Anti-viral Herb List

Reishi/Ling Zhi and Olive Leaf: ingredients for an antiviral tea.
Reishi & Olive Leaf tea

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about antiviral herbs for COVID-19 prevention & support lately. This is a list of antiviral herbs that I have personally worked with, and feel comfortable suggesting to people. This is not an exhaustive list; there may be other great herbs available in your local area.

Note: while it’s not botanically correct, I am including mushrooms when I use the word “herb” in this post.

How to use this list:

1. Pick one or a few herb(s) that are locally available.

2. Tip: If you’re making tea, pick herbs whose flavors blend together well (for example: reishi, star anise, ginger, and cinnamon would make a great tea).

3. Do not buy everything on this list! I don’t recommend mixing everything listed here all together. You do not need a huge number of herbs for your antiviral medicine to be effective. (Plenty of other people have already written about pandemic hoarding; please don’t do it.)

Indigenous North American Herbs:

Disclaimer: Please take only what you need. If you are not familiar with your local protocols for harvesting ethically, sustainably, and with consent, please do not wild-harvest these herbs.

Cedar
Lakota name: Ȟaŋté
Scientific name: Thuja plicata, Thuja occidentalis
Part used: Leaves
How to use: Infusion (Tea — pour hot water over leaves in cup/jar); Boil on stove & breathe in the steam

Boneset
Scientific name: Eupatorium perfoliatum
Part used: leaves, flowers, stems
How to use: Infusion (Tea — pour hot water over leaves in cup/jar). Stronger infusions (more plant material) are more effective, but it is quite bitter.
Note: Boneset was a commonly used plant medicine during the Spanish Flu Pandemic. It is also available commercially.

Wild Licorice
Scientific name: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
Lakota name: Wínawizi Čík’ala
Part used: Root
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 min) 

Herbs you can find in a grocery store:

Star Anise
Scientific name: Illicium verum
Part used: Star-shaped seeds
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 min)

Cinnamon
Scientific name: Various species; Cinnamomum cassia, C. loureirii, & C. verum are most common
Part used: Bark (either powdered or in curled cinnamon sticks)
How to use: Drink in a cold infusion (soak in cold water for 6-12 hours), or or drink in a decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 minutes)

Garlic
Scientific name: Allium sativum
Part used: Bulb
How to use: Eat cooked or raw, ferment, juice, or drink in an infusion or decoction

Ginger
Scientific name: Zingiber officinale
Part used: Root
How to use: Eat cooked or raw, ferment, juice, or drink in a decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 min) 

Rosemary
Scientific name: Salvia rosmarinus
Part used: Leaves
How to use:  Infusion (Tea — pour hot water over leaves in cup/jar)
Note: Easy to grow in a home garden.

Oregano
Scientific name: Origanum vulgare
Part used: Leaves
How to use: Infusion (Tea — pour hot water over leaves in cup/jar)
Note: Easy to grow in a home garden.

Herbs you can find in a specialty/herb store or order online:

Asian Licorice
Scientific name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Part used: Root
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for 15 min)

Olive tree
Scientific name: Olea europea
Part used: Leaves
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 min) 
Note: Popular street tree in some parts of the US.

Lemon Balm
Scientific name: Melissa officinalis
Part used: Leaves
How to use: Infusion (Tea — pour hot water over leaves in cup/jar), tincture
Note: Easy to grow in a home garden.

Reishi / Ling Zhi
Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum
Part used: Fruiting body (mushroom)
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for at least 4 hours) 
Note: Found in some forests in North America — but DO NOT wild-harvest mushrooms unless you are 100% sure you have identified it correctly!

Turkeytail mushroom
Scientific name: Trametes versicolor
Part used: Fruiting body (mushroom)
How to use: Decoction (Tea — boil for at least 4 hours) 
Note: Found in some forests in North America — but DO NOT wild-harvest mushrooms unless you are 100% sure you have identified it correctly!

Shiitake mushroom
Scientific name: Lentinula edodes
Part used: Fruiting body (mushroom)
How to use: Eat cooked or in soup, or drink in a decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 minutes)
Note: May be available at some grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Maitake (Hen-of-the Woods) mushroom
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
Part used: Fruiting body (mushroom)
How to use: Eat cooked or in soup, or drink in a decoction (Tea — boil for at least 15 minutes)
Note: Found in some forests in North America — but DO NOT wild-harvest mushrooms unless you are 100% sure you have identified it correctly!

If you have any questions about any of these herbs or mushrooms, please feel free to ask me. I could go into a lot of detail about each of them, because there is a lot to be said — but I wanted this to be a brief, accessible overview.

If you see any errors in this document, please let me know ASAP — I usually take a lot of time with my posts, but given how many people are getting sick right now, people have asked me to put this one up more quickly than I normally would. As always, any errors here are my own.

Zaníya úŋ wo! Stay healthy!

Legal Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. Any advice given on this blog is not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: