It seems like every week, another product is being recalled because of food-borne illnesses, like Salmonella and E. coli. So, if those stories have you thinking each meal could be your last, it’s time to spice up your cooking. That’s because herbs and spices like thyme and cinnamon do more than add flavor. The oils from these plants pack a powerful, antimicrobial punch. Here’s a list of the most potent germ-fighters:

Let’s start with: **Oregano**. It contains a compound called carvacrol (“CARVE-uh-kruhl”) which is so effective at killing E. coli that the U.S. Agricultural Research Service is looking at ways to use it in food packaging!

Super seasoning #2: Basil. Researchers at Kansas State University found that the oils in basil are effective at killing listeria, staph, and even the bugs that cause colds and flu.

The third seasoning goes after bacteria, viruses, and even fungal infections: Garlic. Experts say that the same chemical that gives garlic its flavor also kills germs. For more punch, use fresh garlic instead of powder.

Natural antibiotic #4: Thyme.
Thyme was once used in surgical dressings…… It was also an ingredient in the first antiseptic mouthwashes. And it kills parasites, like hookworms and roundworms.

The final health-boosting spice: Cinnamon.
In tests at Weber State University, cinnamon oil was more effective than the antibiotic Ampicillin at inhibiting the growth of staph infections.

If you’re wondering whether spicing up your food will really help keep you healthy, consider this: Germs don’t mutate when they’re exposed to plant oils……Which means they’re effective even against antibiotic-resistant bacteria……