Due to high concentrations of certain compounds within their leaves, stems, roots and oils, several herbs are believed to have strong antiviral activity. While they are commonly used by natural health practitioners in treating viral infections, there is limited human research to support these claims, so please be mindful when self-medicating.

Propolis

This resinous substance is produced from bees from plant resins has been shown to offer powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant and antifungal properties. Excellent for herpes as well as to ward off colds and flus. Here’s an in-depth article about this wonderful bee product.

Echinacea

This herb is a classic immune-boosting herb, with some studies suggesting that it has antiviral compounds as well. These compounds, complemented with its immune-strengthening properties, may make echinacea useful for helping treat viral infections.

Astragalus

 A popular herb from Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus is rich in the compound Astragalus polysaccharide (APS). Studies show that APS has strong immune-enhancing and antiviral properties, including in combating herpes, hepatitis C and bird flu.

Olive Leaf

 This herb has been studied for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, and is commonly used to ward off colds and flus, as well as herpes and gastrointestinal infections. It has also been found to benefit heart health, protect the brain, lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and more.

Lemon Myrtle

 The leaves Australian native tree are highly aromatic due to their essential oil component, which has been shown to possess antiviral activity. It is used as a tea for colds and flu, as a decongestant, diaphoretic, and antiviral. The essential oil is also used topically with great success for viral infections of the skin.

Reishi

This medicinal mushroom has long been revered and used for promoting health and longevity. It is an immunomodulator as well as an antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial.

Yarrow

This humble garden plant has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb. It is used as a styptic (stops bleeding) and antiseptic for treating wounds. It is also commonly used by herbalists as an antibacterial, antiviral and diaphoretic for colds and flus.

Lemon Balm

We love lemon balm for its delicious flavour and calming properties, but there is also some research that suggests lemon balm is a source of volatile oils and plant compounds that have antiviral activity. For example, lemon balm extract was shown to have antiviral effects against bird flu and herpes.

Peppermint

A long time favourite to include in a hot cup of tea when we’re feeling under the weather, peppermint’s leaves and essential oils contain compounds with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, such as menthol and rosmarinic acid. It is also an excellent diaphoretic, used by herbalists to help ‘sweat out’ a fever.

Dandelion

This “weed” has been studied for its antiviral properties, and studies have indicated that dandelion may help inhibit influenza. Another studied showed that dandelion extract inhibited the replication of the dengue virus, which causes dengue fever. 

Cat’s Claw

A species native to the Amazon rainforest,  immunomodulator, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory, cat’s claw has been found to have ‘immunostimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, mild anticoagulant and antihypertensive effects.’

Pau D’Arco

This medicinal bark native to South America has clinically proven antiviral effects.

There are several other plants and herbs commonly used in cooking such as ginger, basil, oregano and fennel that are revered for antiviral effects by indigenous people and modern natural health practitioners. There is no guarantee for any of these plant remedies to actually cure a virus, but we feel it is important to make sure all of the existing information is available.

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