Herbs with Outstanding Antiviral Properties

Approximately 380 trillion viruses make up the human viome, some of which are harmful while others may be beneficial if they are allowed to stay with the host. Viruses and bacteria are only two examples of potentially foreign biological material that may make up as much as 50% of your body. Infectious diseases play a critical role in human health and survival from the moment of birth onward.

The effects of globalization on the spread of infectious diseases were the subject of a workshop held at the National Institutes of Health in 2006. The paper argues that the introduction of the steamship and the subsequent rise in travel and trade contributed significantly to the spread of the plague in colonial African capitals. In a related manner, we currently find ourselves in a technologically advanced, highly populated era in which goods, food, and capital frequently cross national boundaries. The outbreak of the coronavirus demonstrates how easy pathogens can hitch rides across international borders.

Can our bodies’ immune systems maintain with our fast-paced lifestyles? We must now focus on alternative strategies for protecting public health in light of the latest viral outbreaks that have followed the rise of globalization and modern travel. This may necessitate reverting to more conventional methods at times. Incorporate these powerful antiviral herbs into your daily routine, both orally and topically.

What are the herbs with outstanding antiviral properties?

Herbal medicine has been around for millennia, and it has been successfully utilized to treat a wide range of conditions, including infectious diseases. Herbs are chosen by specialists in natural medicine because of the high concentration of power plant components that they contain. This makes many herbs effective against viruses. However, the added health advantages of some herbs have only been demonstrated in a small number of human studies; as a result, you should consider these assertions with a grain of salt. The following is a list of herbs that have a powerful effect against viruses.

Following are the herbs with exceptional antiviral capabilities


Oregano can fight viruses because it contains the chemical molecule carvacrol, which is also found in the mint family. After 15 minutes of being exposed to the virus, the function of murine norovirus (MNV) was reduced by both oregano oil and carvacrol. The MNV virus is a leading cause of gastroenteritis and is highly infectious. The findings were originally released in 2014 in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. Oregano oil and purified carvacrol inhibited the action of murine norovirus (MNV) within Fifteen minutes of exposure in a test tube investigation. MNV is the most common cause of human stomach flu and spreads easily from person to person. Considering how challenging it is to cultivate human norovirus in the lab, this virus, which is highly identical to human norovirus, is employed in scientific investigations.


Sage, like mint, is a fragrant herb that has a rich history of usage in traditional medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases. Compounds present in the leaves and stem of the sage plant termed safficinolide and sage one are responsible for the plant’s antiviral capabilities. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which can lead to AIDS, may be inhibited by this plant, according to in vitro studies. One study found that sage extract effectively blocked HIV from entering its intended host cells. Sage is effective against both herpes simplex virus type 1 and Indiana vesiculovirus, which can infect animals such as cows and pigs. Safficinolide and sage, compounds present in the plant’s stem and leaves, have been related to sage’s protective effects. Sage is also useful for treating a variety of ailments and conditions.


Some studies suggest that sweet and holy basil kinds can inhibit the spread of viruses. An extract of sweet basil, which contained components including apigenin and ursolic acid, showed strong antiviral activity in vitro against hepatitis B virus, and enterovirus. Tulsi, or holy basil, has been studied and found to boost immunity, which could be useful in warding off viral illnesses. Supportive immune cells like T lymphocytes and natural killer lymphocytes were shown to rise considerably after supplementation with 300 mg of holy basil extract in a four-week trial involving 24 healthy people. Despite great strides in vaccine and medicine research and development, there are currently no antiviral therapies available that can keep up with the rapid pace of human evolution in today’s interconnected, globalized world. The next stage in pharmacology must be the research and development of novel antiviral medicines, particularly those derived from organic herbal sources.


Fennel, a herb with a flavor similar to licorice, may be effective against some viruses. Herpes viruses and parainfluenza type 3 (PI-3) virus, which causes respiratory illnesses in cattle, were both inhibited by fennel extract in a test tube investigation. Furthermore, fennel essential oil’s primary component, trans-anethole, has shown potent antiviral activity against herpes viruses. Animal studies suggest that fennel’s anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties could be useful in warding against viral infections. The licorice-like flavor of fennel comes from its place in the carrot family. Antiviral activity against specific viruses has been demonstrated in laboratory studies. It has been shown that the chemical ingredient trans-anethole, found in fennel essential oil, has antiviral actions against herpes. Fennel’s anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties have been studied before, and the results show that it can be useful in the fight against viral infections.


Many people turn to garlic as a natural cure for health problems, and this includes viral infections. Human papillomavirus (HPV) warts were completely removed in research involving 23 adults after one to two weeks of administering garlic extract 2 times a day to the afflicted areas. Several studies, both on animals and in vitro, have shown that garlic can help the body respond more effectively to viral infections by boosting the activity of certain immune cells. The Allium genus includes garlic and its close relatives the shallot, chive, leek, and onion. It’s widely used as a treatment for many different illnesses, including viral infections. Another study found that garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties help the body fight against viral infections by boosting the immune system’s defenses. But these findings did not come from human trials, but rather from investigations on animals and in test tubes.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm, which is related to mint, has a distinct lemony aroma and flavor. Used frequently in condiments, spices, and teas. As a powerful medicine, it includes antiviral plant ingredients that help the body. A study conducted in 2016 found that these chemicals were effective in combating the influenza A virus. The lemony shrub known as “lemon balm” is frequently used as a flavoring or addition to beverages and foods. It is also highly regarded for its therapeutic benefits. Extracts of lemon balm are rich in antiviral essential oils and other plant components. laboratory studies have revealed its antiviral activities against several viruses that can cause serious illness in infants and children, including avian influenza (bird flu), and herpes viruses.


It is well known that peppermint possesses potent antiviral properties, which is why it is frequently included in teas, preparations, and tinctures that are intended to cure viral infections organically. Its stems and essential oils offer active ingredients with antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity, such as menthol and rosmarinic acid, which are found in abundance in the plant. An extract of peppermint leaves showed powerful antiviral action on the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as a considerable reduction in the amounts of inflammatory chemicals, in a study conducted using test tubes.


As a result of the remarkable health-enhancing effects that it possesses, echinacea is one of the most widely utilized components of herbal medicine. Natural medicines can be derived from a wide variety of plant parts, including the flowers, leaves, and roots of the plant. Native Americans utilized a form of Echinacea that produces blooms in the shape of a cone called Echinacea purpurea to treat a wide range of illnesses, including viral infections.

Studies conducted in test tubes have shown that specific types of Echinacea, such as E. pallida, E. Angustifolia, and E. purpurea, are especially successful at warding against viral diseases such as herpes and influenza. Moreover, E. purpurea is known to have immune-enhancing benefits too though, which makes it especially helpful for managing infectious diseases. This is a notable point to bring up.


The plant family known as elder belongs to the genus Sambucus. Elderberries can be processed into many different products, including elixirs and pills, which are utilized as an all-natural treatment for viral diseases such as the cold virus and the flu. According to the results of a study conducted on mice, pure elderberry juice inhibited the reproduction of the influenza virus and increased immune system response. In addition, a review of four research involving 180 participants indicated that taking elderberry capsules significantly reduced the severity of upper respiratory infections that were caused by viruses.


There’s a good reason why ginger-based products like elixirs, teas, and lozenges are among the most popular natural remedies. It has been demonstrated that ginger possesses remarkable antiviral activity, which can be attributed to the high amount of power plant components that it contains. Studies conducted in test tubes have shown that ginger extract had antiviral properties that are effective against avian influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and feline calicivirus (FCV), which is analogous to the human norovirus. In addition, some chemicals in ginger, like gingerols and zingerone, have been proven to block the replication of viruses and stop virus entry into host cells. These benefits have been discovered.


Roots of Panax plants, including the Korean and American kinds of ginseng, are used to treat a variety of ailments. It has been utilized for centuries in TCM and has recently been demonstrated to have impressive antiviral properties. Extracts of Korean red ginseng have shown promising antiviral activity against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and hepatitis A in animal and in vitro investigations. In addition, ginseng contains a group of chemicals called ginsenosides that have therapeutic potential against hepatitis B virus, and norovirus, all of which are linked to serious illnesses such as meningoencephalitis.

The Bottom Line

In previous centuries, people have turned to herbs when they needed a natural remedy. Herbs that are commonly used in the kitchen, such as basil, sage, and oregano, as well as herbs that are not as well-known, such as astragalus and Sambucus, have potent antiviral actions against a wide variety of viruses that are the root cause of human diseases. It is simple to incorporate these potent herbs into your healthy diet by including them in the dishes you already enjoy cooking or by brewing them into teas.

Take into consideration, however, that the majority of the study has been carried out in test tubes and on animals utilizing concentrated extracts. As a result, it is not known for certain whether lower doses of these plants would provide the same benefits. If you decide to supplement your diet with essential oils, tinctures, or other herbal items, you must discuss the matter with your medical professional.