What Herbs Have Anti-Viral Properties?

[What are the] best herbs for anti-viral use? Question from Jason of Providence, Rhode Island

Answer: What a timely question. We hesitate to give medicinal advice regarding herbal remedies for viral infections, but we do recommend that you read a useful medical article about “Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicines” published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2014. It provides a full review of effective anti-viral herbals at that time. Click here to read it, and check out Table 1. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), dandelion (Taraxicum officinale), and basil (Ocimum basilicum) are among the more common, safe herbal plants mentioned that have extracts with demonstrated anti-viral activity.

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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