Chinese herbal medicine found to inhibit the flu virus

The influenza A virus, better known as the flu virus, is a leading cause of seasonal disease around the world, mainly because of the limited number of drug therapies available to treat it. In a study in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, researchers have found a potential treatment for the flu virus in a herbal pellet known as the Compound Yi-Zhi-Hao (CYZH). The pellet is well known in traditional Chinese medicine, and it has also been included the Complication of National Standard for Traditional Chinese Medicine as a treatment for the common cold.

In the study, researchers have found that CYZH also possesses anti-influenza properties and virus and protein inhibitors. CYZH was determined to protect cells from oxidative damage as well. CYZH is composed of three dried raw materials: Ban lan gen (Isatis tinctoria, Isatidis radix); Yi zhi hao (Artemisia rupestris L., Artemisiae Rupestridis Herba); and Da qing ye (Isatis tinctoria, Isatidis folium).

While traditional Chinese medicine has long been to treat many types of diseases, it is just recently that the Western world has opened up to scientifically determining the success factors of these medicines — and are discovering that these natural herbal remedies can make a great contribution in a world dominated by big pharmaceutical companies and profit-driven medicine markets. Currently available treatments for influenza are touted to be convenient but are limited to the point that the viruses causing the flu are becoming immune to it. The importance of the discovery of alternative medicines such as these traditional Chinese medicines offers a way towards a more natural concoction of medicines that are successful in eliminating diseases.

Herbal remedies to beat the flu

Other known natural remedies for flu include:

  • Oregano – This herb can be used to treat hacking coughs associated with the flu and other respiratory conditions. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It can be used as an expectorant.
  • Cinnamon – An aromatic herb that has antifungal and analgesic properties. Cinnamon is used to treat bronchitis, dilate blood vessels, lower blood sugar levels, and increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Ginger – This root is a muscle relaxant or an antispasmodic, and helps stop the spasm of coughing. Drinking a brew of sliced ginger helps alleviate the symptoms of respiratory problems.
  • Garlic – Not only is it good for the heart, but garlic also has antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. Eating garlic helps stimulate the immune system as well.
  • Nutmeg – This spice contains tryptophan, which helps induce sleep especially during serious bouts of influenza.
  • Rosemary – Containing antiviral and antibacterial properties, rosemary is used to treat colds. You can either eat it raw or brew it.
  • Thyme – An aromatic herb which provides an antimicrobial remedy for coughs and other sicknesses.
  • Wild rose – More than a decor, wild rose has a high vitamin C content. Drinking a wild rose brew helps treat symptoms of the common cold, flu, and other illnesses as well.
  • Elecampane – This unfamiliar herb is also known as Inula helenium, and you should consider stocking up on this. It has antimicrobial properties which help soothe irritation and relieve coughing.

Learn more alternative treatments for treating flu symptoms at

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