Malva sp. (Mallow)

Distribution and Importance of the Plant Although about 1000 species are designated with the common name of mallow, approximately 30 species belonging to the genus Malva (of the Malvaceae family) are known for their medicinal value, mostly in a traditional sense. The common (blue or high) mallow (Malva sylvestris L.) is a biennial to short-lived perennial with prostrate to semi-erect stems (10-80 cm long) and long-stalked rounded leaves with a heart-shaped base and five to seven broad shallow-toothed lobes. The leaves of M. sylvestris var. incanescens Gris are hairy. The flowers (appearing from May to September) are pale lilac to bright mauve-purple and the seeds are flat button-like nutlets. The plant is found naturally in marginal or waste lands, hedgerows and roadsides and is approximately 1 m high, with stalked, roundish, five- to seven-lobed leaves. Plant parts abound with a mild mucilage. Malva aegyptia (Egyptian mallow) is an annual species, endemic in the Mediterranean countries, 20-50 cm high with purple-blue flowers. Malva cretica (Crecian mallow) is another Mediterranean species, which is an annual, 10-30 cm high with rose-coloured leaves. Malva ambigua Guss (M. sylvestris var. ambigua) is a Read more […]

Herpes: The Botanical Practitioner’s Perspective

Herpes simplex virus infection is a major global health problem, and its association with HIV infection makes it imperative to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies. The efficacy of many topical pharmaceutical agents in treating herpes has been somewhat disappointing and inconsistent, and additionally, are costly. Patients are often looking for safe and effective alternative measures to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and shorten their duration. It is also important to look for agents that will be effective at preventing the virus from inculcating into nerve cell bodies, proliferating, and taking up host residence. Botanicals represent a promising area for research. Unfortunately, at present there are few well-designed human clinical trials looking at the effects of herbs on herpes simplex virus. However a number of botanicals have demonstrated antiherpetic activity in vitro, offering some validation of the traditional use of herbs for infection. Several herbs have been shown to be topically healing for wounds, and as discussed in site, have demonstrated efficacy in improving immune response and reducing stress. These latter categories are listed in Table 8-7 with brief descriptions of their applications Read more […]

Botanical Treatment Strategies for Herpes: Antiviral Botanicals

The following herbs represent a selection of botanicals used for internal and / or topical antiviral therapy. All have shown some measure of antimicrobial activity in various studies and are a promising area of research for herpes treatment. Specific studies of the effects of herbs on herpes simplex virus are presented in the following. These herbs may be used singly, but more commonly are used by herbal practitioners in combination with other antivirals, or in comprehensive, multiherb, multieffect formulae. Aloe Aloe has long been used by herbalists as a topical healing agent for wounds, burns, irritated skin, and sores. Two studies were conducted by Syed et al. examining the efficacy of topical aloe vera treatments on men experiencing primary outbreaks of genital herpes. In the first study, 120 men were randomized into three parallel groups receiving either 0.5% in hydrophilic cream, aloe vera gel, or placebo three times daily for 2 weeks. The shortest mean duration of healing occurred with aloe vera cream, followed by gel and then placebo with healing times of 4.8 days, 7.0 days, and 14.0 days, respectively. Percentages of cured patients were 70%, 45%, and 7.5%, respectively. In the second study, 60 men were randomized Read more […]

Herbal medicinal products in herpes virus diseases

In-vitro and in-vivo activity of crude herbal extracts The search for natural antivirals was actually initiated by the Boots drug company (UK) in 1952. Since then many broad-based screening programmes have been undertaken throughout the world to evaluate the in-vitro and in-vivo antiviral activity of plant extracts and many of them revealed strong antiherpes virus activity, while some can be used as a lead for the development of antiherpes virus agents. These reviews report the in-vitro and sometimes in-vivo antiherpes virus activities of many plant extracts, mainly against HSV-1 and HSV-2. Garlic (Allium sativum) extracts showed strong inhibitory activity against HCMV. Interestingly the intraperitoneal administration of black seed (Nigella sativa) oil to BALB/c mice strikingly inhibited HCMV in-vitro murine cytomegalovirus (CMV) titres in spleen and liver (Salem and Hossain, 2000) while the extract of Terminalia chebula not only significantly inhibited herpes simplex virus in vivo, but also the replication of HCMV in vitro and murine CMV in immunosuppressed mice. Canadian researchers first reported the antiviral activities of grape, apple and strawberry juices against herpes simplex virus and other viruses; Read more […]

Herpes Virus

Over the centuries herbal medicinal products formed the basis of medicaments in Africa, China, India and in many other civilisations. Traditional healers have long used herbal products to prevent or to cure infectious conditions but scientific interest in natural antivirals is more recent, spurred on by the rapid spread of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Additionally the rapid rate of species extinction leads to irretrievable loss of structurally diverse and potentially useful phytochemicals, compounds which are often species/strain-specific with diverse structures and bioactivities, synthesised mainly for defence against predators. The herpes virus The herpes virus belongs to Herpesviridae, a family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in humans and animals. There are eight distinct viruses in this family, known to cause disease in humans. Viruses of the herpes group are morphologically indistinguishable, share many common features of intracellular development, but differ widely in biological properties. All human herpes viruses (HHV) contain a large double-stranded, linear DNA with 100-200 genes encased within an icosahedral protein capsid wrapped in a lipid bilayer envelope, called a virion. Following Read more […]