The pandemic has made everyone even more focused on safeguarding public health. While many cutting-edge medical advancements can help keep us safe, it’s also worth looking back on old-school methods of staying healthy, like integrating antiviral herbs into your diet and home remedies.
Here’s a list of six antiviral herbs worth adding to your home gardens and pantries.
Various studies demonstrate the medicinal effect of sage on viral infections. A 2014 review shows the therapeutic potential of sage species in providing a natural solution for the relief or cure of diseases such as dementia, lupus, heart disease, and cancer, as well as common illnesses.
An earlier study published in 2008 shows how aqueous extracts from sage, peppermint, and lemon balm present significant anti-HIV-1 activity by raising the vision density.
A chemical compound called carvacrol is found in oregano, along with members of the mint family. After just 15 minutes of exposure to the murine norovirus (MNV), both oregano oil and carvacrol decreased the activity of the virus. MNV is very contagious and is the main cause of the stomach flu.
Other studies demonstrate the antiviral activity of oregano oil and carvacrol in treating the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and rotavirus.
Fennel, a member of the carrot family, is known for its distinct licorice flavor, and its antiviral activity against some viruses.
A 2014 study shows fennel’s potent antiviral activity against parainfluenza type 2 (PI-3) and herpes virus. This could be because of the presence of the chemical constituent trans-anethole in fennel essential oil, which is effective against herpes.
Garlic, a member of the Allium family (which includes shallots, chives, leeks, and onions) is already a popular remedy for viral infections and other conditions. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory compounds that can help stimulate the immune system which in turn protects the body against viral infections.
A study published in the International Journal of Dermatology looked at how effective garlic extract is when applied twice daily to warts caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Each of the 23 participants found that their warts were gone in only one to two weeks.
Lemon balm is a great ingredient to add to salad dressings, seasonings, and tea, as it contains plant compounds that demonstrate antiviral activity and are beneficial for our bodies.
These plant compounds, according to this 2016 study, show efficacy against the influenza A virus.
There are some varieties of basil, like holy and sweet basil, that show promise in combatting viral infections.
Holy basil also called tulsi, may help improve immune response to viral infections, inhibiting the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 and ACE2. The immune system is boosted by the compound eugenol, found within holy basil.
Sweet basil, on the other hand, has compounds of ursolic acid and apigenin, which demonstrate powerful antiviral effects against hepatitis B, herpes, and enterovirus.