6 Unusual Uses for Natural Probiotics

Yogurt closeup

Natural probiotics are popping up everywhere. Here are 6 unusual places you might find them.

Okay, so we’re all familiar with the importance of natural probiotics for gut health (those Activia commercials make indigestion look so fun, don’t they?) – and word has it they’re also being used in a number of wild and wacky (but apparently effective) ways. Let’s explore them, shall we?

Here are 6 unusual uses for natural probiotics:

1. Cleaning your home

The idea behind natural probiotics in household cleaners is that our cleaning products tend to temporarily sterilize the area you’ve cleaned, but there’s nothing to prevent the pathogenic bacteria from sprouting up again. By using cleaning supplies that contain probiotics, you’re essentially giving your home a shot of “good” bacteria to protect it from the “bad.”

2. Healing cuts and scrapes

Natural probiotics may also come in handy for minor injuries, like small cuts and scrapes, to keep them infection-free and reduce inflammation.

3. Maintaining oral health

Bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of icky bacteria in your mouth, so it adds up that adding natural probiotics to your oral health routine – like probiotic-spiked mouthwash or toothpaste – could help stave off a case of the nasties. There’s even a case built on the potential benefits of probiotic chewing gum. For real.

4. Fighting nasal congestion

Also coming to a medicine cabinet near you: Natural probiotics may help treat sinus congestion and other sinus issues. One study found that a probiotic supplement helped decrease “bad” bacteria in nasal passages, while another found it helped to reduce hay fever symptoms.

5. Improving skin

“Probiotics” has become a big buzz word in the beauty biz (try saying that five times fast!), and using them topically has become known as the new frontier. “The American Academy of Dermatology has called probiotics one of the new beauty breakthroughs, as they’ve been shown to help with clearer skin, decreased skin sensitivity, redness, and inflammation,” says Dr. Roshini Raj, board certified gastroenterologist and founder of TULA Skincare. “You may also see a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increased elasticity.”

6. Removing pet odors and stains

It’s been discussed through the grapevine that natural probiotics are great for removing stains – simply open a capsule and rub onto the affected area. Apparently, it’s especially effective removing pet odors and stains, because it’s the only type of cleaner that can penetrate through biofilm: An invisible layer that protects “bad” bacteria (which probably explains why, even after cleaning a pet stain, it never feels truly gone).

What other unusual uses for natural probiotics have you heard of?

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Image: Janine

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).