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The Herbal Remedy Which Kills Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

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By Kyle J. Norton

Herbal Cascara Sagrada may process a bioactive compound for the prevention and treatment of Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, according to studies.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) belonging to the human Herpesviridae family is a class of virus that cause viral infections in the majority of humans.


The herpes simplex virus (HSV)  is very contagious.


Diseases associated with the infection of herpes simplex viruses 1, including the skin, mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. In severe cases, the viruses also cause encephalitis, meningitis, neonatal herpes.


HSV-2 usually causes genital lesions.


Ethnicity, gender, increase in age, sex without a condom and people with HIV infection weakened the immune system and are at a higher risk of HSV infection, particularly in people with certain sexual behavior.

Dr. Kalu E, the lead scientist at the Umuahia, Abia State in the concern of the sexual behavior in risk of HSV infection wrote, “Seroprevalence of HSV-2 antibody was 47.3%.” and “Sexual behavioral factors that were significantly associated with HSV-2 seroprevalence included early exposure to sexual intercourse, number of sex partners, involvement in polygamous marriages, the involvement of husband in extra-marital affairs and hormonal contraceptive use”.


The cross-sectional study design was adopted and the study took place between November 2011 and June 2012 with the participation of 410 consenting ante-natal clinic patients in two major tertiary hospitals in Benin City.

The finding clearly suggested that certain sexual behaviors are associated with the risk of Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) infection.

Cascara sagrada is a species of buckthorn, genus Rhamnus, belonging to the family Rhamnaceae, native to western North America, it’s bark has been used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal support. and it is thought to have a laxative and natural cleansing, etc.,

Besides the main compound of anthraquinones, other compounds include anthraquinone glycosides, (emodin, frangulin, iso-emodin, aloe-emodin, and chrysophanol), rhein, aloin, malic acid, tannic acid, cascarosides A, B, C, and D, and hydroxy anthracene derivatives (HAD), etc.

Researchers on the finding a natural product with no side effects for the treatment of Herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and -2), in the induction of AIDs, evaluated the effects of emodin, the major compound of Rheum tanguticum and Herbal Cascara Sagrada anti-HSV activity.


Emodin (3-methyl-1,6,8-trihydroxyanthraquinone) use in the study obtained by extracted and purified from herbal medicine.

The study was carried out In Vivo with the HSV-infected mice orally administered with emodin beginning at 24 h post-HSV exposures with dosages of 3.3 g/kg/day, 6.7 g/kg/day, and 11.3 g/kg/day, respectively, for 7 days.

During the experiment, the injection of emodin displayed significant inhibition of the replication of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in cell culture at the concentration of 50 μg/ml with an antiviral index of 2.07 and 3.53, respectively.


Emodin treatment increased the survival rate of HSV-infected mice, prolonged survival time and showed higher efficacy of HSV elimination from brain, heart, liver, and ganglion, compared to the viral controls.


Furthermore, the efficacy of emodin was found to exert a similar inhibition compared to that of conventional medicine, acyclovir.


Dr. Xiong HR and colleagues wrote at the final report, “emodin has the anti-HSV activity in vitro and in vivo and is thus a promising agent in the clinical therapy of HSV infection”.


Moreover, in order to reveal more information about the anti-herpes simplex virus activity of emodin, researchers examined the effect of the phytochemical compared to a small group of nucleoside analogs that target the viral polymerase.


Emodin specifically inhibited the nuclease activity of HSV-1 UL12 alkaline nuclease which plays a critical role in viral DNA replication, similar to that of nucleoside analogs, according to the biochemical assay.


 Emodin reduced the plaque formation or cell-to-cell spread, with an EC(50) of 21.5+/-4.4 muM, according to the plaque reduction assay.


Additionally, according to the docking analysis, the inhibitory effect of emodin on the UL12 activity also was associated with the interaction between emodin and critical catalytic amino acid residues of UL12 similar to that of nucleoside analogs.


Taken altogether, herbal Cascara Sagrada processed abundantly bioactive compound emodin may be considered a functional remedy for the prevention and combined with the primary medicine for the treatment of HSV-1 and -2 infections, pending to the reconfirmation of large sample size and multicenter human study.


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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) The effect of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative extracted from the roots of Rheum tanguticum, against herpes simplex virus in vitro and in vivo by Xiong HR, Luo J, Hou W, Xiao H, Yang ZQ.(PubMed)
(2) Emodin is a novel alkaline nuclease inhibitor that suppresses herpes simplex virus type 1 yields in cell cultures by Hsiang CY, Ho TY.(PubMed)
(3) Sexual behavioral correlates with HSV-2 seroprevalence among pregnant women in Nigeria by Kalu EI1, Ojide CK, Fowotade A, Nwadike VU. (PubMed)

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