A new study from researchers at China’s Nanjing University, published this month in the journal Cell Research, suggests that honeysuckle tea may be an effective fighter of several strains of the Influenza A virus, which is the most common and virulent strain that affects humans (and has been known to cause a number of pandemics over the course of human history).
Honeysuckle tea, a longtime component of traditional Chinese medicine, has already been used to “effectively treat influenza infection for thousands of years,” says the new study, and “several reports have shown that HS (honeysuckle) decoction can suppress the replication of influenza virus.”
The researchers successfully identified MIR2911, “a plant miRNA enriched in HS decoction” as a successful anti-viral component that “can directly target multiple viral genes of various IAVs and thus suppress viral infections.”
In other words, a simple honeysuckle tea may be the key to fighting sometimes deadly IAV (Influenza Virus A) infections.
“We suggest that as the first natural product to directly target IAVs, MIR2911 is the ‘virological penicillin’ that serves as a novel therapeutic and preventive agent against not only influenza A but potentially also other types of viruses,” the research concludes.
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.