Antiviral herbal medicines found to be effective against the influenza virus: Review
07/11/2019 // Stephanie Diaz // Views

Researchers from The Ohio State University wrote a systematic review about antiviral herbal medicines that appeared in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. They detailed the ability of these herbal medicines to inhibit the replication of the influenza virus.

  • The rapid mutation of the influenza virus makes it a significant threat to the well-being of a variety of organisms.
  • The high mutation rate of the virus has allowed it to generate new strains that are resistant to commercially available antiviral drugs.
  • The increased resistance of influenza has forced the scientific community to find alternative compounds that can be used against new strains of the influenza virus.
  • Many herbal extracts have shown antiviral effects against influenza.
  • These extracts can target viral proteins, such as hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix protein 2. They can also inhibit the replication of oseltamivir-resistant strains.
  • Certain pentacyclic triterpenes have shown higher antiviral activity than the antiviral medication oseltamivir.
  • The researchers also discussed the possibility of herbal medicines targeting various host-cell signaling pathways involved in replication.
  • Intracellular signaling cascades, which include NF-kB signaling, PI3K/Akt pathway, MAPK pathway, and PKC/PKR signaling, are affected by the influenza virus.
  • Antiviral compounds from herbal medicines can prevent the phosphorylation of these signaling cascades by suppressing nuclear export of influenza vRNP.

The researchers concluded that numerous herbal medicines can inhibit the influenza virus, but further studies are needed to ensure that they are up to modern pharmacological standards.

Journal Reference:

Lee JY, Abundo MEC, Lee CW. HERBAL MEDICINE WITH ANTIVIRAL ACTIVITY AGAINST INFLUENZA VIRUS, A REVIEW. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2018(46):08:1663-1700. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X18500854

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