Planta Med 1992; 58(5): 417-423
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-961504
Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

In Vitro Virucidal Effects of Allium sativum (Garlic) Extract and Compounds

Norbert D. Weber1 , Douglas O. Andersen1 , James A. North1 , Byron K. Murray1 , Larry D. Lawson2 , Bronwyn G. Hughes2
  • 1Department of Microbiology, Brigham Young Universily, Provo, Utab 84602, U.S.A
  • 2Murdock Healthcare Springville, Utah 84663 U.S.A.
Further Information

Publication History

10 31 1991

Publication Date:
05 January 2007 (online)

Abstract

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been shown to have antiviral activity, but the compounds responsible have not been identified. Using direct pre-infection incubation assays, we determined the in vitro virucidal effects of fresh garlic extract, its polar fraction, and the following garlic associated compounds: diallyl thio-sulfinate (allicin), allyl methyl thiosulfinate, methyl allyl thiosulfinate, ajoene, alliin, deoxyalliin, diallyl disulfide, and diallyl trisulfide. Activity was determined against selected viruses including, herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, parainfluenza virus type 3, vaccinia virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and human rhinovirus type 2. The order for virucidal activity generally was: ajoene ≥ allicin ≥ allyl methyl thiosulfinate ≥ methyl allyl thiosulfinate. Ajoene was found in oil-macerates of garlic but not in fresh garlic extracts. No activity was found for the garlic polar fraction, alliin, deoxyalliin, diallyl disulfide, or diallyl trisulfide. Fresh garlic extract, in which thiosulfinates appeared to be the active components, was virucidal to each virus tested. The predominant thiosulfinate in fresh garlic extract was allicin. Lack of reduction in yields of infectious virus indicated undetectable levels of intracellular antiviral activity for either allicin or fresh garlic extract. Furthermore, concentrations that were virucidal were also toxic to lleLa and Vero cells. Virucidal assay results were not influenced by cytotoxicity since the compounds were diluted below toxic levels prior to assaying for infectious virus. These results indicate that virucidal activity and cytotoxicity may have depended upon the viral envelope and cell membrane, respectively. However, activity against non-enveloped virus may have been due to inhibition of viral adsorption or penetration. Additionally, the composition of various commercial garlic products, including garlic powder tablets and capsules, oil-macerated garlic, steam-distilled garlic oils, garlic aged in aqueous alcohol, and fermented garlic oil was determined as well as the virucidal activities of the products against herpes simplex virus type 1 and parainfluenza virus type 3. Virucidal activities of commercial products were dependent upon their preparation process. Those products producing the highest levels of allicin and other thiosulfinates had the best virucidal activities.