Whether the novel corona virus(COVID-19) is zoonotic and came from bats or manmade and came from a lab, it is a particularly virulent strain and needs to be taken seriously. The following is a list of the best herbal medicines to take for prevention and treatment for Coronavirus
Coronavirus and Rhinovirus cause about 70% of the seasonal cold and flu so it is not a new phenomenon to man but this current epidemic seems particularly worrying..According to Professor Sam McConkey from the department of International Health and Tropical Medicine of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland when asked how does the novel corona virus compare to the flu in terms of fatalities stated “ It is a bit similar to the 1918—1919 Spanish Flu epidemic” (which killed 50 million people)
Treatment and Prevention of Coronavirus
The current conventional medical treatment is a combination therapy of antiviral HIV drugs lopinavir plus ribavirin plus corticosteroids which may improve some clinical outcomes. The beauty of herbal medicines is that they can safely be taken prophylactically to prevent you getting sick form a virus, and not just for treatment. My advice would be to get a herbalist to formulate (mix) the following herbs in tincture form to create the best medicine.
In vitro studies indicate that a standardized alcoholic extract of echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Asteraceae) aerial parts and roots broadly inhibits Coronavirus as well as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (1). It works by preventing the virus from entering the host cell and replicating. It provides selective immune enhancement and does not overstimulate subjects with well-performing immune systems.
In a large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial on 775 people researchers investigated the safety and efficacy of Echinacea prophylaxis for four months(2). They found that the herbal medicine (i) can prevent and treat cold and flu, (ii) it has a broad spectrum of antiviral activity, (iii) it supports and modulates immune activity especially during stress, and (iv) it is safe. It can be taken long-term (months), short-term (weeks), or for acute treatment (days).
In a further meta-analysis including 14 studies (3) showed that echinacea significantly decreased the odds of contracting a cold by 58% and was also found to significantly decrease the duration of a cold by 1.4 days.Echinacea reduced the incidence of natural cold infection by 65% compared to placebo and reduced the incidence of inoculated rhinovirus infection by 35% compared to placebo. This suggests that Echinacea preparations work better on preventing common colds caused by viruses other than the rhinovirus.
Glychrriza glabra (licorice root)
Licorice root contains triterpenoid saponins, including glycyrrhizin. Researchers have demonstrated that glycyrrhizin is active against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and herpes simplex virus(4). Glycyrrhizin from licorice roots has been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV replication with a 50% effective concentration 365µM and a number of glycyrrhizin derivatives have been shown to possess modestly higher antiviral bioactivity.
Acute respiratory illness (ARI) causes mild symptoms such as fever, shivering, chills, malaise, and dry cough. It is a viral disease caused most commonly by Coronavirus and rhinovirus. In a study held at Chonbuk National University Hospital in Korea, and included 100 healthy subjects (38 males and 62 females) aged between 30 and 70 years, researchers found that the frequency of ARI in the those taking Panax ginseng was significantly lower than those taking a placebo (5). The frequency rate of cough, nasal nd and headache was significantly lower than in those taking the ginseng compared to the placebo group. The authors conclude that KRG has a protective effect against contracting ARI and may tend to decrease the duration and severity of ARI symptoms
Numerous studies have shown that taking American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) extract as a prophylaxis during the influenza season reduces the incidence of ARI in vaccinated and unvaccinated adults (6)(7)(8)
Another ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) combined with andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) is effective in the treatment of flu infections. Clinical studies have demonstrated that this formula reduces the incidence of flu complications, duration of symptoms, and lost work days (9). Researchers stated that it may be more effective than conventional antiviral drugs in the treatment of flu infections.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
Traditionally used in the treatment of cold and flu, containing constituents including polysaccharides and flavonoids which contribute to the herb's immune enhancing effects. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial has demonstrated that astragalus has a strong effect on the activation and proliferation of immune cells, particularly CD8 and CD4 T-cells (10).
European elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
European elderberry has immune-modulating and antioxidant effects used traditionally in the treatment of viral infections. Constituents of European elderberry neutralize the hemagglutinin spikes found on the surface of viruses, including flu viruses, preventing the viruses from piercing cell walls and replicating. Its extracts also enhance immune function by increasing cytokine production. Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have shown that the European elderberry preparation inhibits influenza A and B viruses when given to patients within 48 hours of symptom development. Clinical trials provide evidence that treatment with this herbal extract results in a faster improvement of flu symptoms(10).
Garlic (Allium sativum)
There have been few clinical studies examining the effect of garlic (Allium sativum) on colds and flu. One study has shown that prophylactic use of an allicin-containing garlic supplement between November and February reduces the incidence and duration of colds(10)
Olive leaf extract (Olea europaea)
Olive leaf extract (Olea europaea) contains the phenolic constituent oleuropein, which has antimicrobial (against influenza and other viruses), antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities. The antiviral effect of olive leaf constituents may be mediated through interactions with the protein of virus particles that reduce infectivity and replication of cold and flu viruses. Olive leaf extract also stimulates phagocytosis, enhancing the immune response. Anecdotal reports suggest that olive leaf extract may prevent and shorten the duration of cold and flu, when taken at the onset of symptoms. In addition, gargling with olive leaf tea may help to alleviate the symptoms of viral sore throats.
Phytocompounds (constituents of various herbal medicines)
In a study (11), 221 phytocompounds were evaluated for activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome associated Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Twenty tested phytocompounds exhibited significant levels of anti-SARS-CoV activit and these unique features of test compounds have not been previously reported. The following constituents inhibited Coronavirus replication. These included values of the four abietane-type diterpenes (contained in herbs Silybum marianum and Salvia miltiorrhiza), one triterpene (Zizyphus Spina) one lignan (Schisandra chinensis). Most of the compounds exhibited marked inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV replication. Other compounds with Anti-SARS-Coronavirus activity were curcumin(Turmeric root), betulonic acid (Rosemary, Prunella vulgaris, Ziziphus mauritiana)
[UPDATE: I have received a number of inquiries asking if i make a formula with all of the above herbal medicines contained in it - i have all these herbs in tincture form at the dispensary and have made a bottle for many people in the last few weeks and am happy to formulate one for people worried about COVID-19 - call clinic on +353719142940 ]
1) Schapowal A. Efficacy and safety of Echinaforce® in respiratory tract infections. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2013;163(3-4):102-105.
2) Jawad M, Schoop R, Suter A, Klein P, Eccles R. Safety and efficacy profile of Echinacea purpurea to prevent common cold episodes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. September 16, 2012;2012:841315. doi: 10.1155/2012/841315
3) Shah SA, Sander S, White CM, Rinaldi M, Coleman CI. Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis Lancet Infect Dis. July 2007;7(7):473-480.
4) Cinatl, J.; Morgenstern, B.; Bauer, G.; Chandra, P.; Rabenau, H.; Doerr, H. W. Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus. Lancet 2003, 361, 2045-2046
5) Lee C-S, Lee J-H, Oh M, et al. Preventive effect of Korean red ginseng for acute respiratory illness: a randomized and double-blind clinical trial. J Korean Med Sci. 2012;27(12):1472-1478.
6) McElhaney JE, Gravenstein S, Cole SK, et al. A placebo-controlled trial of a proprietary extract of North American ginseng (CVT-E002) to prevent acute respiratory illness in institutionalized older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(1):13-19.
7) Predy GN, Goel V, Lovlin R, Donner A, Stitt L, Basu TK. Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ. 2005;173(9):1043-1048.
8) McElhaney JE, Goel V, Toane B, Hooten J, Shan JJ. Efficacy of COLD-fX® in the prevention of respiratory symptoms in community-dwelling adults: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2006;12(2):153-157
9) Kligler B, Ulbricht C, Basch E, et al. Andrographis paniculata for the treatment of upper respiratory infection: a systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration Explore. Jan 2006;2(1):25-29
10) Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations Altern Med Rev. 2007;12(1):25-48.
11) Wen et al Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2007, Vol. 50, No. 17 Wen et al