There has been a lot of talk on the news lately about the monkey pox virus which is related to smallpox. Although monkey pox is much milder than smallpox, causing flu-like symptoms and sometimes a rash on the palm of the hand, they are in the same family, and we can learn about both by taking a look at a recent study.
A compound in some fruits, called resveratrol, may provide a solution to all pox viruses including small pox and monkey pox. Additionally, an ancient Indian remedy for smallpox is making a comeback. Read below to learn more.
RESVERATROL STOPS REPLICATION OF POX VIRUS
Researchers at the University of Kentucky discovered that resveratrol, a compound found in many fruits, prevents the poxviruses from replicating. Resveratrol is a special antioxidant. It is a phytoalexin that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Resveratrol also exhibits antitumor activity, and is considered a potential candidate for prevention and treatment of several types of cancer. Many studies have shown that resveratrol is able to stop all cancer stages (e.g., initiation, promotion and progression).
"Resveratrol is a small, natural compound in many plants like grapes, cocoa beans, peanuts and blueberries," said Shuai Cao, postdoctoral researcher studying the effects of resveratrol on viruses. "Our recent study found that high concentrations of resveratrol — higher than anything you may find in food naturally — prevent poxviruses from replicating in human cells."
(Although they may not be as concentrated, Food sources of resveratrol contain other compounds and antioxidants that work in synergy with resveratrol, so I would definitely advocate getting resveratrol from food sources.) The researchers added resveratrol at varying intensities to human cell cultures infected by vaccinia virus, a virus related to smallpox. The cells with high levels of resveratrol the virus from replicating in the early stages of the viral infection, which stops the virus from spreading. "In order for a poxvirus to infect a host, it has to first enter a cell and make a lot of copies of its genome inside the host cell," Pant said. "Our research has shown that resveratrol inhibits vaccinia virus from making copies of its DNA and genome." The Kansas State University researchers conducted similar experiments with monkeypox. Resveratrol had the same effect with monkeypox, which means that it has a good chance of inhibiting (stopping) all poxviruses, Cao said. "There are many poxviruses that infect many species and they share similar mechanisms to replicate their DNA," Cao said. "Resveratrol works to inhibit replication in two of them — the vaccinia virus and monkeypox — so it should be able to inhibit other poxviruses as well."
The findings of the study confirm what I've been writing about for years, if the cells of the body are strong and have high nutrient levels, one will not, most likely, succumb to viral infection. A healthy cell releases anti-viral compounds, therefore, it cannot be invaded by a virus. And even once a virus invades a cell, there are foods and juices one can consume that will prevent the virus from replicating. For this reason, its vital to keep our nutrient levels up at all times.
Although red wine is touted as the best source of resveratrol, most wines today contain up to 70 pesticides, additives, and preservatives not listed on the label, therefore, there are other sources for resveratrol. In fact, blueberries and strawberries have more resveratrol than red grapes.
FOODS HIGH IN RESVERATROL
Blueberries: With 0.383 mg per 100
Strawberries: A 100 g serving of raw strawberries has 0.35 mg of resveratrol.
Red Currants: 1.92 mg of resveratrol per 100 g
Cranberries: 1.57 mg of resveratrol per 100 g
Red Grapes: 0.15 mg per 100g
Pomegranates: Best to buy fresh fruit, but if you cant find it buy pomegranate juice
To get resveratrol in concentrated form, buy organic berries like strawberries and blueberries, and juice them fresh in the juicer. Juicing goes straight into your blood stream, requiring almost no digestion, so its a great way to boost your immune system. Alternatively, blend them the berries into your smoothies. Or just eat them by the handful like I do. Delicious and great for the immune system!
ANCIENT INDIAN REMEDY FOR SMALLPOX: PITCHER PLANT
In the late 1800s, it is believed that the Micmac Native Americans of Nova Scotia used an herbal remedy—a botanical infusion derived from a species of Sarracenia purpurea, the pitcher plant—to treat smallpox.
A recent study conducted by Jeffrey Langland at Arizona State University in Tempe, US, and colleagues has revealed that the herbal extract inhibits (prevents or stops) replication of the variola virus, the virus behind smallpox.