Research Highlight

Ethonomedicine for herpes cure

doi:10.1038/nindia.2012.88 Published online 20 June 2012

A folk lore medicine from the Andaman and Nicobar islands has been found to be effective against the herpes simplex virus(HSV).

Researchers studying the antiviral potential of methanolic crude extract of the ethnomedicinal plant Mallotus peltatus, found that its active fraction and pure compound were effective against HSV-1F and HSV-2G.

The researchers found that the crude methanolic extract of M. peltatus demonstrated weak anti-HSV activity. However, its active fraction-A and isolated ursolic acid from fraction-A exhibited potent anti-herpes virus activity against both the strains.

A time response study revealed that the anti-HSV activity of fraction A and isolated ursolic acid is highest between 2-5 hours post-infection.

Moreover, the time kinetics study by indirect immunofluorescence assay showed a characteristic pattern of small foci of single fluorescent cells in fraction A-treated virus infected cells at 2 hours and 4 hours post-infection, suggesting drug inhibited viral dissemination.

The researchers say the ethnomedicine could be used as an effective anti-viral in treating herpes simplex virus.

The authors of this work are from: ID & BG Hospital, Kolkata; National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata; Jadavpur University, Kolkata & International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India.


  1. Bag, P. et al. Anti-herpes virus activities of bioactive fraction and isolated pure constituent of Mallotus peltatus: an ethnomedicine from Andaman Islands. Virol. J. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-9-98 (2012)