Since ancient times, herbs and plants have been used as natural treatments for viral infections. Many herbs are favored by practitioners of natural medicine due to their concentration of potent plant compounds, which help fight viruses. At the same time, certain herbs have been proven to help fight viruses, but you should take herbs with a grain of salt. Here are four plants that have been widely used as antivirals.
Sage is another aromatic herb, like mint, and it’s a part of the mint family. It’s used in traditional medicine to treat viral infections and is known for its antiviral properties. One of the compounds in sage, called safficinolide, is found in the leaves and stems of the plant.
Scientific studies show that sage may fight human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which can lead to AIDS. In one study, the sage extract inhibited HIV activity by preventing the virus from being reproduced by targeting cells. Sage has also been shown to combat herpes simplex virus-1, a common cause of mouth infections, and Indiana vesiculovirus, which infects farm animals.
Sea moss is a type of algae, also known as Irish moss. It grows in water along the shores of the sea, and what's in high demand is its carrageenan, an ingredient used to thicken milk products like ice cream. When harvested, it's also available raw or in supplement form - as pills, powders, gels, and gummies.
Adding sea moss to your diet may help support a healthy thyroid. Studies suggest that it boosts the amount of iodine in your body, which is necessary for healthy thyroid function. Sea moss may also support immunity. Scientists need to do more research to learn whether it can increase immunity in humans.
Plants of the genus basil, including sweet basil and holy basil, may help combat certain viral infections. For example, a test-tube study found that compounds in sweet basil—such as apigenin and ursolic acid—exert potent effects against herpes viruses, hepatitis B, and enterovirus.
Tulsi, the holy basil, has been shown in a study of 24 healthy adults to help fight viral infections. In a 4-week study, tulsi significantly increased immune competence from increasing helper T cells and natural killer cells (both of which help protect and defend your body from viruses).
Fennel is an herb that may fight certain viruses. A test-tube study showed that fennel extracts fought against herpes viruses (such as cold sores) and parainfluenza type-3 (a virus that affects animals and causes breathing problems). Anethole, found in fennel essential oil, has been shown to fight against cold sores as well. Animal research has concluded that fennel can also boost your immune system and decrease inflammation.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you further your understanding of useful plants that can help fend off viruses. As you can see, there is a slew of different plants that can be quite beneficial when it comes to bolstering your immune system. Be sure to keep everything that you’ve learned here in mind so that you can make the best decisions for your health.
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