Virucidal effects of the steam distillate from Houttuynia cordata and its components on HSV-1, influenza virus, and HIV

Planta Med. 1995 Jun;61(3):237-41. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-958063.


The steam distillate prepared from fresh plants of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. (Saururaceae) was found to have direct inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), influenza virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) without showing cytotoxicity, but not against poliovirus and coxsackie-virus. The loss of viral infectivity was related to the duration of drug treatment. Three major components of the distillate, methyl n-nonyl ketone, lauryl aldehyde, and capryl aldehyde, also inactivated HSV-1, influenza virus, and HIV-1. These in vitro findings demonstrate that the essential oils provide virucidal activity against enveloped viruses by interfering with the function of virus envelope.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dogs
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • HeLa Cells
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / drug effects*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects*
  • Influenza A virus / physiology
  • Japan
  • Kidney
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Plant Extracts