Antiviral & Antibacterial
Studies find that Palo Azul can treat cavities, bad breath and E. coli
A study tested 47 different plants for the treatment of dental diseases such as toothache, dental caries, periodontal disease and gingivitis.
As it turns out, palo azul was among the plants that showed the highest inhibitory effect against certain bacterial diseases! For this reason, it was among the plants most frequently used for treating tooth pain, gum diseases, cavities, and bad breath!
Another study even found that it “showed good antimicrobial effects in E. coli.”
How can palo azul protect against viruses and bacteria?
The answer is simple: Flavonoids.
In case you’ve never heard of flavonoids before, they’re natural products commonly found in vegetables, fruits, plants, bark, flowers, wine and tea such as Palo Azul.
There’s a ton of studies that have found numerous health benefits in flavonoids and these are are attributed to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties.
In fact, a medical review that analyzed the results of 161 studies mentioned that flavonoids proved to be potent antimicrobial and viral inhibitors.
Therefore, they are found to be effective against many infectious diseases (bacterial and viral) such as E. coli.
* Here is an interesting finding!
“Flavonoids are known to be synthesized by plants in response to microbial infection; thus it should not be surprising that they have been found in vitro to be effective antimicrobial substances against a wide array of microorganisms.”
Another medical review which reviewed 166 studies mentions the following about flavonoids: “It is due to their potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral activity that flavonoids “show inhibitory activity against E. coli.”
This same medical review also found that “many flavonoids show activity against several types of virus including HSV, respiratory syncytial virus, polio virus and Sindbis virus .”
* Here is another interesting finding! One study mentioned that flavonoids “are an important source for the discovery and the development of novel antiviral drugs.”
One study concluded the following: “Flavonoids have also been recognised for their antimicrobial activity and many researchers have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids having properties of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity.”
Due to this property, “many flavonoids are now being used extensively in the fields of nutrition, food safety and health.”
What types of viruses can flavonoids block?
Recently, we found a study published in 2020 which found that “flavonoids block attachment and entry of viruses into cells, interfere with various stages of viral replication processes or translation and polyprotein processing to prevent the release of the viruses to infect other cells.”
The researchers mention that “flavonoids are natural biomolecules that are known to be effective antivirals” and that “these biomolecules can act at different stages of viral infection, particularly at the molecular level to inhibit viral growth.”
* What's really interesting though, is that they found that flavovonoids' inhibitory effects were found to block the entry of Ebola, herpes, HIV, Influenza and coronaviruses!
The researchers found that "a flavonoid derivative, luteolin, was found to interfere with the entry of influenza A virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) by interacting with the hemagglutinins of influenza A virus and the S2 protein of SARS-CoV viruses."
In addition, the scientists reported "that another flavonoid derivative, kaempferol, also inhibited coronavirus channel 3a and blocked the release of the virus' progeny."
The way that Coronaviruses attack our bodies is that they use the DNA in our cells to send out RNA signals that replicate the virus.
* This is why the next finding is very important!
"Plant flavonoids serve as a vast reservoir of therapeutically active compounds that have been explored as potential antiviral candidates against RNA and DNA viruses. RNA and DNA viruses attach to our own cells and send RNA signals across our cell membranes to replicate.
In other words, RNA and DNA viruses use our own cells to multiply and attack our bodies.
Lastly, a study published recently on April 9, 2020 concluded the following:
“Our findings suggest that all of these compounds (flavonoids) have the potential to inhibit SARS- CoV-2 and should be explored further as preventive therapeutics for COVID-19.”
“In a similar manner, sulfated rutin (flavonoid derivative) was shown to block the entry of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1.” In fact, the researchers mentioned revealed that “sulfated rutin could drastically inhibit HIV-1 infection.”
Moreover, they found that “flavonoids were reported to inhibit assembly and release of HIV and influenza A virus, respectively.”
The researchers from this study found that “tea catechins (flavonoids) were also reported to inhibit the influenza A virus by binding to the hemagglutinins and restricted virus adsorption, preventing the penetration of the virus into the cells.”
Moreover, another flavonoid derivitave, quercetins, were “found to inhibit the initial stage of viral replication of the influenza A virus, evident by a decrease in mRNA synthesis of the virus.”
Another group of flavonoids, viz. methoxyflavone, isoscutellarein, and 8-methoxy-isoscutellarein, were reported to inhibit early replication of influenza A virus by reduction of sialidase activity, inhibition of lysosomal fusion and RNA polymerase activity."
Herpes and Ebola
Quercetin, a flavonoid derivative, “also blocked viral binding and entry of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1.”
“Another flavonoid derivative, 3-β-O-d-glucoside, was able to protect mice from Ebola virus infection when given prior to virus challenge.”
Lastly, the researchers mention that due to flavonoids’ ability to target various stages of viral infection, they are “becoming a more focused topic to explore their potential as antivirals in the current era.”
Below, we’ve shared all the key points we found from medical studies on the anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects of palo azul and flavonoids.
Key findings from medical studies
• One study tested 47 plants and concluded the following: “Our study demonstrated that most of the medicinal plants showed an antibacterial effect in vitro, and justified at least in part their use in traditional medicine.” The same study mentioned that “the most frequent uses were to treat tooth pain, gum diseases, bad breath and cavities.”
• “Naturally occurring flavonoids with antiviral activity have been recognized since the 1940s and many reports on the antiviral activity of various flavonoids are available.”
• “The antiviral effect of flavonoids has been shown by Wang et al.(,142), particularly in therapy for viral infection.”
• “Inhibition of viral polymerase and binding of viral nucleic acid or viral capsid proteins have been proposed as antiviral mechanisms of action .”
• “Flavonoids have also been recognised for their antimicrobial activity and many researchers have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids having properties of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity.”
• “These compounds (flavonoids) are reported for their in vitro antibacterial activity against Vibrio cholerae, Streptococcus mutans, Shigella, and other bacteria.”
• A study found that palo azul “showed good antimicrobial effects in E. coli” and concluded the following: “The results here presented corroborate the folk medicinal use of Eysenhardtia polystachya (palo azul) in the treatment of infections, diarrhea, inflammation, and pain.”
• Many studies have suggested “protective effects of flavonoids against many infectious (bacterial and viral diseases) and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and other age-related diseases.”
* Palo Azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce