Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a common cause of hepatitis around the world. Agrimonia eupatoria (agrimonia) is an herb which the authors studied for its’ effect against HBV.
Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is released by the HBV virus. When there is HBsAg in the blood, HVB is present. Inhibition of the production of HBsAg is therapeutic against HBV. With treatment, up to 20% of patients have loss of HBsAg activity and complete recovery from HBV.
The release of HBsAg is altered by the temperature of an agrimonia extract. This activity was evaluated at four different temperatures in this study. Other effects reported for agrimonia include antitumor activity, diuresis and anti-diabetic activity. Other plants which have anti-HBV activity are Phyllanthus amarus (bahupatra of Ayurvedic medicine,) Plantago asiatica (Chinese plantain) and Terminalia chebula (haritaki of Ayurvedic medicine.)
Extraction temperatures alter the effect of agrimonia on HBsAg. An extract prepared at 60 degrees C. was the strongest. The extracts at all temperatures had anti-HBV effects with increasing activity correlating with increasing temperature except at 90 degrees. (Two other species of agrimonia had similar activity.)
The effect of agrimonia was associated, especially, with the flowering stage of the plants. The most effective extracts were from plants harvested in July.
CONCLUSION: “…some plants of the genus Agrimonia contain potential antiviral activity against HBV.” Water extracts of agrimonia at temperatures below 90 degrees were found to be effective against HBV in a laboratory study. Clinical studies have not been done with agrimonia against HBV in humans.
NOTE: Agrimonia could be used to make a tea since the water extract is effective. It should not be boiled. Milk thistle (silymarin) prevents liver damage in HBV infections. Read about milk thistle and silymarin in hepatitis C.
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