6 Chinese Herbs That Directly Inhibit Coronavirus Infection

The world was having a whale of a time on 31st December 2019. Individuals all over the world were celebrating and making preparations for the new year.

But in China, something that would change the year 2020 was happening — the country reported its first case of “unusual pneumonia,” which we know as a novel strain of coronavirus.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has brought the world to its knees. Word superpowers are under lockdown, the economy is slowly being affected, and panic is on the rise with every update. Unlike other viral infections, there’s no sufficient research that explains the infection pathway or which drugs can battle the virus.

As a result, world leaders around the world have only been able to come up with the most feasible solution as research is underway — self-quarantine and social isolation.

You see, coronaviruses spread through being close to a person infected and inhaling droplets generated when they cough or sneeze. However, as more and more people fail to self-quarantine and keep social distance, the virus keeps spreading. 

Analyses have shown that older people and individuals with compromised immunity are at a higher risk of getting infected. Consequently, most people can’t help but wonder if there’s a way to boost their immunity, perhaps using natural herbs.

Image: Unsplash.com, @CDC

So, Are There Any Herbs That Can Inhibit Coronavirus?

A Swiss study found that SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which is associated with the current strain of coronavirus referred to as COVID-19 and influenza activate the same proteases — TMPRSS2 and HAT.

Therefore, there have been suggestions that some botanical remedies and natural supplements that are effective against the flu may also be effective against this strain of coronavirus. 

While there’s no research to support this, Shengjing Hospital in China released a study that recommends evaluating a patient’s nutritional status before administering any medication.  According to the study, a diet rich in Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, selenium, Omega-3, Zinc, and traditional Chinese Medicine may help.

And no, this doesn’t include award-winning marijuana seeds. While marijuana has proven to have incredible medicinal properties, you need herbs with antiviral properties to protect yourself from coronavirus.

We relied on compelling studies that support the use of botanical supplements, antioxidants, and vitamins to help protect ourselves from the coronavirus and other viral infections. In our research, we identified some of the herbs that have displayed excellent antiviral properties and are known to strengthen immunity against viral infection.

However, you shouldn’t take these suggestions as a substitute for professional medical advice. These are just recommendations to help you better protect yourself against this pandemic.

Astragalus 

One of the Chinese herbs that have proven effective for viral infections is Astragalus, also known as Radix astragali (Huangqi). It is one of the herbs that have prevented SARS and H1N1 infection in up to seven studies. 

The medicinal properties of this herb are in its root. The active components of the root have various essential bioactivities. These include antiviral, antioxidant, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammation, anti-tumor, neuroprotection, and anti-atherosclerosis, among others.

Image: Unsplash.com, @CDC

What’s more, scientific evidence shows that this Chinese herb increases the production of white blood cells, which in turn boosts your immunity.

However, although Astragalus is safe for most people, the following should avoid it:

  • People taking immunosuppressant drugs
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Individuals with auto-immune diseases

You should also use the herb with caution if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.

Elderberry

Even as you stock up on your CBD topicals for arthritis, you may also want to get some Elderberry. Also known by its scientific name Sambucus nigra, this herb is popular for relieving symptoms of flu infections and the common cold.

And the best part? It is found worldwide, which means everyone can take advantage of its medicinal properties.

Research has shown that the Elderberry has a direct potent effect against the flu virus. This herb inhibits infection by blocking the vital viral proteins responsible for both viral attachment and entry into the host’s cells. Studies by Emory University also showed the effectiveness of the Elderberry against coronaviruses.

Image: Unsplash.com, @zahrinlukman

Olive Leaf

The Olive Leaf is also an excellent immune-boosting herb. One of the most crucial biomolecules in this herb is Oleuropein (OLE), which contributes to the plant’s antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-atherogenic, and antioxidant properties.

The best thing about the Olive Leaf is the fact that it is highly bioavailable in the body cells. Although there’s no scientific evidence to support this herb’s effectiveness against viral infections, some studies show that it has effective antiviral properties against influenza and viruses.

Liquorice Root

Liquorice Root, also known as Glycyrrhizin Acid, has been used to treat various ailments in China for more than 20 years. And during the deadly SARS breakout in 2002, virologists found that this herb is equally effective for preventing coronaviruses. The research also found that this herb is effective against influenza, hepatitis, HIV, and herpes.

Echinacea

Echinacea may also help protect you against coronaviruses. However, you should know that there are different species of this herb. The one you should be looking for is Echinacea purpura, which has shown to be the most effective against infectious pathogens.

Although there are no studies to support the effectiveness of Echinacea against coronavirus, the plant has potent antiviral properties that may help protect you from getting infected.

However, while this herb has shown effectiveness in preventing infection, it has one limitation. Echinacea can only treat upper respiratory tract infections. Once the infection has reached the bronchia and lower lung, this herb is ineffective.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil has also not undergone tests against coronavirus. However, it’s potent antiviral properties may help protect you from infection. A study by the University of Oklahoma and SooChow University in China published a study that focused on the effectiveness of oregano against influenza viruses.

According to the study, the oregano wasn’t able to kill the virus. Still, it was very effective in inhibiting the virus’s ability to translate the proteins that are responsible for viruses binding to cells.

The University of Arizona also found that oregano oil is effective when used as a sanitizer. When sprayed on surfaces, the solution killed flu-like viruses and norovirus in 15 minutes.

Safety Starts With You

As the world’s researchers keep trying to find a way to put a stop to the coronavirus, we all have a responsibility to stop the spread and protect ourselves from infection.

In addition to staying home and keeping a social distance, consider supplementing your diet with these herbs to boost your immunity, especially if you are at high risk of infection.

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Diana is a certified nutritionist and writer at health and wellness blog - superfoodliving.com. Her work is focused on helping people transform life blocks into opportunities for growth and happiness. She is based in NYC, and holds seminars on ways to increase your health and wellbeing.

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