first aid and ointment to send you down the road of no return.

Before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, there were only 3 true ways to get through an infection. Those methods included chopping off the afflicted limb, making a remedy out of natural poultice, or waiting to see if the immune system would eventually do its job. But other things have helped humans with overcoming sepsis, septicemia, and other infections. That would be hygiene, like hand-washing, garbage disposal, sewage, clean water, and better shelter.

But when a SHTF scenario occurs, you cannot expect the stuff you take for granted to stick around. You will not have the chance to take daily showers, dispose of waste properly, keep food from spoiling, or even eating properly.

Do you see the importance of antibiotics now? Good. Because now you get to learn about antibiotics and how to make or procure a decent stock of them to survive should some kind of pandemonium be unleashed.​

bug out bag

The Antibiotic Options

So there are a couple of routes you can take to procure the problem amount of antibiotics to last you a while. The first is an actual pharmaceutical that was not made for people but contains the exact same ingredients. I am talking about “fish antibiotics.” Just like fish antibiotics are meant to cure Fin of ick, they can cure you of infection.

Also, a little caveat: unless a doctor is unavailable or you cannot make it to somewhere where professional aid is available, never try to diagnose or treat a problem without proper medical care. These antibiotics are effective but not something to be take willy-nilly.​

The 7 Best Fish Antibiotics

1. Ciprofloxacin – Known as “Fish Flox.” This is the best antibiotic for curing urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory tract infections (bronchitis, pneumonia), prostate infections, bacterial diarrhea, anthrax, and diverticulitis. Never have pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children take ciprofloxacin.

2. Metronidazole – When taken with Fish Flox (ciprofloxacin), this is the best antibiotic for treating diverticulitis and colitis. Without the ciprofloxacin pairing, metronidazole (also known as “Fish Zole”) works against anaerobic bacteria in the intestine and helps with bacterial vaginosis, meningitis, diabetic foot ulcers, bone and joint infections, brain and lung abscesses, and other infections. Like ciprofloxacin, this cannot be taken by children, pregnant or nursing women.

3. Amoxicillin – Usually sold as “Fish Mox,” amoxicillin works on a similar vein of penicillin and cephalexin by tackling respiratory infections, like bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, as well as middle ear infections. Amoxicillin is safe for pregnant women and children, but some people are allergic to it. In that case, consider number 4 on the list.

4. Erythromycin – Similar to amoxicillin in use but safe for those with penicillin and amoxicillin allergies. Pregnant women and children can use it as well. Erythromycin treats respiratory infections and middle ear infections as well as syphilis, Lyme disease, and chlamydia. That said, while it may seem like the perfect antibiotic to store, there are several possible side effects including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

5. Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim – Also known as “Bird Sulfa” or “SMZ-TMP.” These are two separate antibiotics that need to be taken together for maximum effectiveness. When combined, SMZ-TMP treats most respiratory infections, but the main purpose is for UTIs. For survivalists, SMZ-TMP is prized for its ability to treat methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is usually resistant to many antibiotics.

6. Azithromycin – This one is kind of expensive due to rarity, but if you can get your hands on it, you will not regret it. It is a cure-all. Azithromycin treats respiratory infections, chlamydia, Lyme disease, PID, syphilis, typhoid, and malaria. The chance of side effects is small but may include abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. When searching the web for stock, use the name “Zithromax.”

7. Ampicillin – Though similar in makeup to penicillin, ampicillin is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Ampicillin, also known as “Fish Cillin,” is actually more effective against anthrax. Use it for respiratory tract infections, bacterial meningitis, UTIs, gastrointestinal infections, salmonellosis, and endocarditis. Pregnant and nursing women can use ampicillin.

The downside to any of these is that they need refrigeration to extend their shelf life, so you may want to consider building some kind of natural refrigeration system, like a zeer pot, to keep them cool should electricity be lost. While it is not necessary, you want to make sure these antibiotics stay usable for as long as possible. But, the good news is that even beyond the expiration date, these remain good for a year.

Help! Where Can You Buy These?

You will rarely find fish and bird antibiotics available on Amazon, but there are survivalist and camping websites out there that can fulfill your needs. Some of these online stores will not ship outside of specific regions, so keep that in mind. Many people do report simply going to the pet store to by Fish Flox, Fish Cillin, Bird and Fish Sulfa, and FIsh Mox, which makes sense because these are indeed intended for fish, not human use. However, just because it says “not intended for human use,” does not mean the ingredients are not the same.

Other Antibiotic Possibilities

Fish and bird antibiotics might be good enough to last you a year or so, depending on what you have in stock. But, what if you cannot get any of those antibiotics prior to a survival situation? Or what if you need natural alternatives? Medicine is everywhere in the wilderness if you know where to look. This includes food ingredients, poultices, essential oils, tinctures, and teas.

Many people overlook the power of decent nutrition. Even in a SHTF situation where earth is left charred and the sky is a roiling mass of clouds, the preppers will have enough food stored to make do until a more fertile region is found.

Be sure to stockpile foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, pineapples, cantaloupes, oranges, lemons, limes, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and spinach. These can be dried, pickled, canned, and preserved for eating at a later date.

Next, consider some of this planet’s most powerful antibiotics:​

1. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

A natural antiseptic and antibiotic, apple cider vinegar is often used in detoxes and as a topical astringent. It has properties that clear the sinuses, heal skin disorders, and reduce joint pain. Therefore, if you have an open wound, you can use apple cider vinegar to help disinfect the area; and if you are having stomach issues, a couple tablespoons can soothe the discomfort.

Stockpiling is easy enough, but making your own apple cider vinegar is both foolproof and cheap. Here is a recipe adapted from Tales of a Kitchen:


  • 3 organic apples, preferably ones will high juice content. (Organic is best because you can use everything, including the peel. Conventional apples have too much pesticides on the peel for it to be usable.)
  • 3 teaspoons raw sugar
  • Filtered water


​1. Wash and chop the apples into medium-sized chunks. You can use the peels and cores too. Place them in a sterilized wide mouth jar. When sterilizing the jar, make sure to rinse it thoroughly. Any residue, soap or otherwise, can spoil the recipe.

2. Mix the sugar into 1 cup of water and pour over the apples.

3. Add more water to just cover the apples.

4. Cover the mouth of the jar with a paper towel or cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. This prevents contaminants from getting into the fluid.

5. Place the mixture in a dark, warm place for about 3 weeks. Note that bubbles mark the beginning of fermentation.

6. Once 3 weeks has passed, drain the liquid, discard the apple, and then return the liquid to the container. Recover with cheesecloth or another breathable fabric. Make sure it is secured.

7. Again, put the liquid back in the dark, warm place for another 4 to 6 weeks. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. You do not have to ritualized with how often you stir. Sometimes you can leave it alone for a few days.

8. After 4 weeks, taste the vinegar to see if it is to your liking. If it tastes okay, you can begin using it immediately.

If you decide to double the batch, do so after giving a few small batches a go to learn the process. After that, an ongoing supply of apple cider vinegar will be easily achieved.​

2. Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil

There are many purported benefits to cinnamon and its leaves. Cinnamon leaf essential oil is super effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria, making it a powerful antibiotic all in itself. You can use it to disinfect tools, utensils, and more. It also builds up the immune system, improves circulation, and helps regulate insulin. Another added bonus is that the scent of cinnamon is an insect repellent, so you can keep dangerous infections from bug bites at bay.

3. Frankincense


Also known as boswellia serrata, this plant has been used to treat inflammation and inflammatory diseases for a long time. The boswellic acids found in Frankincense aid in healthy skin cell regeneration, strengthens gums and hair roots, stops wounds from bleeding, and accelerates the healing process of cuts, bites, boils, and other skin conditions. When taken as a tonic, Frankincense works to break up phlegm and provides relief with bronchitis, treats mouth sores and infections.

4. Chives, Leeks, Garlic, and Onions

All of these act in some way as an antibiotic, fungicide, and antiviral medication. Studies done by cancer research centers have proven that garlic, onions, and to a lesser extent leeks and chives can remove toxins from the blood cells. The allicin compound found in any plant from the allium (onion) family are high in antioxidants and can prevent and soften the symptoms of the flu and common cold.


5. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

This type of oil is so effective, you need it on your list for pandemic treatment. Benefits include relief from bronchitis, cold sores, colds, flu, and sinusitis. Lemon eucalyptus has also been tested as an alternative to DEET to repel insects that can cause bacterial infections and other diseases.

6. Lemons and Limes

lemons and lime

So you may have heard tales about how long ago ships moving between continents would carry an overflow of lemons with them to treat scurvy, which is true. Miraculously, lemon and lime juice also have antibiotic effects thanks to the flavonoids. When paired with vitamin C, lemons and limes become cape-wearing antibiotic superfoods.

7. Aloe

aloe vera

In 2012, a study published in the Australasian Medical Journal provided some convincing results on the effectiveness of aloe vera as an antibiotic. The study looked at weeping, pus-ridden leg ulcers and what happened when aloe vera was applied topically. In 28 out of 30 ulcers, the application of aloe vera prohibited the growth of new bacteria, and showed that it was powerful even against multi-drug resistant organisms. Aloe sap can also be used for treating burns and reducing swelling and pain. Just beware of aloe venenosa, the poisonous variety of aloe, that has red tinges on the tips of its leaves and spots.

8. Manuka Honey

Manuka Flowers

Regular old honey will not cut it when you have eye, ear, and sinus infections or open wounds in need of antibiotic care. Manuka honey, which comes from the Manuka tree in New Zealand, has even stronger healing properties than the regular stuff [4]. But it has to be the real deal with methylglyoxal and several other factors that rank it high on the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) scale. For manuka honey to be therapeutic, it needs a rating of at least 10.

9. Olive Leaf

olive leaf

A powerful antioxidant, olive leaves have properties that make them anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. Olive leaf is used for treating infections like influenza, H1N1, the common cold, bacterial meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, STI/STDs, blood poisoning from bacterial infections, UTIs, and much more.

10. Peppermint Essential Oil

Due to the menthol compound in peppermint, it is a powerful natural antibiotic. That is why you often find peppermint in mouthwash and toothpaste. Apart from the aromatherapy uses, rubbing peppermint essential oil on your skin can even make bruises heal more quickly. Just do not use with pregnant women and keep it away from your eyes.

11. Grapefruit Seed Extract

The main component that makes grapefruit seed oil awesome is the evidence supporting its use for treating antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections when taken orally for 2 week. The oil is also a fabulous antifungal and antimicrobial. That is why you often find grapefruit seed extract used in nasal sprays, throat sprays, ear drops, toothpaste, mouthwash, shower gels, and wound disinfectant sprays.

12. Turmeric


There is a lot of studies happening right now about the effectiveness of turmeric and the curcumin it contains. Turmeric is a known antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial root; but recent studies suggest it can even fight MRSA infections. The oil for turmeric, when combined with other natural acids and known antibiotics, like penicillin, actually killed the MRSA.

Using turmeric with honey boosts in outstanding antibiotic effects of both. Together these ingredients become effective against respiratory diseases and can lower blood pressure. Here is a recipe for “golden honey:”


  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) raw, organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic turmeric powder


1. Determine the size of the batch you would like to make. For every 100 grams of organic honey, add 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric powder.

2. Mix the ingredients well and place the honey in a glass container for saving.

3. When symptoms of a cold, for example, begin, take ½ teaspoon of golden honey every 1-2 hours. On day 2, take ½ teaspoon every 2-3 hours. Then, on day 3, take the same amount every 3-4 hours.

4. Alternatively to taking a teaspoon, you can add golden honey to tea.​

All the items listed above are just the beginning to building up an all-natural first aid kit. There are more plants, fruits, and vegetables out there with subtler antibiotic properties like acacia, bergamot, lavender, sage, thyme, and wormwood.​

Life Without Antibiotics

Can you survive without antibiotics? Before the invention of these miraculous drugs, the thought was no, humans could not overcome some superbugs without aid. However, nowadays, new superbugs with less weaknesses are being introduced into the world. Ever hear of ESKAPE? That stands for Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Enterobacter. These are superbugs that dwell in hospitals all around the world...and there is no adequate treatment for them yet.

Kind of makes you wonder if when SHTF if these superbugs will be to blame.

That is why is so crucial to you and your family’s survival to understand how to combine the aforementioned antibiotics and natural supplements to bolster your immune systems. While there may be no medical relief in an unexpected survival situation, knowing how to satisfactorily care for and treat infections organically will save the day.

There is no single most effective means to treating infections. Get synergistic. Stock up on fish and bird antibiotics while you can, prepare the apple cider vinegar, essential oils, and golden honey. When the day does come, you will be 100-percent prepared.

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