A Cup of Honeysuckle tea could be effective in fighting flu: Study

A new research says that drinking honeysuckle tea could help ward off flu. A team of scientists from Nanjing University, China, has discovered that drinking honeysuckle tea is ideal for suppressing all Influenza A viruses, which cause misery for millions of Britons every year.

Honeysuckle is a popular garden plant with highly perfumed flowers. There are approximately 180 species around the world, of which at least two are native to the UK and more than half of the rest to China.

The researchers have found a "natural" ingredient, MIR 2911 in the honeysuckle plant which is not only capable of protecting people against flu, but can also suppress some of its more virulent strains.

With the discovery of Penicillin nearly a century ago, antibiotics have been used to target various bacterial infections and have saved the lives of millions of people. However, till now there was no natural product effective against viral infection.

But now the latest discovery in fighting off flu is a nice cup of honeysuckle tea. Scientists show that the ingredient in the plant acts like 'viral penicillin'.

The evidence of the research team came from experiments done on mice. After dinking a "soup" of honeysuckle, mice absorbed MIR 2911 into their bloodstream and lung tissue, which suppressed various types of flu virus by blocking two genes which are used by the influenza virus to replicate itself.

If this also proves effective in humans, a huge number of lives could be saved by people protecting themselves by consuming this tea.

According to a university statement, "For one thousand years, Chinese have been drinking honeysuckle decoction to treat influenza viral infections and the results show that honeysuckle decoction has a broad-spectrum antiviral activity".

Honeysuckle has been used in Chinese medicine to not only treat flu and fevers, but also diarrhea and skin infections. Also, Herbalists have also used it for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and calming properties.