Review: Overview of Natural Products for the Treatment or Prevention of Influenza


Natural Products for Treating or Preventing Influenza


Catherine E. Ulbricht and Dawn Costa



Natural products – including botanicals, minerals, and other substances produced by organisms – not only hold historical significance in various medical traditions, but they also form the basis of many modern-day drugs. On one hand, natural products are considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); as with many CAM therapies, natural products are often used for primary disease prevention and treatment – or as adjuncts to conventional therapies – despite uncertain effectiveness or safety. On the other hand, natural products have given rise to numerous conventional drugs, which are widely used in mainstream medicine and compose the primary therapeutic strategies for numerous conditions (including influenza). In this review, the available evidence on the use of select natural products for the treatment or prevention of influenza is discussed. Finally, a brief overview of an established influenza drug with botanical origins is provided.


Copyright © 2011 C.E. Ulbricht et al. This is an open access article distributed under the

Creative Commons Attribution License.

1.              Select natural products used for influenza treatment and prevention

1.           Andrographis (Andrographis spp.) - Background and mechanism of action

2.           Andrographis (Andrographis spp.) - Clinical evidence

3.           Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) - Background and mechanism of action

4.           Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) - Clinical evidence

5.           Elder (Sambucus spp.) - Background and mechanism of action

6.           Elder (Sambucus spp.) - Clinical evidence

7.           Ginseng (Panax spp. ) - Background and mechanism of action

8.           Ginseng (Panax spp. ) - Clinical evidence

2.              Tamiflu: an established influenza drug with natural origins

3.              Conclusion

4.              References


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