The Best Antiviral Medicinal Herbs

The Best Antiviral Medicinal Herbs


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The Best Antiviral Medicinal Herbs

Cat’s Claw

The Best Antiviral Medicinal Herbs

All this week I have been sharing with my readers, via Facebook Live sessions and this website, the best antivirals in the way of foods, culinary herbs, and essential oils and this post is all about the best antiviral medicinal herbs.

While we don’t know for a fact that these things will kill COVID-19 – it is too new and there is no research – we do know that the herbs listed below do have antiviral activity. And a few of them have anti-coronavirus activity (just a different form than the one currently harassing the globe). Without further ado, here’s the list:

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Cats Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
Chaparral (Larrea tridentata)
Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) – one of the phytochemicals, a flavone, from this plant does have research showing that it fights another strain of coronavirus [1]
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, E purpurea)
Essiac tea – a blend of herbs that are both anticancer and antiviral
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) a/k/a St Mary’s Thistle
Moringa (Moringa oleifera)
Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica)
Olive leaf (Olea europea)
Pao Pereira (Geissospermum vellosii)
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Pau d’ Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) – these are known to be toxic, they are from the amaryllis family. I only mention it because it actually has research [1] indicating that it fights another form of coronavirus (not COVID-19).
Rose Hips (from Rosa species)
St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Wormwood (Artemesia annua) – this herb also has research [1] showing that it fights another form of coronavirus (not COVID-19).

A good many Chinese herbs are also antiviral and, if you have the misfortune to be fighting breast cancer in the midst of this pandemic, I would strongly recommend that you be working with a Traditional Chinese Medicine herbalist to find the best protection for you.

When taking herbal medicine, it is best to work with a qualified naturopath or herbal medicine doctor so that you don’t have interactions with any other medications you might be on.


[1] Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicines –

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About Marnie Clark

marnie clark breast cancer coach

Hi I’m Marnie Clark, breast cancer survivor turned coach. I have 20 years of experience in natural medicine.  In 2004/05 I battled breast cancer myself. You can see more about my journey on my page Breast Cancer Diary.

I’ve been healthy and recurrence-free since 2004 and in 2012 I became a Breast Cancer Coach because I became aware of the fact that whilst there is now a wealth of information on the Internet, much of it is confusing, conflicting, and sometimes just wrong!

So it is my duty to help you unconfuse and untangle all that information, and find what works for YOU.

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The Role of Resveratrol in Breast Cancer Prevention

The Role of Resveratrol in Breast Cancer Prevention

Over the past week I have been listening to a variety of vastly interesting online talks aired in a summit entitled “Interpreting Your Genetics”. Genetics and epigenetics have been a particular interest of mine since I learned I had breast cancer back in 2004.

One of the things I worried about, especially since I had lost both my mother and her mother to breast cancer, was the possible genetic aspect of this disease. I worried about it a lot until I learned about epigenetics and how the things we eat, the thoughts we think and many other environmental factors influence our particular genetic heritage. We do not need to be slaves to our genes!

Resveratrol is a compound found primarily in the skin of red grapes, but  is also found in pomegranates, peanuts, peanut butter and a few other food sources. It is resveratrol’s role as an influencer of genetic expression that I find particularly interesting. For one thing, if you are someone who has a problem with methylation (and I will be writing about this subject very soon), meaning you have a genetic abnormality that shows you don’t methylate properly, resveratrol helps to modulate or balance that gene. One of the things I learned in the summit was that resveratrol doesn’t push the gene to excess or down-regulate it, but works to balance it. There are a variety of other natural substances that also do this, and I will be writing about them soon too!

Resveratrol Minimizes Circulating Estrogen

If the body’s ability to process circulating estrogen (and xenoestrogens) goes out of balance, this can be one of the causative factors for breast cancer. High levels of estrogen metabolites do not get excreted and are allowed to circulate and these compounds can react with DNA in breast cells. Excess estrogen (regardless of derivation) in the body is actually genotoxic (toxic to genes). Two American studies [1], [2] on resveratrol and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) found that the pair minimized the action of estrogen on MCF-10F cells (healthy human breast cells, estrogen receptor-alpha negative and aryl hydrocarbon receptor positive). Researchers stated “Through these effects, the combination of NAcCys [NAC] and Resv [resveratrol] is expected to inhibit the initiation of cancer by estrogens.” [1] For those with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, this is VERY interesting research.

Resveratrol Mitigates Chemotherapy Damage to Heart

One 2017 animal study [3] investigated the ability of resveratrol for helping to mitigate the cardiotoxicity and damage of a commonly-used chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin. Researchers found that resveratrol prevented some of the heart damage and cardiotoxicity associated with this drug. They stated “resveratrol may be used prophylactically as a possible adjuvant therapy to minimize cardio-toxic side effects of Doxorubicin in cancer patients.”

Resveratrol Blocks Dioxin

One of the things I learned in the Interpreting Your Genetics summit is that resveratrol blocks dioxin, a highly toxic chemical compound. One article said dioxin was one of the most toxic chemicals known to science. A major source of dioxin exposure is through diet, primarily from eating beef, fish, pork, poultry and eggs (another reason to choose organically grown). So to discover that resveratrol has the ability to block dioxin is huge. I found a Canadian study released in 1999 [4] that did indicate resveratrol had antagonist activity on the cellular binding sites to which dioxin normally attaches.

It does not appear that clinical trials have yet commenced with regard to resveratrol and breast cancer, however, many other facets of health have been studied. We have clinical trials for resveratrol in the treatment of diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome and so many more. It is clear that resveratrol has some very healing properties.

One important thing to realize is that resveratrol comes from grapes and grape skins. Grapes are very highly sprayed with chemicals, one source estimated 56 different pesticide residues were found by the USDA on conventionally grown grapes. [5] So choosing organic resveratrol thus becomes a necessity. I have sourced a very good one for you, this company ships to most countries – just change the country in the upper left-hand corner to suit your location.


[1] Resveratrol and N-acetylcysteine block the cancer-initiating step in MCF-10F cells –

[2] The Etiology and Prevention of Breast Cancer –

[3] Prophylactic Supplementation of Resveratrol Is More Effective than its Therapeutic Use Against Doxorubicin Induced Cardiotoxicity –

[4] Resveratrol Has Antagonist Activity on the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: Implications for Prevention of Dioxin Toxicity –


GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right. You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates. I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Eating Greens and How It Affects Immune Health

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Eating Greens and How It Affects Immune Health

My mother always used to tell me “eat your greens, they’re good for you!” It turns out, mother was more right than she could possibly know.

Eating one’s greens may be even more crucial for immune health than we previously thought, according to recent research which has discovered that an immune cell population essential for intestinal health may be controlled by leafy greens in the diet.

The immune cells, termed innate lymphoid cells (“ILCs”), are located in the lining of the digestive tract. They were discovered in 2013 by researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Molecular Research in Australia. [1]

Let me back-track a bit. Science has, for many years, divided the immune system into two types: innate and adaptive. Innate immunity is present at birth and does not require prior exposure to protect you against pathogens. Adaptive immunity only develops when you have been exposed to a pathogen, for instance chickenpox. Once exposed to a pathogen, your immune cells are able to recognize the invader and mount a defense against it. Adaptive immunity provides the SWAT team that identifies an invading enemy and makes the specific weapons (known as antibodies) needed to destroy it. The fascinating thing about ILCs is that they are neither innate nor adaptive, they sort of straddle the two.

ILCs include cells that have been known for decades, such as natural killer (NK) cells and lymphoid tissue-inducer (LTi) cells. NK cells are key in protecting us from cancer as they recognize a huge array of tumor cells and cancer stem cells and help to eliminate them through cytotoxicity and the production of cytokines. Other ILCs are found mainly in the mucosal lining of the gut and in other mucosal-associated lymphoid tissues, where they work hard to protect us from pathogens.

The 2013 research [2] discovered that a gene called T-bet is essential for producing these all-important ILCs. Going back to the subject of eating greens, they found that the gene responds to signals in the food we eat. They discovered that T-bet is the key gene that tells precursor cells to develop into ILCs. It does this in response to signals from the food we eat and to the presence of bacteria in the gut.

Here’s how it works. Apparently proteins in green leafy and cruciferous vegetables interact with a cell surface receptor that switches on T-bet. Researchers think that the proteins in leafy greens may be part of the same signaling pathway used by T-bet to produce ILCs.

These researchers were excited about the discovery because it has been exceedingly difficult to isolate or produce ILCs. So finding out that something as simple as leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables in the diet can turn on the gene responsible for making ILCs is noteworthy. Without eating greens and without T-bet, the body becomes more susceptible to bacterial infections and other diseases.

Beyond their role in immunity, ILCs are also found in adipose (fat) tissue where they regulate thermogenesis and prevent inflammation that may lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity-related asthma and insulin resistance. [3]

Interestingly, while reading all the research as I prepared to write this article, I came across any number of web articles that boldly denied that diet had any role to play in bolstering immunity – despite the vast amount of research that’s being published to the contrary. Some people live in an interesting land called DENIAL.

For more information on which foods help with immunity and fighting cancer, see my page Diet and Cancer.


[1] Gene Discovery Reveals Importance of Eating Your Greens –

[2] T-bet is essential for NKp46+ innate lymphocyte development through the Notch pathway –

[3] Innate lymphoid cells: A new paradigm in immunology –

GET MY BEST TIPS on healthy ways to beat breast cancer and prevent recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

The Benefits of Eating Raw Food vs Cooked

Image source:

Image source:

The Benefits of Eating Raw Food vs Cooked

As a breast health coach one of the things I recommend to my clients is the benefits of eating raw food vs cooked food, it’s part of my wellness recommendations for them. Let me be clear – I am not saying everyone should switch your diet to all raw (although some do and are quite happy to). In this article I hope to share with you why raw food should be considered part of a healthy regimen and in what quantity.


According to health expert Philip Day, the top six causes of disease deaths in our western culture are ALL diseases of chronic malnutrition, especially cancer. Yes – malnutrition! Hard to believe in this day and age, but it’s absolutely true. Our bodies are literally starving for the nutrients they need to run properly.

The primary goal of eating a diet high in raw foods is to help your body get those easy-to-digest, high quality nutrients it so badly needs. Our bodies are naturally designed for this sort of diet. Secondly, cooked foods create a higher level of acidity in the body, while raw foods neutralize acid and help the body be more alkaline. We know that high levels of acidity are associated with increased disease.

Cooking vs Raw

The problem with cooking food is that heating it can destroy many of the natural nutrients and enzymes the food would normally contain. This is not a good thing because those enzymes assist with digestion and help in the fight against chronic disease (yes, even cancer). Foods that are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) simply don’t stand up well to cooking.

Cooked foods can also produce inflammation in the body and this is something we definitely want to avoid because cancer is an inflammatory process. So anything that creates or promotes inflammation is to be avoided wherever possible.

Some of the benefits of incorporating more raw food into the diet include less inflammation in the body, less acidity, better digestion, healthy weight promotion, good quality dietary fiber (helps elimination so less constipation), reduced food allergies, less joint pain, improved heart, liver and colon function, reduced need for vitamin supplements, more energy, clear skin, and more importantly, more cancer-fighting nutrients.

My Recommendations

One of the key parts of a breast healthy diet is one high in cancer-banishing phytonutrients that come from raw fruits and vegetables. Depending on which style of raw food diet you wish to follow, you can begin by just adding more raw fruit and vegetables into your diet every single day. There’s no need to completely make over your diet on day one. Start slowly and aim eventually for a 50/50 ratio of raw to cooked food – that’s a really great goal. Here’s a tip:  at each meal, fill a plate half way with fresh, raw, non-starchy vegetables and fruit and the other half of the plate with cooked or lightly steamed food.

For a list of the best anti-cancer fruits and vegetables to eat, check out my page Diet and Cancer. My personal feelings are that there is little need to go completely raw (unless you want to), because it’s too easy for a person to become deficient in protein and to feel deprived, unless they are following a very specific and rigorous raw food regimen. I’m finding many just don’t have the time or inclination for that.

So as to not feel too deprived I recommend people also include fish, sea vegetables, sprouted grains, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, also seeds, nuts, eggs, and small amounts of organic meat and chicken. This is definitely a matter of personal choice, however, and if you feel the need to completely avoid eating meat, that’s your right. We can agree to disagree.

You definitely want to avoid most packaged and processed foods sold in the grocery store like bread, cereals, crackers, cheese and most dairy products, condiments, highly processed oils and meats. One naturopath went a step farther and said to me “If it has a bar code, avoid it!” That’s not strictly true anymore as even fruit can have bar codes these days. But you get her meaning, right? The more natural (and preferably organic) that it is, the better.

Good Raw Food Websites

There are some wonderful websites out there that share loads of tasty and inventive raw food recipes. I recommend beginning with just one new recipe per week that you will enjoy and build up your recipe repertoire over time. Get familiar with the world’s leading raw food websites. Here are some of my favorites:

Raw Food Recipes


Please remember the benefits of juicing too. Juicing vegetables and adding phytonutrient-rich green foods and fulvic acids to your diet gets some cancer-blasting nutrients into your body in a hurry. So if your diet has been less than optimal lately, today is a new day. Do some juicing. Eat a new raw food salad (my favorite one is at the top of the page here). Get some greens into you. Give your body what it needs. Raw vegetables and fruits RULE!

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right. You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates. I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods That Help Fight Breast Cancer


Image source: / KEK064

Image source: / KEK064

Anti-Inflammatory Foods That Help Fight Breast Cancer

I was inspired to write this article when my friend Kate, a naturopath in New Zealand who has successfully battled breast cancer herself, sent me a very cool wall chart called The Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide (more details on that below).  Kate’s lovely gift got me thinking that it would be useful for me to share with you a list of the best anti-inflammatory foods that help fight breast cancer.

Eating Healthy Just Makes Good Sense

Adopting a healthy diet when you have been diagnosed with breast cancer just makes good sense.  We have often heard the old adage Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food, attributed to Hippocrates, and many of us have experienced the healing power of eating the right kind of food.  We know we feel better when we are eating well and when we are not and Mother Nature has provided us with some of the most miraculous things with which we can help heal ourselves.

Yet modern science and many doctors completely ignore the healing power within certain foods. You only have to check yourself into a hospital and see what they feed you to experience the disconnect that has occurred in our medical system.

Cancer Is An Inflammatory Process

Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing – it is a healing response from the body’s immune system to injury or infection, usually in a very small area of the body.  But when inflammation becomes more systemic – as the body works to rid itself of chemicals or as a response to hormonal imbalance or poor diet, we begin to see conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut, hayfever, and yes, cancer (and so many other disease processes) emerge. The body is constantly working to rid itself of harmful agents and re-establish homeostasis.

So what does a healing diet look like for breast cancer?  Since cancer is an inflammatory process, changing one’s diet so that it includes a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods is one of the best things you could do for yourself.  I don’t suggest that changing your diet be the ONLY thing you do to heal from breast cancer, but it should certainly be part of your holistic battle plan.

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Breast Cancer

While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the very best anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Please buy organic whenever possible – if you are eating for health, you want to give yourself the cleanest produce possible, free of toxic spray residues.

Beverages: Coconut milk, coconut water, fresh green juices, herbal tea, black tea, green tea, white tea, rooibos tea, kombucha, almond milk (without carrageenan), cranberry juice (sugar free), fresh vegetable juices

Condiments: apple cider vinegar, capers, horseradish, manuka honey, miso, red wine vinegar, stevia, sun-dried tomatoes, tahini, tamari, vanilla, wasabi

Dairy: ghee (clarified butter), organic kefir, organic butter, organic goat’s milk, sheep cheese, organic plain yogurt

Essential oils (to be used topically, not eaten): The essential oils with the very best anti-inflammatory properties are copaiba, dill, lemongrass, Melaleuca ericifolia, nutmeg, oregano, palo santo, peppermint, rose, thyme.  A little further down the list but still exhibiting strong anti-inflammatory benefits are basil, clove, eucalyptus, fennel, frankincense, German chamomile, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, myrrh, myrtle, patchouli, petitgrain, ravensara, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, tangerine, wintergreen

Fats And Oils: algae oil, black cumin seed oil, blackcurrant oil, borage oil, flaxseed oil (make sure it’s fresh and has been refrigerated), pomegranate seed oil, sacha inchi oil, almond oil, amaranth oil, avocado oil, chia oil, virgin coconut oil, evening primrose oil, hazelnut oil, hemp oil, extra virgin olive oil, salmon fish oil, sea buckthorn seed oil, apricot oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil

Fish & Seafood: Because of the contaminants in fish these days, you are best advised to choose wild caught fish or fish that live in deep seas or unpolluted rivers and try to avoid farmed fish from Asia, Indonesia or Vietnam. Alaskan and Atlantic wild-caught salmon, chinook salmon, coho salmon, king salmon, red sockeye salmon, anchovies, barramundi, black cod, blue mussel, caviar, green lipped mussel, herring, mackerel, Pacific oyster, blue fin tuna, bluefish, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, John Dory, king mackerel, mahi mahi, mullet, octopus, oyster, perch, pike, rainbow trout, sardines, scallops, sea bass, snapper, sole, squid, trout are generally regarded as safe to eat, highly anti-inflammatory, but consider your source well.

Fruits: acai berry, acerola cherry, apricot, avocado, blackberry, blueberry, cacao (raw), cantaloupe (rockmelon), cherry (tart are more anti-inflammatory than sweet), coconut, cranberry (unsweetened), elderberry, feijoa, goji berry (aka wolfberry), grape, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, mango, maqui berry, guava, nectarine, noni, orange, papaya, passionfruit, peach, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, tamarillo, tamarind, watermelon

Grains: amaranth, barley grass, black rice, buckwheat, kasha, quinoa, sprouted wheat, wheat germ

Herbs: aloe vera, asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, bilberry, black pepper, blackberry leaf, calendula, caraway, cardamom, chamomile, chive, cinnamon, clove, coriander, curry leaf, elderberry, fennel, galangal, garlic, ginger, horseradish, juniper, lemon balm, lemongrass, licorice, maca, marjoram, nettle, oregano, parsley, plantain, raspberry leaf, rosehip, rosemary, thyme, wasabi

Legumes, Beans & Soy: adzuki sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, chickpea sprouts, clover sprouts, edamame, lentil sprouts, lentils, mung bean sprouts, tempeh, tofu

Meats: Grass-fed organic beef, kangaroo, rabbit, bison, elk, goat

Mushrooms/Fungi: brown, common button, crimini, enokitake, maitake, oyster, portabella, reishi, shiitake

Nuts and Seeds: almond, almond butter, brazil nut, chestnut, chia seed, flaxseed, hazelnut, hemp seed, macadamia nut, mixed nuts (no peanuts, salt added), pecan, perilla seed (mint family, also called Shiso), sesame seed, walnut

Poultry: organic chicken, organic chicken stock, free range duck, goose, pheasant, organic egg whites

Seaweed/Sea Vegetables: arame, bladderwrack, kombu, nori, red algae, wakame, agar agar, dulse, hijiki, kelp, sea lettuce

Spices: amchur, aniseed, basil, bay leaf, black cumin seed, black pepper, caraway, cardomom, cayenne pepper, celery seed, chili, chive, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin seed, curry leaf, curry powder, fennel, fenugreek, garam masala, garlic powder, ginger, juniper, keffir lime leaf, lemongrass, marjoram, mustard seed, onion powder, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, star anise, thyme, turmeric

Supplements: broccoli sprout powder, fulvic acids, maca, spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, licorice (not candy), turmeric (curcumin)

Vegetables: arugula, beet, bell pepper (capsicum), bok choy, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussel sprouts, cabbage (red and green), carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chili pepper, collard greens, cucumber, daikon, dandelion greens, endive, garlic, globe artichoke, green beans, jalapeno pepper (raw), kale, kimchi, kohlrabi, kumara, leek, lettuce, mushroom (see separate listing for mushroom types), mustard greens, onion, parsley, pumpkin, radish, sauerkraut, shallot, silverbeet (Swiss chard), spinach, sweet potato, tomato, turnip, turnip greens, watercress, yam

The Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide Chart

My friend Kate, a talented naturopath in New Zealand, has created a beautiful chart with all of the anti-inflammatory foods listed in order from the most anti-inflammatory (shown in a blue zone) with various gradations of color right down to the ones that should be avoided because they cause inflammation (shown in a red zone). The chart even includes extensive notes on the reverse which define inflammation and offer ways to reduce it.  It is a really handy guide that provides you with a helpful visual guide for meal planning.  The guide is available from her website  – you could buy the laminated version and attach it right to the kitchen wall or inside your pantry door.  She also has charts for alkalinity/acidity guides, glycemic index and other useful items. Kate’s website is

PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Please use this information as part of a carefully constructed wellness plan provided to you by your physician, oncologist or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for diagnosis or as a stand-alone treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook ( to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  


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