What Kills Viruses Naturally? Top 5 Herbs

What kills viruses naturally?

What kills viruses naturally? You will find the top 5 antiviral herbs in this article.

Viral infections

Viruses are the most important cause of infectious disease and mortality worldwide1.

Since ancient times, herbs have been used as natural remedies for viral infections.

Many herbs contain, namely, active biological substances with antiviral activity.

Top 5 herbs that kill viruses naturally

Here are the top 5 herbs that kill viruses naturally:

1. Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a flowering plant in the Zingiberaceae family.

Its rhizome is widely used as a spice, especially in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Turmeric root powder (curcumin)

Studies have shown that turmeric kills viruses naturally.

Turmeric contains curcumin

The main bioactive compound of turmeric is curcumin, an antioxidant1.

It is the yellow pigment in turmeric, which gives curry powder its vibrant color and flavor2,3.

Laboratory studies have shown that curcumin has antiviral activity against the following viruses:

  • Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)4
  • Coxsackie virus B3 (CVB3)5,6
  • Dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2)7
  • Enterovirus 71 (EV71)8
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)6 
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)9
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2)10,11,12
  • HIV-12,11,13,14
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)15,16
  • Influenza A virus (IAV)17,18
  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)19
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)20
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)4
  • Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV)21
  • Zika virus (ZIKV)4

Related: 17 Health Benefits Of Turmeric Root Powder

2. St. John’s wort

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering plant in the Hypericaceae family.

It is native to Europe and Asia and has been introduced into the United States22.

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)

The name of this herb may have arisen as the flowers bloom around St. John’s Day (June 24)22.

St. John’s wort kills viruses

St. John’s wort is known for its medicinal properties, including its antidepressant, antiviral and antibacterial effects22.

These activities are mainly attributable to hypericin and hyperforin, two phytochemicals22,23.

St. John’s wort or its constituent hypericin has proven effective against many viral diseases, including:

  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2)24
  • HIV-125,26,27
  • Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV)28
  • Influenza A virus (IAV)29,30
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)31

3. Echinacea

Another herb that kills viruses naturally is Echinacea.

Echinacea purpurea is a flowering plant in the sunflower family. It is native to North America.

Echinacea purpurea, one of the 5 best herbs that are antiviral.

This medicinal herb is well known for enhancing the immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells32,33.

Furthermore, Echinacea purpurea has antiviral activity against:

  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)34,35,36
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)37
  • Influenza A virus (IAV)36,38
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)36
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)39

4. Goldenseal

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) also has prominent antiviral properties.

It is a perennial herb in the Ranunculaceae family native to Canada and the United States.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Goldenseal contains berberine

Goldenseal is a rich source of isoquinoline alkaloids, including berberine and hydrastine.

Berberine has activity against multiple parasites, including tapeworm, viruses, and candida infection40,41.

Besides, this compound has remarkable medicinal activities, including antidepressant, anticancer, and hepatoprotective effects9.

Goldenseal or its constituent berberine kills the following viruses naturally:

  • Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)42
  • Dengue virus (DENV)42
  • Enterovirus (EV71)9
  • Epstein Barr virus (EBV)43
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)9,44
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2)9
  • HIV-19,45
  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)9
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)9
  • Influenza A virus (IAV)46
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)9
  • Zika virus (ZIKV)42,47

Related: How To Get Rid Of Liver Flukes Naturally

5. Red marine algae

Red marine algae (Rhodophyta) is a group of algae that grows predominantly in the ocean48.

It comprises more than 7000 different species, such as dulse (Palmaria palmata) and Lithothamnion glaciale48.

Red marine algae

Red algae are a rich source of antioxidants, including polyphenols and red pigments called phycobiliproteins, which give them their red color48,49,50.

They are also high in minerals (iodine), vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and chlorophyll51,52.

Moreover, polysaccharides, such as carrageenan or fucan, found in red algae possess antiviral attributes52.

Red algae kill viruses

Algae have multiple health benefits, including anticancer, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and inflammatory activities51,52.

Red marine algae have a long history of use as a medicinal herb51.

They show antiviral activity against the following viruses:

  • Dengue virus (DENV)52
  • Hepatitis A virus [HAV]52
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2)52,53,54
  • HIV-1 and HIV-252
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)52
  • Human rhinovirus (HRV)52
  • Influenza A and B viruses (IAV, IBV)52,54

Related: 7 Strongest Natural Antibiotics

Summary: What kills viruses naturally? Top 5 herbs

Viral infections play an important role in human diseases.

Drugs and vaccines have been developed to overcome this problem.

However, there remains a great need for the improvement of these therapies.

What kills viruses naturally? Plants are a rich source of active antiviral agents.

Here are the top 5 antiviral herbs:

  1. Turmeric
  2. St. John’s wort
  3. Echinacea
  4. Goldenseal
  5. Red marine algae

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