This article is a review of a study published July 2005 in the journal Antiviral Research that identified four plants with antiviral activities against SARS 1.

After the first “SARS” outbreak in China in late 2002, Chinese researchers tested natural herbs for antiviral potential against the virus. The study was funded by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China and the One Hundred Scientist Plan of Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2005 they published successful results.

The method of action for the herbs seems to be a simple one to me. They herbs kill the virus but don’t harm the host. The authors don’t elaborate much. There is a dearth of specific scientific knowledge about how herbs kill viruses for some reason.

The authors say “There is evidence showing that the herbal medicine is effective. However, the mechanisms of this treatment have not been clearly understood. It has been shown that natural plants contain antiviral activities to other coronaviruses and the mechanism of action of these herbal products is mainly through inhibition of viral replication.”

So perhaps the coronaviruses cannot breed in human hosts in the presence of sufficient quantities of these herbs in the bloodstreams of humans. Let’s move on to the actual plants.

The scientists tested “more than 200 Chinese medicinal herb extracts.” These plants have a Chinese heritage. Presumably, there are plenty of other plants around the world that would also have been good candidates for antiviral testing against SARS 1, but were not included in the study. The Chinese scientists did find four Chinese plants with good antiviral properties against SARS 1, though.

These four plants were Lycoris radiataArtemisia annuaPyrrosia lingua, and Lindera aggregata. These aren’t exactly household names. Let’s familiarize with the plants first, then go over the results of the study.

Lycoris radiata is known as the Red Spider Lilly. It is native to China. It is extensively cultivated for its beauty.

Artemisia annua is also known as Wormwood or Sweet Wormwood. It is extensively cultivated by Pharmaceutical companies to create antiviral chemicals like Artesunate, Artemisinin, and others. It has been extensively used since well Before Christ as a treatment for viruses and parasites.

This plant originated in China. It grows well in temperate areas of the United States. The University of Kentucky has been growing it on a large scale recently.

Pyrrosia lingua, native to China, is also known as a Tongue Fern. It has some popularity in gardening.

Lindera aggregata, below, is also known as Japanese Evergreen Spicebrush. It isn’t much cultivated. There are some tinctures made from the root. It’s unclear what part of the plant the Chinese researchers used for their study.

Now to the results of the study. “The results from our study provide strong support for the usage of these herbs to treat SARS-CoV infectious diseases.” The scientists used % CPE Reduction as their dependent test variable. CPE is Cytopathic effect, which seems to refer to the rate at which the virus is capable of multiplying (an amateur read).

The authors felt like the Red Spider Lilly had the most effective CPE reduction. “Out of the four, Lycoris radiata was most potent.” They identified one chemical compound from Lycoris radiata, lycorine.

Thus there are many natural herbs that could very likely be proven to have the ability to slow the spread of coronaviruses. Research, of course, does not focus on this area, because if it can be proven true that a natural plant could be effective in fighting Pandemics, it could undermine the entire financial underpinnings of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The government of the United States has previously recommended the use of natural antivirals to combat national emergencies. Shortly after the September 2001 attacks against the United States, which included Anthrax attacks, the government recommended that the public purchase Garlic. The government recommended that the public purchase Garlic because in the event of a larger Anthrax attack, local supplies of antibiotics would be quickly exhausted. It was part of effective common sense advice that included the famous duct tape and plastic sheeting.

That type of practical advice on how to deal with this Pandemic is lacking, in my opinion, because the government has not once mentioned the use of natural plants as antivirals, as if they could have no positive effect while “vaccines” are developed. It is a question among many of criminal importance. How many lives could have been saved by the use of plants? Why is research on the medical use of whole plants so clearly banned by the United States?

Charles Wright