Over the next few months we will look at plants with controlled trial evidence (human studies) and bioactivity potentially relevant to protection against or treatment of viral infections (such as covid 19) with key activities including anti-viral, immuno-stimulant, for respiratory health (including coughs, colds, flu, pneumonia) as well as antiseptic skin protection.
This list excludes many more plants that have positive results from lab studies – such as being anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and decongestant – and are yet to be tested in controlled clinical trials.
Some of the plants we will look at are below (* indicates particular relevance) and we will also include plants that help boost mood, relieve stress and treat anxiety and insomnia.
*Astragalus root – immunostimulant, treats common colds and prevents respiratory infection
*Echinacea root: reduces respiratory infection, antiviral and immune-boosting
Elder berry – reduces symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infection
Elecampane (pictured) root – immunostimulant (inulin)
Garlic bulb and wild garlic (ransoms) leaf – immunostimulant and antiseptic
Ginger root – immunostimulant and anti-viral
Ivy leaf – treats respiratory disease
Liquorice root – immunostimulant
Rose hip (wild/ dog rose) – treats colds, immunostimulant ( vitamin C )
Sage leaf (Salvia officinalis) – antibiotic (eg. throat infections)
Tea tree and other essential oils – antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal
Thyme leaf – for coughs, respiratory infections as well as antibacterial and antiviral