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MedicineNutrition

Antiviral Herbs- Can they treat coronavirus?

Plants have been used for a long time to treat certain medical conditions. The history of plants being used in traditional medicines has been reported back to 5000 years ago when ancient Mesopotamian civilization used it. The natural phytochemicals of plants can do wonders for the user. In fact, some plants act as excellent antimicrobial agents. Not just the anti-bacterial, some plants are naturally enriched with antiviral benefits.

A virus is a special type of microbe which attacks a person and starts replicating inside it. Once it takes over the immune system, the person falls sick and eventually his health is affected by the respective viral attack.

Also read- Severe COVID-19 May Damage the Heart, Study Finds

Plants can be good antiviral agents, as for the same reason, they are used by a number of pharmaceutical companies to make natural anti-microbial medicines. The antiviral herbs disrupt viral replication and improve immunity leading to a reduced risk of a viral attack.

Here are five herbs that contain antiviral benefits for humans.

Elderberry

For hundreds of years, elderberry has been considered as one of the most treasured herbs and many people used to eat it on empty stomach for immunity boost and healing. It can treat cold and flu infection and reduces the duration and intensity of the symptoms. And that’s not all, it can also open a blocked nose, sinus and heals the inflammation of mucous membranes. Vitamin A, C, and flavonoids inside elderberry do all these benefits.

 Astragalus  

There are many studies on astragalus to show its potential to boost immunity, particularly in people who have compromised immunity. It ensures a faster recovery and adds years to life. Being an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus treads allergies, cold, flu, and even HIV AIDS.

Echinacea 

A native plant of USA and Canada, echinacea improves natural immunity as it increases the macrophages activation and response. It also increases white blood cells inside the body and naturally improves its efficacy to fight against viruses, bacteria, and even fungi. Its traditional usage is to treat colds and flu but it also heals the sore throat, upper respiratory tract infections, allergies, cystitis, and many other acute infections

Also read: Disability is a Big Risk Factor for Coronavirus Related Death

Ginger

An Asian herb, ginger is also widely cultivated in the parts of Africa and the Caribbean. It is a vital ingredient in many traditional medicines to treat nausea, blood circulatory problems such as high blood pressure. It is also a blood thinner and this way it promotes uninterrupted blood circulation. Terpenes are the major bioactive compounds of ginger which give it an antiseptic, lymph-cleansing and circulatory regulatory agent. It also removes toxins from the body and deep cleanses it.

Reishi 

Reishi is a unique herb with lots of medicinal benefits to offer. The research on this herb has shown its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects. It is extremely helpful against Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, HBV, and the flu virus. In addition to this, it is rich in antioxidants, which improves immunity and reduces oxidative damage to the cells. It is used in analgesic medicines, antiallergenic drugs, and blood stimulating medicines.

Also read- UK might be facing a 6-month lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis

Herbs for coronavirus

Just like these herbs heal many viral diseases, some herbs may also help to provide protection from the latest coronavirus. If not complete treatment, certain herbs can alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus. The Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine has suggested a number of antiviral herbs that could help during coronavirus infection. Some of them include the following.

  • Radix astragali”– commonly called Huangqi.
  • Radix glycyrrhizae”– commonly called Gancao.
  • Radix saposhnikoviae” – commonly called Fangfeng.
  • “Rhizoma Atractylodis” Macrocephalae”- commonly called Baizhu.
  • “Lonicerae Japonicae Flos”– commonly called Jinyinhua.
  • “Fructus forsythia”- commonly called Lianqiao.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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