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What are viruses?

Viruses are the microorganisms smaller even than human cells and bacteria, which makes it difficult for science to define and explain them. This has hindered the development of virus fighting medication. Although scientists have been able to develop antibiotics that effectively kill bacteria and other organisms, there are only a few antiviral drugs such as those used in the treatment of herpes and the damage caused by AIDS.

Traditional herbal remedies for viral infections

In the meantime, some traditional herbal remedies have been recognized by science for their anti-viral properties.

Echinacea. A few species of Echinacea have been used in the traditional medicine to treat viruses, and their effectiveness can be attributed to the presence of caffeic acid, chicoric acid, and echinacin, the substances that resist viruses. In addition, Echinacea stimulates the immune response and thus contains a viral infection, although this is still debated among researchers. Astragalus. Also known as huang qi, this herb originating from China is considered an immunity booster as confirmed by studies performed in patients affected with the Coxsackie B virus. Dragon’s blood. This herb is also referred to as sangre de drago or sagregado. It is used to treat sores resulting from the herpes infection, and this antiviral action is enabled by the compounds called taspine and dimethylcedrusine which aid the healing of wounds. Garlic. This kitchen herb abounds in sulfur-based compounds that are effective against flu virus. Two daily capsules of garlic are a recommended treatment against colds, the flu and few other infections caused by viruses. These properties are shared by the onion, but this plant is not as effective as garlic in this form. Goldenseal herb. This plant is another immune-stimulant thanks to the content of the compound called berberine. Juniper. An antiviral compound called deoxypodophyllotoxin found in many species of the juniper plant inhibits the development of herpes, flu and many other viruses. Lemon balm. It is another effective herb against herpes and other viral infections. Another name for lemon balm is Melissa and it is used to make an herbal tea. Licorice. It is a powerful anti-viral agent, which blocks the virus from entering body’s cells and inhibits its replication thanks to glycyrrhizin antiviral compounds. Licorice can be consumed as tea. A cup of boiling water is poured over a few teaspoons of dried chopped licorice root and left for 10 minutes before drinking. Shiitake mushroom. This Asian mushroom contains lentinan, a substance which exhibits strong antiviral properties. Eucalyptus. Tannic acid, hyperoside and quercitrin are just some of the compounds found in this herb that helps get rid of viruses. Other herbs - Ginger has ten antiviral compounds that can be benefited from by drinking ginger tea or putting the herb in food in large amounts. The same antiviral agents are found in Turmeric. Fosythia and honeysuckle are also used in the treatment of viral infections.

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