Nature is great it offers us many treasures, there are many plants with powerful antiviral effects that have been used for ages but were neglected by us.
Since ancient times, medicinal and aromatic plants have been used as natural treatments for various diseases, including viral infections thanks to their concentration of powerful plant compounds.
Among the plants, many were used in Ayurveda, and in Chinese medicine, reports have been published that Chinese hospitals used herbs such as mint, licorice, and astragalus with patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The Plants That Have Antivirals
What plants have antivirals? These herbs can be taken as an infusion, tincture, or capsules. Many are common in Mediterranean regions and can also be used in cooking such as basil, sage, and oregano.
The oregano is a plant of the mint family, known since ancient times for its amazing medicinal qualities. It contains plant compounds like carvacrol with antiviral properties. In one study, both oregano oil and isolated carvacrol reduced the activity of murine norovirus (MNV) within 15 minutes of exposure.
MNV is highly contagious and is the leading cause of the human stomach flu . It is very similar to human norovirus. Oregano oil and carvacrol have also been shown to exhibit antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1); against rotavirus, a common cause of diarrhea in infants and children, and against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes respiratory infections.
- To benefit from its properties you can add it to meals, especially tomato sauces. you can also take oregano oil orally, just put a few drops into a cup (237 ml) of water, gargle, and swallow it.
It is also a member of the mint family. It is an aromatic plant that has long been used in traditional medicine to treat viral infections. The antiviral properties of sage are primarily attributed to compounds called safficinolides and are found in the leaves and stem of the plant.
In vitro laboratory research indicates that this herb can fight human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which can lead to AIDS. This study only suggests the possible use of sage extracts as a topical disinfectant. It does not assess the effect internally.
Sage has also been shown to fight HSV-1 and the Indiana vesiculovirus, which infects farm animals such as horses, cows, and pigs.
- You can take 4 to 6 grams of sage leaves infused, three times a day
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There are many types of basil, including sweet or “holy” varieties of tulsi from India, that can fight certain viral infections. For example, in an in vitro study, sweet basil extracts, containing compounds such as apigenin and ursolic acid, were found to exhibit potent effects against the herpes virus, hepatitis B, and the enterovirus.
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has been shown to boost immunity, which can help fight viral infections. In a 4-week study in 24 healthy adults, supplementation with 300 mg of holy basil extract significantly increased levels of T helpers and natural killer cells. These immune cells help protect and defend the body against viral infections.
- You can start a day by having two to three fresh Tulsi leaves on an empty stomach.
The fennel is a plant with a licorice flavor that can fight certain viruses. An in vitro study showed that the extract exhibited strong effects against herpesvirus and parainfluenza type 3, which causes respiratory infections in cattle. Furthermore, trans-anethole, the main component of fennel essential oil, has shown powerful antiviral effects against the herpes virus.
According to data from animal research, fennel can also boost the immune system and decrease inflammation, which can also help fight viral infections.
- Fennel can be taken as an infusion, to make it take a teaspoon of freshly crushed fennel seed with 150ml of boiling water. They are left to rest between 10 and 15 minutes. You can have two or three cups a day.
The garlic is a popular natural remedy for a wide range of diseases, including viral infections. According to a recent study by Vietnamese researchers, the 17 sulfur compounds found in garlic inhibit ACE2 proteins in human cells and SARS-CoV-2 virus enzymes, which could reduce their infective capacity.
Previous studies have shown that garlic can have antiviral activity against influenza A and B, HIV, HSV-1, viral pneumonia, and rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. In vitro animal studies indicate that garlic improves the immune system response by stimulating protective immune cells, which defend against viral infections.
- To take advantage of its properties, garlic can be easily included in many daily recipes.
Peppermint is known to have powerful antiviral qualities and is commonly added to teas, extracts, and tinctures intended to treat viral infections naturally. Its leaves and essential oils contain active components, such as menthol and rosmarinic acid, which have antiviral properties and anti-inflammatory activity.
In vitro study, peppermint leaf extract exhibited potent antiviral activity against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and significantly decreased levels of inflammatory compounds.
- To prepare a mint infusion, take between 2-3 teaspoons and cover them with 150 ml of water and let it rest for ten minutes and drink three times a day.
The rosemary has therapeutic applications because of its numerous plant compounds, including oleanolic acid. Oleanolic acid, in studies, has shown antiviral activity against herpes, HIV, influenza, and hepatitis viruses in animals.
In addition, rosemary extract has shown antiviral effects against the herpes virus and hepatitis A, which affects the liver. Rosemary can be used in cooking to flavor all kinds of dishes.
- You can also make an infusion with a teaspoon of dried plant and 150 ml of boiling water, letting it rest for 15 minutes.
The elderberry is a shrub belonging to the family of Caprifoliaceae. The elderberry becomes a variety of products, such as tonics, pills, and juices that are used to treat viral infections naturally as influenza and the common cold. A study in mice determined that the concentrated elderberry juice suppressed the replication of the influenza virus and stimulated the response of the immune system.
Additionally, in a review of 4 studies involving 180 people, elderberry supplements were found to substantially reduce upper respiratory tract symptoms caused by viral infections.
- The infusion of elderflowers is prepared with 2-3 teaspoons of dried flowers with 150ml of boiling water poured. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and drink several times a day, especially in the second half of the day.
The Licorice has been used in traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, other natural healing traditions for centuries. It is one of the plants that have been used in Chinese hospitals for the official protocol treatment of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The studies had proven its usefulness against respiratory viruses and its antiviral action had been verified in the laboratory. The glycyrrhizin, the liquiritigenina glabridin and are only some of the active ingredients in licorice having powerful antiviral properties.
- To prepare the infusion, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried root and 150 ml of boiling water. Let stand 10-15 minutes. You can have a cup after meals.
Note: Pregnant women should not consume licorice and should not be taken for more than six weeks in a row, as in some people it can cause hypertension, edema and enhance the effect of diuretics.
Katira, also known as Gond Katira in Hindi, is a popular herb with flowers used in Ayurveda and in traditional Chinese medicine. It has polysaccharides with important antiviral qualities and immune enhancers. It is another of the plants used in China in the treatment of patients affected by COVID-19.
In vitro and animal studies show that astragalus fights herpes virus, hepatitis C, and H9 avian influenza virus and suggests that it may protect astrocytes, the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system. Recommended of 4 to 7 grams of the root of the plant per adult.
- It is convenient to choose presentations in an extract, 2–7.5 grams of powdered can be used twice daily for up to 30 days.
Ginger is a popular herb of Ayurveda it comes in products, such as elixirs, teas, and lozenges, are popular natural remedies, and for good reason. Ginger has been shown to have impressive antiviral activity thanks to its high concentration of powerful plant compounds.
Test-tube research shows that ginger extract has antiviral effects against avian influenza, RSV, and feline calicivirus (FCV), which is comparable to human norovirus. Furthermore, specific compounds in ginger, such as gingerols and zingerone, have been found to inhibit viral replication and prevent viruses from entering host cells.
- To make an infusion, two or three slices of the fresh root are taken and allowed to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Take a cup before meals.
The ginseng is the root of plants of the family Panax. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, it has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting viruses. In animal and in vitro studies, Korean red ginseng extract has exhibited significant effects against RSV, herpes virus, and hepatitis A.
Additionally, the compounds in ginseng called ginsenosides possess antiviral effects against norovirus and coxsackievirus, which are associated with several serious diseases, including meningoencephalitis.
- To take it, the best option is capsules with powdered extract, in the dose indicated by the manufacturer.
The dandelion is a weed that is easily found in the countryside. In vitro research indicates that it can fight hepatitis B, HIV, and the flu. Additionally, an in vitro study test found that dandelion extract inhibited the replication of dengue, a mosquito-borne virus. This fatal disease can trigger symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, and muscle pain.
- To make the infusion, take 1 tablespoon of dried root and let it infuse for 10 minutes in 150 ml of water. You should drink three cups a day before meals.