Man, with all its might, considers itself inevitable. However, mother nature has numerous ways of informing the thankless creation (man) of a higher deity. One such creation from mother nature is an invisible entity that can cause serious illness in humans.
A virus is a microscopic, living organism that has the potential of infecting the human body and causing disease. A viral disease can range in severity from mild to lethal. Unlike bacterial infections, there are very limited natural compounds (anti-microbial) that can help you combat viral infections.
The most common viral infections include:
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) infection. This has proven to be an ailment that the world has never seen before. The deadly virus has left millions gasping for air while the heaps of corpses is a heart-wrenching view.
Unfortunately, all the medical geniuses are clueless about how to manage the coronavirus spread and infection.
In such circumstances, a diet consisting of antiviral foods is the dire need of the hour.
Hepatitis is a severely debilitating disease that compromises the performance of your liver. Inflammation of the largest organ of your body leads to an array of disruptions and underperformances which eventually ends up in a slow, painful death.
Viral hepatitis types include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes a life-threatening disease in humans. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a combination of health complications arising from an attack of HIV on the body’s defense system.
The infection weakens your immune system and makes you prone to other microbial attacks.
There are a number of viral infections that infect at an early age including:
- Herpes simplex type 1 and 2
- Flu (caused by influenza virus)
Combating The Viruses
The only way of combating these viral attacks is by antibodies. Antibodies are specialized proteins (produced by white blood cells) that attack and kill viruses. Vaccines have been developed to trigger antibody production prior to infection. In a vaccine, attenuated viruses or parts of viral DNA are injected into the body that promotes the production of antibodies without causing infection.
Thus, there are two ways an antiviral diet can help you combat viral disease. Antiviral foods can:
- Either directly impart antiviral properties or
- Boost immune system to release and create large numbers of antibodies to fight the invading virus
Herbs With Potent Antiviral Properties
Nature has bestowed us with some excellent natural products that can lend a hand in the fight against the invisible enemy. Following is a list of some very effective antiviral herbs:
This highly potent herb is used for a number of reasons. Ginger can target a variety of ailments and lead to relief. Ginger extracts are known to help combat viral diseases in two aforementioned ways.
According to a 2019 study, ginger extracts have exceptional antioxidant properties and can boost your immunity. With improvements in immunity and reduction in inflammation, ginger extracts have shown effective against viral infections.
The human respiratory syncytial virus can hinder your respiratory tract. Research suggests that fresh extracts of ginger stimulate the production of antiviral cytokines, thereby, easing your upper respiratory tract. Ginger supplementation is linked to increased secretion of interferon-beta (IFN-β) that successfully counters viral infection.
A 2016 study suggests that clove and ginger extract combinations can be pretty effective against major types of foodborne viruses (including Feline Calicivirus). Ginger may also possess a strong anti-Avian influenza virus, a study suggests.
Ginger For Coronavirus
As per a randomized controlled trial, ginger supplementation may prove to be potent in managing clinical manifestations of a respiratory syndrome caused by COVID-19.
There are different compounds present in ginger that have shown antiviral properties. The most effective compounds include:
Research suggests that these compounds pose to be a strong wall against the deadly coronavirus.
Garlic is a highly revered herb in both traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Allium sativum (ginger) supplementation can be your sharp and strong sword against the blows of influenza viruses.
Studies suggest that garlic plays an important role in inhibiting the activity of HIV and other viruses too.
Allicin is the major component present in this very herb. Research suggests that allicin possesses strong anti-microbial properties. The chemical compound is efficacious against bacteria (gram-positive and gram-negative), fungi, parasites, and viruses.
The battery of organosulfur compounds present in Allium sativum imparts two pivotal properties i.e. antiviral effect and immune-boosting. A 2020 study has shown that garlic supplementation has proven to be pretty robust against viral infections. Prophylactic consumption of garlic products is promoted to keep you away from viral ailments.
It was found in a study that supplementation of more than 1.5mg/ml of garlic extracts daily can lead to death and toxicity for different viruses including influenza B, Herpes simplex, and Coxsackie virus. Regular usage of aged garlic extracts can also reduce the severity of colds and flu. Immunity is also boosted with this practice.
Garlic For COVID-19
A detailed study concludes that Allium sativum supplementation can be used as a preventive measure against COVID-19 infection. This is because garlic can boost the immune system and suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (that cause inflammation in the respiratory tract and breathing issues).
Curcuma longa L. or turmeric is a wonder herb that you shall find in almost every Indian household. The multipotent herb has provided a sigh of relief to the sick Asian population. The diverse therapeutic effects of turmeric range from antioxidant properties to antimicrobial effects. Ayurvedic gurus have used the very herb for managing hypoglycemia, and inflammation. Turmeric herbs can speed up wound healing and keep cancer at bay.
Studies suggest that turmeric helps in preventing damage caused by the influenza virus. It was found in a study that turmeric curcumin supplementation is linked to the inhibition of the Hepatitis C virus into the human liver cells.
Another study concludes that eye drops made out of turmeric oil can impart both antibiotic and antiviral effects. Components of turmeric (curcumin) play an essential role in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic fungi.
A study published in the Chiang Mai Veterinary Journalfound out that curcuminoids extracted from turmeric are effective in treating Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) caused by the PRRS virus.
Turmeric For Coronavirus
The yellow herb packs large volumes of the compound curcumin. This compound is famous for flushing out inflammation from the body. The use of turmeric for arthritis is promoted due to the effects of curcumin. According to a study, curcumin supplementation leads to a reduction in the destruction of lung epithelial cells (due to coronavirus attack).
By inhibiting lung damage and reducing inflammation, turmeric can prove to be advantageous in the fight against COVID-19. Turmeric supplementation is being considered a treatment modality in the management of COVID-19 because it has shown to prevent lung and heart damage by lethal ailment.
Among the natural antivirals present out there, ginseng is considered an appreciable one. The Korean Red Ginseng has proven to be resilient against viral infections. A study concludes that the energy imparting herb proves to be a killer of the Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Influenza virus, Rhinovirus, Coxsackie virus, and Rotavirus. The powerful herb shows promising results against respiratory tract viral infections.
Fermented ginger extracts play a superior role in the treatment of the influenza virus. On the other hand, Panax ginseng inhibits the activity of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The ginsenosides in the herb are quick to inhibit the gene expression of the virus, thereby, blocking its entry and replication within the host.
Research suggests that this very herb has inhibitory activity against the human immunodeficiency virus too.
Ginseng For Coronavirus
As per a detailed study, the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is quite similar to the influenza virus. Just like the influenza virus, COVID-19 is a respiratory tract infection in which the COVID-19 spike protein binds to the receptor of an enzyme i.e. ACE2 inside the lung epithelial lining.
Ginseng supplementation can block the coronavirus from causing aggressive damage to the lungs and heart.
In a 2020 review, ginseng is declared to be a potential herbal medicine for COVID-19 prevention. Another study declared that Indian ginseng can inhibit the replication and host entry of the Sars-Cov-2 virus.
Of the many health benefits imparted by moringa, the antiviral effect is the most evident. Moringa oleifera is a rich source of vitamins (A, B, and C) and minerals such as calcium, folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. The therapeutic herb is revered as a strong antimicrobial. This very herb can be a potential antagonist to bacteria (Salmonella, E. coli, etc.) and viruses.
Modern research promotes Moringa's use in the treatment of viral infections. According to a 2020 study, moringa supplementation is linked to the stronger antiviral capacity of the body. The leaves of Moringa oleifera are most effective against the following viruses:
- HSV (Herpes Simplex)
- EBV (Epstein Barr Virus)
Another 2020 study has found moringa to be replete in phenol glycosides, flavonoids, and glucomoringin. These compounds possess robust antiviral properties and therefore, have been pretty impressive in the management of H1N1 infections.
As per a study published in the Journal of Immunology Research, Moringa oleifera can exhibit protective effects against the Hepatitis viruses (HBC, HBV). The antiviral properties of moringa supplementation are duly appreciated by researchers.
Moringa For COVID-19
The latest research considers moringa to be a strong candidate in the fight against coronavirus. Moringa oleifera has the potential to be used as a therapeutic drug in the management of COVID-19.
Sage and oregano are two herbs famous for their antiviral properties. Studies have shown that supercritical CO2 extracts obtained from oregano and sage are effective in inhibiting 70% of the virus infection in patients of herpes simplex.
Salvia officinalis L. (sage) is cytotoxic for viruses gaining entry into the body. It was found in a study that fractionated extracts of the sage herb have strong cytotoxic properties against herpes simplex virus. Another study boasted of the efficacious role of Sage in the treatment of HSV-1 and Parainfluenza virus infection.
Aqueous extracts from peppermint, sage, and lemon balm have shown to be effective in displaying anti-HIV-1 activity. Herbal oils of rosemary, thyme, and sage possess potent antiviral properties. Evident reductions in bacterial and viral counts were noted with sage supplementation in a study.
Sage herbs can also have a positive impact on your immune system. Thus, making it strong to resist invasion from viral intruders.
7. Vitamin C
Another effective antiviral food supplementation is vitamin C. We all know vitamins are very important for the growth and optimal working of the human body. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting, vitamin B12 plays a role in the maturation of red blood cells, and vitamin D is essential for the normal development of bones/teeth.
Vitamin C also plays a pivotal role in enhancing your immune system. If your defense system is strong you can combat it more valiantly. According to a study, vitamin C supplementation improves the immune responses of the body.
This vitamin gravely improves the antioxidant status of the body while providing a kickstart to your immune and digestive systems.
Vitamin C For Coronavirus
A number of individuals have advocated the use of vitamin C supplementation for the treatment of coronavirus. According to a mini-review, vitamin C intake was found to boost immunity and help individuals gain strength against the deadly virus.
Vitamin C has found a high spot in the list of ideal diets for coronavirus treatment. The positive role of this antiviral vitamin was identified in this 2020 study. In addition to vitamin C, other micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, etc. have also been found to have a positive role in treating the incurable, lethal COVID-19.
A 2020 research suggests that a high intravenous dose of vitamin C can even prevent the occurrence of respiratory infection caused by the novel coronavirus.
Where Can I Find The Best Organic Antiviral Supplements?
You can find the best organic antiviral herbal supplements here at Beherbal.com.
Antiviral drugs are rare, however, you can benefit from antiviral foods. Herbal supplements that act as antiviral foods and immune boosters include turmeric, ginger, garlic, moringa, sage, and ginseng. These supplements paired with vitamin C supplementation can immensely boost your immune system and aid in combating COVID-19.