Anti-herpes simplex virus activities of crude water extracts of Thai medicinal plants

Phytomedicine. 2000 Jan;6(6):411-9. doi: 10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80068-9.


A number of Thai medicinal plants, recommended as remedies for herpesvirus infection and have been used in primary health care were investigated for their intracellular activities against herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Centella asiatica L., Maclura cochinchinensis Cornor, and Mangifera indica L. contained both anti-HSV-1 and -2 activities, as determined by plaque inhibition assay. An inhibition of the production of infectious HSV-2 virions from infected Vero cells could also be demonstrated. Combinations of each of these reconstituted extracts with 9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl) guanosine (acyclovir; ACV) resulted either in subadditive, additive, or synergistic interaction, against HSV-2, depending on the dose of ACV used; mixture of C. asiatica and M. indica exerted an additive effect in a similar assay. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of these plant extracts were also substantiated by flow cytometric analysis of virus-specific antigens in the infected cells. The active constituent present in C. asiatica extract was determined to be asiaticoside while in M. indica was mangiferin. Thus, these data suggest therapeutic potential of these plant extracts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Drug Interactions
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / drug effects*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Vero Cells
  • Water


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Water
  • Acyclovir