Antiviral medicinal herbs

Certain vegetables and medicinal herbs contain phytochemicals with antiviral activity. Such herbs can help the body fight viral infections.

Remedies for swine flu and other viruses

Dietary supplement SagaVita is produced from seeds of the the Icelandic angelica herb and contains copious amounts of imperatorin. Imperatorin is highly antiviral and is being studied for its possible usefulness in HIV treatment.

Voxis lozenges are produced from leaves of the angelica and contain antiviral flavonoids which research indicates can help fight viruses.

Antiviral herbs to fight virusesHerbs for swine flu?

When posed with such a threat as the swine flu, it is worth considering whether our defenses may be strengthened in natural ways.

Nature has many types of antiviral defense and plants have evolved antiviral phytochemicals over millions of years. Such compounds may be found in various species of fruit and vegetables, such as celery, tomatoes, carrots, onions and rosemary. Citrus fruit such as grapefruit and oranges are also good sources of phytochemicals with antiviral properties.

They are also found in various medicinal herbs such as:

  • Angelica archangelica
  • Thyme (Thymus praecox ssp. Arcticus)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

If a celery plant, for example, is subjected to a viral infection, the production of so-called furanocoumarins is greatly increased, resulting in the suppression of viral growth.

Prevent viral disease with these natural compounds

Furanocoumarins are an important biochemical defense and it has been shown that these compounds also have antiviral effects in people. By consuming medicinal herbs or dietary supplements, which contain these phytochemicals, it may be possible to prevent infections from viruses or to decrease their severity, should people catch them.

The Angelica archangelica contains various antiviral compounds, such as imperatorin, a furanocoumarin found in large amounts in the of the herb. Imperatorin inhibits, for instance, the replication of the HIV virus. Research is being conducted on the effects of imperatorin on the HIV virus and whether it may be used as a part of HIV treatment.


Flavonoids are a large class of compounds and some of them have antiviral properties. The Angelica archangelica, Achillea millefolium and the Thymus praecox ssp. Arcticus all contain flavonoids which inhibit growth of cold viruses as well as many other types of virus. These herbs are a very interesting topic of study, since it is believed that they have many other unidentified antiviral phytochemicals.

Consult your doctor before taking dietary supplements to prevent swine flu or other viral infections.
Our natural remedies might help, but alternative medicine does not replace regular treatment.



References: 
Imperatorin Inhibits HIV-1 Replication through an Sp1-dependent Pathway. Rochio Sancho et al. J. Biol. Chem. 279; 37349-37359, 2004
Anti-human immunodeficiency virus activity of 3,4,5-tricaffeoylquini cacid in cultured cells of lettuce leaves. Tamura H, Akioka T, Ueno K, Chuivo ; Okazaki K, King PJ, Robinson WE Jr.Mol Nutr Food Res. 50; 396-400, 2006.
Isolation and characterization of an antiviral flavonoid from Waldsteinia fragarioides. Abou-Karam M, Shier WT. J. Nat. Prod. 55; 1525-1527, 1992.
Antiviral activity of Plantago major extracts and related compounds in vitro. Chiang LC, Chiang W, Chang MY, Ng LT, Lin CC. Antiviral Res. 55; 53-62: 2000.
Antiviral activity and mode of action of caffeoylquinic acids from Schefflera heptaphylla (L) Frodi. Li Y, But PP, Ooi VE. Antiviral Res. 68: 1-9, 2005.