Have You Eaten Your Greens? Fighting Herpes with Broccoli

fighting herpes with broccoli

A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to your health. Leafy greens are particularly well-known for their health benefits. They are high in fiber and fatty acids, and often contain potassium, and vitamin C. Researchers also claim that fighting herpes with broccoli is a possibility.

I3C and Herpes Cells

Broccoli and some other leafy greens contain a compound known as indole-3-carbinol (I3C). A team of researchers used this compound to treat monkey and human cells. Afterwards, they infected the cells with three strains of herpes virus.

They used HSV-1, which causes oral herpes, and HSV-2, which causes simplex 2 herpes. The researchers also used another strain of the virus that is resistant to current treatment options. According to them, I3C inhibited herpes cells and stopped their reproduction. What’s more, it did this in almost 100% of the cases.

A follow-up study focused on the effects of I3C on this resistant strain of herpes. According to experts, the HHV-8 virus, also known as KSHV, usually only affects people with HIV. As a result, patients develop a skin disease known as Karposi’s sarcoma. This study found that IC3 can also serve as the basis for future anti-HHV-8 drugs.

Fighting Herpes with Broccoli

The results of these studies are very encouraging. Yet there’s still a long way to go before IC3-based drugs become available. After all, what works in a lab might not work under normal conditions. As such, scientists want to further test the effects of IC3 before developing a new anti-herpes drug.

Since IC3 is an integral part of broccoli, there are some benefits to fighting herpes with broccoli. What’s more, the original study shows that IC3 also works to prevent infections. Of course, broccoli alone won’t cure you of herpes. That’s why you should always take the medication your doctor describes.

Still, because it’s so rich in healthy nutrients, this leafy green should be part of your regular diet. It will boost your immunity and help your body fight against different viruses and the diseases they may cause.