Nature provides more reliable source of antiviral agents; viz. plants phytochemicals; almost 40% of
currently available drugs are direct or indirect derivatives of plants.
Shallot & Garlic: A shallot, which has the scientific name Allium cepa, contains more flavonoid
and phenol antioxidants, one of the best anti-inflammatory foods for reducing free radical damage
and fighting various chronic diseases. Both shallots and garlic produce biochemical reactions that
are known to fight infections, viruses and inflammation. Allicin found in the shallot, garlic and
onions is also a powerful antimicrobial that offers protection against a wide range of bacteria,
including some multidrug-resistant bacteria that are especially dangerous.
Two sets of compounds make up the majority of shallots’ known healing properties: sulfur
compounds, such as allyl propyl disulphide (APDS), and flavonoids, such as quercetin. Shallot have
been studied, researchers have found that the vegetable’s antioxidant enzymes (especially
superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) help fight common illnesses and more serious
Shallots exhibited the highest level of antiviral activity against ADV3 and ADV41 infection from 0 to
2h, during the early period of virus replication. MTT assay with human lung carcinoma (A549) cells
proved to be a rapid and sensitive assay system for screening anti-adenoviral drugs.
Capsicum: Contains capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and several related chemicals
containing a series of homologous branched and straight chain alkyl vanillylamides, collectively
called capsaicinoids, as their chief chemical entity. Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and
Zinc. It is also high in Vitamins, A, C, beta carotene, iron, calcium and potassium. Capsicum also
contains magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, B-complex vitamins, sodium and selenium.
Antiviral activity: Capsicum has been found to be rich in chemicals that are potent against a range
of viruses; an example is cis-capsaicin, which is active against herpes simplex virus (HSV) ailment in
guinea pigs. Cis-capsaicin is reported to block viral replication cycle. Similarly, capsaicin has been
reported to exhibit special effects on sensory neurons, which are directly involved in spreading
and persistence of HSV infection. Antiviral activity of capsicum also evaluated by Pereeira JAP et
Antibacterial effects: Capsicum has been reported to exhibit significant antimicrobial activity
against many microorganisms such as Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus
aureus and Escherichia coli.
Anti-fungal activity: CAY-1, a novel saponin isolated from C. frutescens, was found to be active
against 16 different fungal strains, it acted by disrupting the membrane integrity of fungal cells.