In the past year, we have witnessed the global health crisis caused by Covid-19 and it is still not yet overcomed. It is important for us to keep ourselves healthy and improve our immunity.
Viruses can come in many different sorts of shapes and forms, which makes treating them very hard. Most kinds of viral infection are seasonal and would be treated with proper medication. However, how to kill viruses without weakening your immune system or experiencing terrible side effects? Natural antivirals. (Of course you have to consult your doctor for it)
There are some food and herbs that contain antiviral properties and can be used in moderation when you are not in good condition.
These natural virus killers inhibit the growth of the virus, boosts your immunity and fights the foreign pathogens. They can be incorporated into your diet as your main dish or as herbal tea and strengthen your health easily.
Here are some safe and effective things that you can use daily to assist in protecting you against viruses.
Related: THE 9 BEST TEA FOR HEADACHES
Antiviral Herbs for Covid-19
It is known that blueberries are packed with impressive antibacterial and antiviral properties as well. The blueberry polyphenols are high in antioxidant and antimicrobial potential. A 3.5 ounce serving of blueberries can already provide your body with an antioxidant value equivalent of about 5 servings of many other fruits.
So how about the blueberry leaves? In Japan, a study from the aculty of Medicine at the University of Miyazaki investigated about it. It proved that the blueberry leaf and stem extract can be an effective therapeutic drug to combat the new coronavirus. Ten samples of sonicated components extracted from the stems and leaves were examined and were proven to suppress infectivity by 99.9% or more.
EDOBIO, known for their artfully packaged skincare line inspired by the ukiyo-e genre of Japanese art from the 17th century, announced their herbal tea line contains an ingredient, blueberry leaf (Kunisato No. 35), that is not only known to suppress the viruses that cause T-cell leukemia and hepatitis C in adults, but also has a strong antiviral efficacy against COVID-19.
Ginger, formally known as Zingiber officinale Roscoe, has many active compounds, with impressive antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some research suggests that ginger is effective in avian influenza, RSV, and feline calicivirus (FCV). Ginger contains phenolic compounds such as gingerols and zingerone that helps to prevent the growth of the virus.
A study found that fresh ginger stimulated mucosal cells to release a type of cytokine that contributes to counteracting a viral infection. Another clinical trial that involved 60 volunteers with confirmed hepatitis indicated that ginger extract may decrease the activity of hepatitis C viruses.
It is recommended to use fresh or powdered organic ginger and add it to hot drinks as a tea or other recipes. Of course you can also get more concentrated doses of ginger in supplement form.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) possesses a group of flavonoids called catechins It can inhibit viral infections by blocking the enzymes that allow viruses to reproduce. Green tea has been known to be effective in inhibiting HIV, herpes simples and the hepatitis B virus.
Elderberry, officially known as sambucus, is one of the well-known natural antivirals. Some doctors and herbalists even commented elderberry as one of the go-to antiviral herbs for early signs of the flu.
One study found that elderberry extract showed mild inhibitory effect at the early stages of the influenza virus cycle, and showed stronger effect in the post-infection phase.
Supplementation with elderberry can also reduce upper respiratory symptoms based on a research included 180 total participants.
For the early signs of flu symptoms, if you are taking it with syrup form, it is recommended to take about 3 tablespoons a day for adults and 3 teaspoons per day for kids over 2 years old.
Since it may interact with some medications, you should consult your doctor before using elderberry.
Oregano oil contains Carvacrol, its primary active component that is a potential natural antiviral. It is effective to break down viruses, reducing their ability to infect their host.
Another major component of oregano oil, Thymol, also possess antiviral potentials. A study published in Planta Medica claimed that thymol could reduce the activity of the herpes virus.
Oregano oil may also help fight inflammation which is a hallmark of viral infections. You may take oregano oil capsules or a few drops of the oil directly on your tongue every day.
However, if you are pregnant or have an iron deficiency, you should avoid taking oregano oil since it can negatively affect iron absorption.
Antiviral herbs are ancient and one of the most beneficial natural virus killers. With no exception, the Italian cuisine ingredient, Basil is also an antiviral herb! One study found that sweet basil (the most common variety of basil) shows effects on fighting against some kinds of viruses, while another found that basil supplements significantly increased levels of cells that help your body fight off viral infections.
Many types of basil, including the sweet and holy varieties, may fight certain viral infections.
For example, one test-tube study found that sweet basil extracts, including compounds like apigenin and ursolic acid, exhibited potent effects against herpes viruses, hepatitis B, and enterovirus (11Trusted Source).
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has been shown to increase immunity, which may help fight viral infections.
In a 4-week study in 24 healthy adults, supplementing with 300 mg of holy basil extract significantly increased levels of helper T cells and natural killer cells, both of which are immune cells that help protect and defend your body from viral infections
Garlic has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The compounds allicin and alliion are responsible for this common plant’s reputation as a triple threat. Garlic is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and it is especially effective against viruses if chewed raw.
Garlic is a popular natural remedy for a wide array of conditions, including viral infections.
In a study in 23 adults with warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), applying garlic extract to affected areas twice daily eliminated the warts in all of them after 1–2 weeks (16, 17Trusted Source).
Additionally, older test-tube studies note that garlic may have antiviral activity against influenza A and B, HIV, HSV-1, viral pneumonia, and rhinovirus, which causes the common cold. However, current research is lacking (18Trusted Source).
Animal and test-tube studies indicate that garlic enhances immune system response by stimulating protective immune cells, which may safeguard against viral infections
Peppermint is known to have powerful antiviral qualities and commonly added to teas, extracts, and tinctures meant to naturally treat viral infections.
Its leaves and essential oils contain active components, including menthol and rosmarinic acid, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity (24Trusted Source).
In a test-tube study, peppermint-leaf extract exhibited potent antiviral activity against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and significantly decreased levels of inflammatory compounds (25Trusted Source).