Growing Plants With Antiviral Properties
As “pandemic” movie themes of the past become the reality of today, the agricultural community will likely see an increased interest in foods with antiviral properties. This gives commercial growers and backyard gardeners the opportunity to be at the forefront. Whether you’re growing food for the community or for your family, growing antiviral plants could become the wave of the future.
Do Antiviral Plants Keep You Healthy?
Little research has been done to definitively prove antiviral foods boost immunity in humans. Successful studies have used concentrated plant extracts to inhibit viral replication in test tubes. Laboratory experiments on mice have also shown promising results, but more studies are clearly needed. The truth is, the inner workings of the immune response are still very poorly understood by researchers, doctors, and the medical field. We do know adequate sleep, reduced stress, exercise, a healthy diet and even exposure to sunlight keep our immune systems strong.
As society searches for answers to our questions about COVID 19, let’s explore plants which have been relished for their immune-boosting and antiviral properties:
1. Pomegranate – The juice from this fruit contains more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, and other fruit juices. Pomegranate has also been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
2.Ginger – In addition to being antioxidant-rich, the pungent ginger root contains compounds believed to impede viral replication and prohibit viruses from gaining cell access.
3.Lemon – Like most citrus fruits, lemons are high in vitamin C. Debate lingers as to whether this water-soluble compound prevents the common cold, but studies suggest Vitamin C promotes the development of white blood cells.
4.Garlic – Garlic has been recognized since ancient times as an antimicrobial agent, and this zesty spice is believed by many to have antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties.
5.Peppermint – Peppermint is an easily grown herb that contains menthol and rosmarinic acid, two compounds proven to have viricidal activity in laboratory studies.