The lack of effective and safe solutions for the most of viral diseases is one of the factors that has played a significant role in discovery of some amazing herbs with antiviral properties. However, it is just one factor and human developing antiviral drug resistance to extremely expensive antiviral therapies is a few others to name. Whatever are the reasons, we should be happy that ultimately herbs have done what antiviral drugs of modern medicines could not. In fact, if you compare the two in terms of effectiveness, cost and adverse effects to overall health, antiviral herbs emerge as a clear winner. Yes, we now have more than a few herbs with antiviral properties, but where is the solution to all the viral infections? Antiviral herbs have been discovered long back, but no one exactly knows which herb to use when. Also there are many other factors related to healing viral diseases with herbs that are often left out.
So, rather than believing anyone without the core knowledge of herbs, let us see some antiviral herbs that are proven to have antiviral effect by researchers. A large number of studies conducted on herbs in the last decade have tested herbs for their antiviral properties. Here are some medicinally proven antiviral herbs that you too can use.
Echinacea is these days sold as tea bags and people are loving it for its health benefits. However, only a few know about its antiviral abilities. The extract of Echinacea was initially used in North America to deal with the symptoms of colds, influenza, and other diseases. If you observe carefully, all these are viral infections. The traditional belief that led to the use of Echinacea all over the world was its impact on immunity. In addition to improving the immunity, the herb also has unbeatable antiviral impact. “Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections” published in a reputed journal for medicine- Pharmaceuticals talked about its antiviral properties in detail.
You can easily get Echinacea in the form of extracts, tinctures, teas, sprays etc. These Echinacea products are usually derived from various parts of one or more of three species of Echinacea: E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallid. Although these are no studies comparing the effects, it is assumed that the basic healing properties of all three species are the same.
Essential oils derived from oregano leaves are widely recognized for their antimicrobial activity, antiviral as well as antifungal properties. Although the use of this herbal oil dates back to ancient times, scientific evidences are recently found to support the antiviral herbs like oregano. For instance, a study published in the year 2017 “Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties” published by a leading journal Medicine proved
scientifically that this magical herb has strong antiviral abilities that can defeat any virus. In addition to this, the research also gave evidences that the herbal oil carry potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and cancer suppressor agents.
“Herbal plants and plant preparations as remedial approach for viral diseases” from publication – VirusDisease has listed Astragalus root as a prominent weapon to fight with all sort of viral infections. This herb also has rich history of medicinal usage in different cultures. Like many other herbs, the evidences of its use are from traditional Chinese medicines, however, now it is available in every corner of the world.
Licorice is a common herb which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries And today, licorice root is one of the most commonly used antiviral herbs. Although this also is famous for its immunity enhancing impact, there are several other health benefits of the same. People use licorice root extract to fight with skin problems. Some drink licorice root tea to keep allergies at bay. There are more than a dozen benefits of the having this healthy herb, but we are here to see herbs with antiviral properties.
Many studies have indicated that the two triterpenoids present in licorice root, GL16, 17 and GA18, are responsible for the antiviral activity. “The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb” in one such study that talk about the antiviral power of the herb. You can easily get dried root of licorice, or even the powder of the herb online as well as offline from a nearby health store.
All the above listed antiviral herbs might sound new to you. Actually they are ages old, but they have recently gained popularity. But, you would be surprised to know that something as common as ginger also possesses surprising antiviral abilities. Yes, the ginger you must be adding to food to have a nice flavor is actually a medicinal herb. Just like many other antiviral herbs, this too has several medicinal uses. Talking about research conducted on ginger, you can get plenty of studies. One worth mentioning study is “Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines.” The antiviral impact can be clearly seen by the results of experiments conducted by scientists. So, next time you suffer from any viral infection, just add more and more ginger to your food.
Several studies have reported a wide range and strongly effective antimicrobial activity for curcumin, a compound found in turmeric. There are separate studies proving the antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimalarial activities of curcumin present in turmeric. However, if you want to have a quick overview of most of the medicinal abilities of the yellow colored herb, “A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin” published in Biomed Research International is the one.
It has been proved again and again that turmeric as a plant derivative has a wide range of antiviral activity against different class of viruses. You too can utilize the goodness of the herbal powder by simply adding it to veggies, soups or even the glass of hot milk you drink before going to bed.
Ocimum basilicum is also known by the name sweet basil. It is slightly different from the normal basil in looks. However, if we talk about the medicinal properties, sweet basil defeats the normal herb. Sweet basil is a well known medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine preparations. People have been using the herb for several purposes. But, recently it was in news because of the potent antiviral properties scientists revealed. “Antiviral activities of extracts and selected pure constituents of Ocimum basilicum.” Is one such study, and trust me on this, there are many others.
S JOHN’S WORT
“Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Antiviral Effects of Hypericin, a Derivative of St. John’s Wort Plant, in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection” speaks of the ability of St. John’s Wort. By the way, do you know what St. John’s Wort is? It is a common name for an ages old medicinal species- hypericum perforatum. Because of its popularity in many countries, it is the only species cultivated commercially for herbalism and medicine. Although it is very popular today in different countries of the world especially as an antidepressant, among the hypericum medicinal herbs, Hypericum perforatum is a potential plant for curing many chronic and life threatening diseases like cancer, tumour, AIDS, etc.
So, we have both, traditional evidences of effectiveness and the support of several research proofs that make St. John’s Wort an antiviral herb, right? All of the antiviral herbs are actually extensively being used since many centuries. You can rely on them if you believe in your ancestors. However, people are more skeptical about everything they want to try because of misinformation present over the internet. Hence we decide to dig a bit deeper and see what these herbs have in store for humans. Eventually we found that not only our ancestors tales, but even science in nowadays singing the tunes of herbs. Herbs are being researched on a large scale and the above listed antiviral herbs are a result of just the beginning.
There definitely are many other medicinal herbs that may also possess antiviral properties. But, according to the research conducted so far, these are probably some of the best herbs with antiviral properties. You too can use them in case you are struggling to get rid of any viral infection. Which one among the antiviral herbs is best cannot be said clearly. But, one fact that clearly emerges of the efforts put by scientists is that all of these antiviral herbs are definitely more effective, stronger, and safer than any other method of treating viral disease.