Herbal Antibiotics: The Do’s and Don’ts of Weed, Seed, Feed



Have you ever used a herbal antibiotic, such as Golden Seal or Oregano Oil? Do you suspect that you have a bacterial infection? Have you heard of the traditional approach; “Weed, Seed, Feed?”

What is Weed, Seed, Feed?

Weed, Seed, Feed is a traditional herbal approach to eradicating bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections of the digestive system.

Step 1: Weed

This step is the beginning of the protocol – it refers to “weeding” out the pathogens present. This is when antibiotic herbs are applied therapeutically until the pathogens are killed off and eradicated.

This stage must be done with care and due diligence – without it, there is a strong possibility of negative reactions. When we kill bad bacteria in our digestive systems, this results in the release of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) residue – a toxin that can cause all kinds of symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhoea.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do seek the ongoing support of a fully qualified Naturopath throughout the Weed, Seed, Feed process. It’s really crucial during this step – I know you’ll want this infection gone, but it’s no good to you if you can’t participate in everyday life during the process!

Don’t guess what your infection is. If you suspect you have an infection, testing to see what the infection is, will be the first thing we do together. Not all antibiotic herbs work on all infections, so the approach of applying antibiotic herbs without knowing what you’re targeting can lead to more problems down the line and delay your healing because we’re not finding the root cause of the problem.

Step 2: Seed

This step is implemented after step 1 is complete, though sometimes these stages of treatment will overlap.

The “Seed” stage is all about repairing the gut lining from any damage done by the infection and any toxic residues released during the “Weed” stage.

Think of it like the soil in your garden – you need to make your soil fertile if you want your garden to flourish; it’s the same with your gut lining! Good gut bugs won’t want to hang around in poor quality gut environments, so seeding the gut with the right prebiotics and reducing inflammation and toxic load will absolutely create fertile grounds for your gut flora to love you back.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do eat whole, unprocessed foods during this stage. I will be able to guide you on which things to include for the best therapeutic benefit.

Don’t eat refined sugar or drink alcohol during this period of repair. Avoiding natural sugars such as dried dates, rice malt syrup, and maple syrup will also be on the agenda. These are the foods that encourage the pathogens to come back and overgrow again. I will be able to guide you on what you can have to make sure you’re not feeling like you’re missing out.

Step 3: Feed

“Feed” is the final stage of the healing process.

This step is an ongoing, lifelong commitment to establishing the best gut flora diversity possible and maintaining that for the rest of your life.

The importance of this step cannot be underestimated; once your gut flora is balanced out, your immune system will thank you and reward you in kind by preventing reinfection with the same pathogen you had at the beginning of the process.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do continue with eating a diverse diet to support a healthy microbiome for lifelong good health. Do check in with me to re-test and make sure your infection is eradicated, as well as to make sure that there is nothing else underlying that might be causing your symptoms such as food intolerance or coeliac disease.  

Don’t re-introduce refined, processed sugars back into your diet on a regular basis. Moderate natural sugars will be fine, but it’s important not to go back to creating an environment that is friendly to pathogens.

The Weed, Seed, Feed concept has been around since the dawn of Naturopathic practice and has strong roots in tradition.

That said, I like to approach this with a 21st Century mindset: herbs that have the scientific backing, as well as nutritional supplements and dietary modification, are what I use.

A personalised protocol designed for your needs, your lifestyle and the type of infection present are all essential ingredients for successful treatment.

  Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth

Naturopath