The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Commonly available natural antivirals -- any besides garlic/coconut oil?

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by dan062, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. dan062

    dan062 Senior Member

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    I've been exploring the idea of beginning an antiviral protocol this week (my efforts to work on the microbiome mainly seem to be convincing me that our knowledge of it is too rudimentary to provide clear enough guidance to us on what we need to do to improve it at this stage).

    As my next specialist appointment isn't for another month, I'm looking to try out some natural antivirals in the meantime in the hope that they might make a difference.

    I don't think going the natural route is a bad strategy at all. There seems to be far less of a differential in terms of efficacy between natural and pharmaceutics in the viral class than with bacteria and parasites -- probably because there are far fewer antivirals available as they are so difficult to make.

    My preference would always be to find something that is relatively commonly available in its natural format and that I can prepare myself ie not something that I need to buy a supplement for -- mostly because if I am going to be committing to using a herb in the long term (from what I've read successful antiviral treatment can take years) this would be far more convenient, and probably cheaper, than having to rely on supplements.

    The candidates

    For this reason, I've been looking firstly at raw garlic and coconut oil. With raw garlic, the smell is too much of an issue for me. I want to dose high enough for this to be worth my while (3+ cloves/day ; apparently you can get up to 5-6/day long term without side effects), and at that level, the smell is both persistent and un-disguisable.

    I don't doubt how good coconut oil is, but something doesn't seem right about the idea of repeatedly dosing with something with that high a sat. fat content in the long term. Potentially clog your arteries to rid yourself of a virus..

    Green tea: would seem a suitable candidate if I lived near a tea plantation and had access to the fresh leaves.

    Otherwise, I can't seen tea being strong enough - everything I've read indicates that the water extraction misses most of the compounds. Grinding it to a powder makes it nauseating (the tannins, I think), and I think at that stage a supp would probably be just as (in)convenient.

    Oregano: The only other one I can think of which you find in your local supermarket. I've thought about dosing with the dried powder in water (shots, in other words). I guess the above criticism applies here too (at that stage, a supp is probably as convenient) and am not yet sure either of safety or whether the oil would still be concentrated enough in the dried spice preparation intended for culinary use to be an effective dose.

    Indian cuisine: interestingly would seem to incorporate the most antiviral spices (ginger, cinnamon, turmeric). Perhaps consistently ingesting a wide variety of antiviral herbs, at low doses, would have sufficient effect in the long run.

    Are there any others anyone can think of?

    I'm aware of what the list broadly contains (echniacea, Shiitake, oregano oil, Una de Gato, Pau d'Arco, Elderberry, etc) but can't think of any options other than the above that are commonly available-- unless, for each, you live in the peculiar situation of living in the exactly right part of the world to have that herb growing fresh in your locality.

    Perhaps supplements are the only way to go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    You are after a bit of a holy grail here and I am trying to think of things we used in the 80's before there were many antiviral drugs

    We didn't have much luck then and neither did our friends with HIV/AIDs. It was a huge relief to me that news drug were developed.

    Off the top of my head (and I'll keep adding to this)

    Aloe vera
    Tea tree

    Things in parasite cleans like cloves

    Oily fish
    Olive oil

    Salt / Vitamin C (not sure if lots of fruit/veges high in C is useful here)

    Nigella seeds
    Dr Cheney was recomemding some types of bottled water - Evian, Fiji and others
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  3. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    Olive Leaf Extract
    Black Seed Oil
     
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  4. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I presume you don't want to consider things like Samento and Banderol etc.
    Allicin is a capsule form of garlic which some people have had success with, just taking one floored me so??????? Myabe should have tried a much much smaller dose.
     
  5. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

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    I use oil of oregano drops when I'm coming down with a flu or a cold. I call it my cannon. I haven't tried it as a long-term anti-viral; it might be too hard on the system.
     
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  6. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    My naturopath had me taking Monolaurin and Maitake Mushroom as natural anti virals. Have also taken oil of oregano in the past. I was advised against OLE (in my case) that it would lower my BP too much.
     
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  7. dan062

    dan062 Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful responsesm, guys (as usual here).

    @ukxmrv Lol. I think it is indeed something of a 'holy grail' that I'm after. I doubted I was missing something major but wanted to ask just in case. Didn't think of aloe vera. Perhaps you can eat the plant directly!?

    @maryb I've already bought Cat's Claw, actually. I think it will come down to those or pharmaceuticals based on the responses so far. By 'floored' do you mean a Herx reaction or just that it made you really tired?

    @Gingergrrl That's one for the list, actually, along with Shiitake and Reishi. Unfortunately they're expensive and not that relatively available, but definitely more so than many of the other options. I've been taking a mushroom mix supplement but I'm very dubious about the quantity it contains. I might try source some of the real stuff at a farmer's market this week.

    @JAM Forgot black seed - thanks. I was scared off continuing with it by some toxicity reports (I forget the compound but I think, it's possible to overdose on relatively little, and I had no means of measuring at the time). I'll delve a bit deeper into it and might add it to my routine. Anything would be better than reeking of garlic!

    Olive leaf extract is next on my to-try list but as I don't live anywhere near an olive field in Tuscany, I don't think it's available 'naturally', which is what I'm looking for. I read your blog on it, though, and your experience sounds promising.

    I forgot that oregano is available as a fresh spice as well as dried. Might try that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
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  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I meant it made me feel so bad, I don't think it was a herx I think it just killed too many bacteria in one hit and the toxins were too much for my body to cope with. I didn't try it again so who knows? I love garlic, not sure it loves me but I do try to eat it regularly.
     
  9. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    @maryb have you ever been tested for any infections? It sounds like you could be on to something here.

    @dan062 what side effects from garlic were you referring to?
     
  10. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @dan062 There is also AHCC mushrooms which I forgot to mention. Different practitioners will give you different opinions on which is superior (and I really have no idea!) but for now, I continue to take the Maitake mushrooms from my former ND until the bottle runs out. Let me know what you figure out, I am curious!
     
  11. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    I find oil of oregano can cause tissue burning if used more than as a spot treatment for immediate infections. Also I'm pretty sure it was responsible for my platelet count getting low a few years ago. A naturopath prescribed a huge amount of it. perhaps a smaller amount would be OK.
     
  12. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    The Barlean's extract is relatively inexpensive and minimally processed. Not sure where you live, but my herbalist sources his OL from a farm in California, so not too far away.

    I haven't seen anything about blackseed oil being toxic, if you run into info on it will you send me a copy? I take one gel cap a day and use the oil topically. It has really reduced my skin issues, which were becoming very intense.
     
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @knackers323
    I have been diagnosed with Lyme and co-infections.
     
  14. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    @maryb so you probably do not have cfs then, these infections are likely responsible for your health issues.?

    do you get the same reaction from raw garlic that you do from the allicin tablets? How many cloves of garlic have you tried?
     
  15. Helen

    Helen Senior Member

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  16. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @knackers323
    no I don't eat raw garlic, I use it in cooking but not sue it does agree with me. The Allicin is substantially stronger, you couldn't eat as much as is in the capsules.
    Do I have ME/CFS as well as Lyme, who knows?
     
  17. dan062

    dan062 Senior Member

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    I seem to have gotten that totally wrong. I think nigella sativa / kalonji may actually be as close to what I'm looking for as is exists, as it's extremely easy to find (in Asian groceries).

    Nigella Sativa ('kalonji' / black seed) toxicity studies (for my reference / anyone else that wants to try this)

    (TDLR summary:
    seems exceptionally conservative, but (depending on your BW) don't take more than 1 level teaspoon per day over the long run).

    (Copied this to a blog post and expanded slightly)


    Firstly, although this notes that the herb has a "very low toxicity" profile (elsewhere: "the seeds are characterized by a very low degree of toxicity") , when you crunch the numbers it is surprising how little powder the safe doses found in the studies below add up to.

    A good rule of thumb seems to be (warning: please check the calculations for yourself before relying on them) that 1 level teaspoon of black seed powder = ~50mg of pure TQO, the active constituent (and the primary toxicity concern).

    Note that even at this small amount it is probable to either level with or exceed the extrapolated NOAEL for humans. At 80kg bodyweight, that works out at only 48g TQO/day.

    Humans: (link) Estimates No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) for humans extrapolated from the below animal studies to be: 0.6mg/kg/day for purified thymoquinone taken orally (active constituent) but only gives the whole seed NOAEL level based on the extract.

    Mice/rats (fixed oil; 2ml/kg bw/day): Regarding oil extract use: Link: "Chronic toxicity was studied in rats treated daily with an oral dose of 2 ml/kg body wt. for 12 weeks. Changes in key hepatic enzymes levels ... and histopathological modifications (heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas) were not observed after 12 weeks of treatment (good)." however:
    "The serum cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels and the count of leukocytes and platelets decreased significantly, compared to control values, while hematocrit and hemoglobin levels increased significantly." (I presume the underlined effects would be problematic).

    Mice (purified TQO; 90mg/kg bw/day): (Link) No toxicity (histological exam and biochemistries) at 09mg/kg bw/day of pure TQO for 90 days.

    Mice (various preparations up to 21g/kg bw/day): (link) No mortality even at the highest dose for a week. However, aqeous extracts at these doses did show degenerative hepatic change (need full access for details).

    Rats (powder; 1g/kg bw/day): link No hepatoxicity observed at high dose level (1g/kg/day).

    This is an older toxicity study which used the powdered form (more applicable to what I'll be doing) but the abstract doesn't list the dosage used (impact on variables studies was favourable anyway).

    Link: Anecdotal claim: black Seed has been reported to be toxic in the amount of 25 grams or more. The maximum dosage for any cure is 3 teaspoons per day.

    Conversions

    Powder - oil conversion factor: To convert from dried powder to fixed oil (assuming no degradation during the grinding and storage process, of course, which is unlikely) factor in an oil percentage of 36-38% (reference; source in footnotes).

    Thymoquinone (TQO) from dry weight: (Source) The essential oil is generally 0.4 - 0.45 % of the dry weight and thymoquinone makes up 27.8 - 57% of the essential oil. Using 0.45% and 57% this means the TQO = 0.026% of the dry powder weight. Therefore, 1 level teaspoon (2g dry n. sattiva) = 52mg TQO

    Dried weights: 1 level teaspoon = ~2g. 1 heaped teaspoon = ~3g.

    @knackers323 I was just referring to the taste and smell of raw garlic! Other than that, haven't noticed any side effects.

    ETA: Now I think about it, I've really no idea how to interpret animal-based studies. I worked out that a teaspoon of powdered black seed is ~2g, so assuming a bodyweight of 80kg and using the 1g/kg upper toxicity level in the study above (just for example) that would be 40 teaspoon-fuls -- which seems like too much to be taking in one day. Perhaps 10 (at maximum) might provide a decent safety margin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
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  18. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    Wow, I am nowhere near that dosage! At most I take 3 gel caps in a day, when I am developing a cold sore, so far it has kept them down to one small blister at most. Please, keep me posted on your progress.
     
  19. dan062

    dan062 Senior Member

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    Sure. The major potential concerns seem to be: kidney damage, liver damage, low platelets, and low WCC.

    I'm going to look further into the safety aspect if I'm going to dose this properly, but it might be an idea to periodically keep an eye on all of the above through fairly basic blood testing (creatinine, liver enzymes, platelets and WCC).
     
  20. dan062

    dan062 Senior Member

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