Due to the current COVID19 pandemic, we are going through a period where we are becoming homebound while waiting for these challenging times to come to an end.
Due to this, I have put together some info for a home-made remedy which might be able to support our immune system and which could have an antiviral application. I personally take this while at home and I wanted to share it with you.
At the bottom there is information available into possible drug-herb interactions and modern research for each herb. PLEASE HAVE A THOROUGH READ OF THIS ARTICLE BEFORE CONSUMPTION OF THIS HOME REMEDY
This is not a cure for COVID19 as there are no proven ones existing at the moment. Also, this is not a proven or accepted preventative for it.
IF YOU BECOME SICK WITH FLU OR COLD LIKE SYMPTOMS, YOU NEED TO CONTACT YOUR GP STRAIGHT AWAY BY CALLING THEIR CLINIC
The Home Remedy:
This home-remedy is based on herbs that can be accessed at the common supermarket.
Don't use an essential oil version of this herbs without proper professional advice.
Daily dose for adults (per person):
Star Anise 10g
Garlic One clove
Daily dose for children above 5yo (per children):
Star Anise 4g
Garlic 1/3 of a garlic clove
Place ingredients together in a pot except for the garlic. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to the boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes. Crush the garlic into the mixture at the end. Drink one warm cup morning and one warm cup in the evening. Can add manuka honey and lemon to add better taste.
If cold and flu symptoms take place:
(Once again, this is not a cure for coronavirus and you need to contact your GP/doctor straight away by calling them.)
Star Anise 12g
Garlic One 1/2 clove
Children above 5yo (per children):
Star Anise 6g
Garlic 1 garlic clove
Place ingredients together in a pot except for the garlic. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to the boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes. Crush the garlic into the mixture at the end. Drink one warm cup morning and one warm cup in the afternoon and one warm cup in the evening. Can add manuka honey and lemon to add better taste.
DO NOT TAKE TOGETHER WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS. TAKE AT LEAST 2 HRS AWAY AFTER PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS AND READ INFO BELOW ABOUT DRUG-HERB INTERACTIONS
If taking prescription medications, particularly anticoagulants (warfarin), antihypertensives, paracetamol, metformin, flagil; please red the drug-herb interaction guide below.
Specialised dose for those on prescription drugs. Amounts are based in food level consumption:
If taking blood thinners or anti-hypertensive drugs, reduce ginger to 3g, star anise to 6g, cinnamon to 3g and garlic 1/2 garlic clove. Divide this dose into two cups to take two doses per day.
If taking blood thinners or anti-hypertensive drugs, reduce ginger to 1g, star anise to 2.5g, cinnamon to 1g and garlic to 1/4 of a garlic clove. Divide this dose into two cups to take two doses per day.
DRUG-HERB INTERACTIONS (IMPORTANT TO READ):
-Garlic can accentuate the effect of anticoagulants and hypertensive medications(24, 27) which can be dangerous. It can also affect the rate on which other drugs are metabolised (27).
-Star anise can reduce the amount of acetaminophen (paracetamol) actively available in the blood (28).
-Ginger can enhance the effect of anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications such as warfarin (30) which can be dangerous. It can also interact with anti-inflammatory drugs and blood pressure medications (30) and has been found to interact with Metronidazole (Flagil) (29) in studies with rabbits.
-Cinnamon can accentuate the liver damage caused by medications that can cause such effect (31, 32). Cinnamon can also interact with Metformin absorption in rat models with adverse consequences for glucose metabolism. (31, 32). In addition, Cinnamon can accentuate the effect of anticoagulant drugs with the possibility of dangerous consequences (33). Finally, it should not be taken by those with liver damage (9).
Herbs for immune support with antiviral and antibacterial effects for respiratory infections have been used in Chinese medicine for a long time (19,20). The following is some information that might be useful to explain the possible application for each of these herbs.
Research has shown antiviral (2,5,6,7,8), antimicrobial (1,2), antiherpetic (5,8) and antiparasitic potential (2). There is some evidence pointing at bronchodilator, expectorant (6) and possible benefit to throat infections and influenza (2,6). In addition, star anise is one of the main precursors for the production of the antiviral drug Tamiflu (2,4,6,7).
Evidence reveals antiviral (10,11,12) and antimicrobial properties which can benefit respiratory tract infections (2,9,10,13,14) with possible assistance against influenza virus (10,11,12). It also shows antiherpetic properties (10) and has shown some immunoregulatory activity (11).
It has displayed antiviral (16,18,19,20), antimicrobial (2,15,18,20), antiherpetic (5), and immune regulating properties (15). It can have positive effects against Influenza viruses and assistance during respiratory tract infections (15,16), as well as the possibility of alleviating symptoms of shortness of breath and wheezing in asthma (17). Finally, fresh ginger is better for respiratory applications (18).
Research has shown antiviral (2,3,22,23,24), antiherpetic (23), antimicrobial (2,22,23,24,26), and antiparasitic effects (2,22,23,24). It can show potential activity against bacteria (26) and influenza viruses (23,24) in respiratory tract infections and viral pneumonia (23). It also possesses immunomodulatory activity by increasing immunity but decreasing hyper immunity in some allergic reactions (21,22,24,25).
- Benmalek, et. al. (2013). Anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activities of Illicium verum, Crataegus oxyacantha ssp monogyna and Allium cepa red and white varieties. Bioengineered 4:4, 244–248; July/August 2013; © 2013 Landes Bioscience
- Souza, et. al. (2017). Pharmaceutical Perspectives of Spices and Condiments as Alternative Antimicrobial Remedy. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2017, Vol. 22(4) 1002-1010
- Arora, R, et. al. (2011). Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011, Article ID 586506, 16 pages
- Gosh, S., et. al. (2012). Production of shikimic acid. Biotechnol Adv. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6):1425-31. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.03.001.
- Rai, M. K., Kon, K. V. (2013). Fighting Multi-Drug Resistance with Herbal Extracts, Essential Oils and their Compounds: Chapter 17: Development of New Anti-Herpetic Drugs. pp. 250-251; 256. Elsevier Publishing, Printed in the USA
- Shahrajabian, M. H., Sun, W., Cheng, Q. (2019). Chinese star anise and anise, magic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine and modern pharmaceutical science. Asian J. Med. Biol. Res. 2019, 5 (3), 162-179; doi: 10.3329/ajmbr.v5i3.43584
- Patra, J. K., et. al. (2020). Star anise (Illicium verum): Chemical compounds, antiviral properties, and clinical relevance. Phytotherapy Research. Taken on March 23, 2020, from https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6614
- Astani, A., Reichling, J., Schnitzler P. (2011). Screening for antiviral activities of isolated compounds from essential oils. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:253643. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep187. Epub 2011 Feb 14. Taken on March 23, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008902
- Kawatra, P., & Rajagolapan, R. (2015). Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient. Pharmacognosy Res. 2015 Jun; 7(Suppl 1): S1–S6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.157990
- Winska, K., et. al. (2019). Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents—Myth or Real Alternative?. Molecules 2019, 24, 2130; doi:10.3390/molecules24112130
- Zhang, C., et. al. (2019). Cinnamomum cassia Presl: A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology. Molecules 2019, 24, 3473; doi:10.3390/molecules24193473
- Fatima, M., et. al. (2016). In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Cinnamomum cassia and Its Nanoparticles Against H7N3 Influenza A Virus. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Jan;26(1):151-9. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1508.08024. Taken March 23, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26403820
- Al-Dhubiab, B. E. (2012). Pharmaceutical applications and phytochemical profile of Cinnamomum burmannii. Pharmacogn Rev. 2012 Jul-Dec; 6(12): 125–131.doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.99946. Taken March 23, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459454/
- Acs, K., et. al. (2018). Antibacterial activity evaluation of selected essential oils in liquid and vapor phase on respiratory tract pathogens. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2018) 18:227 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-018-2291-9
- Mao, Q. Q., et. al. (2019). Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivities of Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Foods 2019, 8, 185; doi:10.3390/foods8060185
- Khodaie, L., & Sadeghpoor, O. (2015). Ginger From Ancient Times to the New Outlook. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2015 February; 10(1): e18402.
- Rouhi, H., et. al. (2006). Effects of Ginger on the Improvement of Asthma [The Evaluation of Its` Treatmental Effects]. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 5: 373-376. DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2006.373.376
- Chang, JS., et. al. (2013). Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jan 9;145(1):146-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.10.043. Epub 2012 Nov 1.
- Lin, L. L., et. al. (2016). Application of Traditional Chinese Medical Herbs in Preventionand Treatment of Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2016, Article ID 6082729, 13 pageshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6082729
- Gulati, K., et. al. (2016). Nutraceuticals in Respiratory Disorders. Nutraceuticals, pp.75-86. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802147-7.00006-1
- Arreola, R., et. al. (2015). Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds. Journal of Immunology ResearchVolume 2015, Article ID 401630, 13 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/401630
- Foroutan-Rad, M., et. al. (2017). Antileishmanial and Immunomodulatory Activity of Allium sativum (Garlic): A Review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2017, Vol. 22(1) 141-155
- Bayan, L., et. al. (2014). Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna J Phytomed, 2014; 4 (1): 1-14.
- Mikaili, P., (2013). Therapeutic Uses and Pharmacological Properties of Garlic, Shallot, and Their Biologically Active Compounds. Iran J Basic Med Sci; 2013; 16: 1031-1048.
- Daliri, E. BM., et al. (2018). Effects of different processing methods on the antioxidant and immune stimulating abilities of garlic. Food Sci Nutr. 2019;7:1222–1229. DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.942
- 26. Nakamoto, M., et. al. (2019). Antimicrobial properties of hydrophobic compounds in garlic: Allicin, vinyldithiin, ajoene and diallyl polysulfides (Review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19: 1550-1553, 2020. DOI: 10.3892/etm.2019.8388
- Adhikari, A., et. al. (2015). Is Garlic a Safe Remedy: An Overlook Herb-Drug Interaction?. American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics.  622-632
- Samojlik, I., et. al. (2016). Pharmacokinetic Herb-Drug Interaction between Essential Oil of Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum L., Apiaceae) and Acetaminophen and Caffeine: A Potential Risk for Clinical Practice. Phytother Res. 2016 Feb;30(2):253-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5523. Epub 2015 Dec 1.
- Okonta, J. M., et. al. (2008). Herb-Drug Interaction: A Case Study of Effect of Ginger on the Pharmacokinetic of Metronidazole in Rabbit. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008 Mar-Apr; 70(2): 230–232. doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.41462
- WebMD. (2020). GINGER - Interactions. Taken March 23, 2020, from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-961/ginger
- Ashoor, LA., et. al. (2010). Potential interactions between Cinnamon and Metformin treatment in diabetic rats. Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia 7(2):607-616
- WebMD. (2020). CASSIA CINNAMON - Interactions. Taken March 23, 2020, from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1002/cassia-cinnamon
- Maadarani, O., et. al. (2019). Adding Herbal Products to Direct-Acting Oral Anticoagulants Can Be Fatal. Eur J Case Rep Intern Med. 2019; 6(8): 001190. Published online 2019 Jul 19. doi: 10.12890/2019_001190