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58 Natural Quorum Sensing Inhibitors

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

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Bacterial infections can cause a lot of health problems. Most people suffer from infectious issues that often aren’t acute enough to cause fever or the like. If you feel like you are suffering from chronic health issues, inhibiting quorum sensing by bacteria may help your issues.

What is Quorum Sensing?

Quorum Sensing is when bacteria “sense” or try to communicate with other bacterial cells to coordinate with each, which improves survival.

When many bacteria gather in one place, enough to form a “quorum” as in the number of members needed to vote on an issue in parliamentary procedure, they are able to communicate with one another via chemical messages, or “quorum sensing” (QS).

For example, in order to form a biofilm, bacteria need to communicate with each other.

So when you “jam” these communication signals, it’s harder for bacteria to form biofilms and survive.

Quorum sensing allows the bacteria to work as en masse (as though together they made up one organism), to change their behavior and adapt to their present environment [1].

Basically, QS operates as “strength in numbers” for the bacteria to expand their territory, construct biofilm shields, defend against antimicrobial agents, and make any changes necessary to improve their chances of survival [1].

Why is it Important to Inhibit Quorum Sensing?

With the increased use of conventional antibiotics in modern medicine, there is an increasing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria [2].
The failure of the antibiotic paradigm has led to concern over whether antibiotic medicine has reached its end [2].
An additional major cause for concern is the fact that conventional antibiotics are unable to effectively address the biofilm and quorum sensing aspects of chronic infections [3, 1].
Biofilms are collections of bacteria protected by self-produced shields. These shields are not necessarily hard, but are actually more glue-like and referred to as “slime”. This slime protects the bacteria from most antibiotics and other natural antimicrobials and from the immune system of the host, making it difficult to eradicate the bacterial infection [4].
Breaking down biofilms and disrupting quorum sensing is clearly key to truly eradicating bacterial infections and restoring normal immune system function.

Then the immune system can work as it was designed to keeping the body in homeostasis and defending against invaders.

Quorum Sensing Inhibitors

Following is a list of scientifically proven quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs). Many of them are whole plant sources and others are compounds that have been isolated from the naturally occurring sources to create a more potent bacterial adversary.

  1. APOB/LDL Cholesterol [5]
  2. Curcumin [6, 7, 8, 9]
  3. Resveratrol [10]
  4. Holy basil/Tulsi
  5. EGCG [11, 1213, 9]
  6. Pomegranate [14] and Ellagic acid (found in pomegranate) [15]
  7. Quercetin [1617]
  8. Naringenin [18, 19]
  9. Amla [20]
  10. Berries: Strawberry [21, 22], Wild Blueberry [22], Raspberry [22], Cranberry [22, 14], Blackberry [22]
  11. Oregano [22, 14, 23, 24, 25]
  12. Basil [22, 14]
  13. Rosemary [22, 14]
  14. Thyme [22, 14]
  15. Clove [14, 26, 27, 28, 29]
  16. Allspice [30]
  17. Sage [14]
  18. Ginger [22]
  19. Kale [22]
  20. Garlic [31, 32]
  21. Tannic acid [33, 34, 35]
  22. Rutin [36, 37, 38]
  23. Epicatechin (EGCG, Tea, Chocolate) [13, 10]
  24. Cruciferous veggies [39, 10]
  25. Vanilla [40] and Vanillic acid [10]
  26. Proanthocyanidins/grapeseed extract [41, 10]
  27. Kaempferol (fruits and veggies) [42]
  28. Apigenin (fruits and veggies) [42]
  29. Chlorogenic acid (coffee) [10]
  30. Kynurenic acid (honey) [10]
  31. Daidzein (soy) [10]
  32. Hydroxycinnamic acids (cinnamon) [10]
  33. Cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon) [35, 43]
  34. Furocoumarins (grapefruit) [10]
  35. Limonoids (found in lemon) [10]
  36. Flavanones  (i.e., naringenin, eriodictyol, and taxifolin) [10]
  37. Salicylic acid (willow bark or aspirin) [10]
  38. Some apples [10]
  39. Cider [10]
  40. GABA [10]
  41. Rose essential oil [44]
  42. Geranium essential oil [44]
  43. Lavender essential oil [44]
  44. Rosemary essential oil [44]
  45. Alfalfa [10]
  46. Clover [10]
  47. Witch Hazel [14]
  48. Dimethyl-esculetin (artemisia) [10]
  49. Flavan-3-ol catechin [10]


  1. Lotus [10]
  2. Sassafras [14]
  3. Urolithin A and B [10]
  4. Peas and yam beans [10]
  5. Iberin (horseradish) [45]
  6. Pyrogallol [46, 10]
  7. Chaparral [14]
  8. Extracts of L. nobilis (Bay Laurel), S. oleraceus (Sow Thistle), T. capensis (Cape honeysuckle), J. sambac (jasmine), P. alba (Silver poplar tree) and P. nigra (Black poplar tree) [10, 47]
  9. Extracts of: Delisea pulchra (red algae), Medicago truncatula (barrel cover), Ananas comosus (pineapple), Musa paradiciaca (banana), Manilkara zapota (sapodilla), Hypericum connatum (a flower) [10]

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO and founder of SelfDecode. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.


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