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Antiviral Res. 1995 May;27(1-2):19-37.

Efficacy of traditional herbal medicines in combination with acyclovir against herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Virology, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Traditional herbal medicines have been safely used for the treatment of various human diseases since ancient China. We selected 10 herbal extracts with therapeutic antiherpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) activity. Among these, Geum japonicum Thunb., Rhus javanica L., Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. et Perry, or Terminalia chebula Retzus showed a stronger anti-HSV-1 activity in combination with acyclovir than the other herbal extracts in vitro. When acyclovir and/or a herbal extract were orally administered at doses corresponding to human use, each of the 4 combinations significantly limited the development of skin lesions and/or prolonged the mean survival times of infected mice compared with both acyclovir and the herbal extract alone (P < 0.01 or 0.05). These combinations were not toxic to mice. They reduced virus yields in the brain and skin more strongly than acyclovir alone and exhibited stronger anti-HSV-1 activity in the brain than in the skin, in contrast to acyclovir treatment by itself. Combinations of acyclovir with historically used herbal medicines showed strong combined therapeutic anti-HSV-1 activity in mice, especially reduction of virus yield in the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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