Mints Are and Have Been Used as Medicinal Herbs For Generations
Mints As Medicinals
Herbs from the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family have been shown to drastically reduce the infectivity of HIV-1 virions, single infective viral particles. A research team from the University of Heidelberg has found that extracts of lemon balm, sage and peppermint work rapidly to produce their effects in amounts that display no toxicity. The extracts were seen to enhance the density of the virions prior to their surface engagement. They also displayed a strong activity against herpes simplex virus type 2.
The researchers examined water extracts from the leaves of lemon balm, sage and peppermint for their potency to inhibit infection by HIV-1. They found that the extracts exhibited a high and concentration-dependent activity against the infection of HIV-1 in T-cell lines, primary macrophages, and in ex vivo tonsil histocultures. This effect was produced at extract concentrations as low as 0.004% without affect to cell viability.
Exposing free virions to the extract potently and rapidly inhibited infection, while exposure of surface-bound virions or target cells alone had virtually no antiviral effect. In line with this observation, a virion fusion assay demonstrated that HIV-1 entry was drastically impaired following treatment of particles with Lamiaceae extracts, and the magnitude of this effect at the early stage of infection correlated with the inhibitory potency on HIV-1 replication.
Lamiaceae is a family of potent healers.
Along with the plants used in the study, the Lamiaceae family includes such healing superstars as oregano and mint. The tannins and polyphenols in these plants have strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects. The plants are usually cultivated in mild temperature zones such as the Mediterranean where they find needed winter protection and sandy soil. They are all featured in Mediterranean cuisine, undoubtedly one reason why people who eat the Mediterranean diet live such long, health lives. Each member of the family also has a long list of characteristics unique to it.
- Written by Bob Johnson
- Category: Medicinal Herbs
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