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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Diploma Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2014

Authors: Marschik, Tatiana

Title: Literaturstudie über die antivirale Wirkung von Heilpflanzen und ihrer Anwendung in der Veterinärmedizin.

Other title: Literature study on the antiviral activity of medicinal plants and their use in veterinary medicine

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 87.


Zitterl-Eglseer Karin

Dadak Agnes

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Graduation date: 09.01.15

The ethnoveterinary body of knowledge resembles the evolution of humankind from its ultimate origin to its present day. Life experience gained out of unrestricted curiosity of humankind over many centuries contributed the foundation of the current extensive traditional knowledge. The time when ethnoveterinary medicine was associated with mistrust, mysticism, superstition and witchcraft is long gone. Since 1980 many scientists of various disciplines have recognized, evaluated, documented and studied the potential effectiveness of traditional veterinary science of native and local communities. Phytomedicine is of significant value amongst the various veterinary cures. It is acknowledged that numerous plants contain active pharmaceutical substances. A considerable number of existing pharmaceutics is based on substances, derived from herbal origin. Certainly the medical potential of medicinal plants has not been fully exploited yet, as new plants are discovered which may contain pharmaceutical active substances. Today an ever increasing need for substances with antiviral effect emerges, since specific therapies against viral infections appear unsatisfying and limited. Treatment with antiviral drugs oftentimes leads to the formation of new genetic virus mutations, which are resistant to such drugs. In this context medicinal plants with their diversity of secondary plant compounds represent a promising alternative solution. Within this thesis each chapter discusses medical plants with antiviral effects with regard to the major traditional pathologies accompanied with respective summaries at the end of each chapter. While 78 medicinal plants with antiviral effects are being discussed in total, the families of Apocynaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Rosaceae appear most often. Those discussed medicinal plants exhibited in scientific studies a biological activity, which could become an innovative basis for the development of new substances with antiviral effects against veterinary relevant virus diseases. This concerns particularly pathogens of the virus families of Herpesviridae, Poxviridae, Paramyxoviridae and Orthomyxoviridae. This thesis illustrates plenty of individual records of numerous and above all exotic medical plants. However, as opposed to “known” and well researched plants, further information on exotic plants’ characteristics and details on antiviral effects are oftentimes missing in scientific databases and research literature. It can be noticed that the attention of the scientific community with regard to medicinal plants with antiviral effects focuses in particular on diseases relevant to human medicine. The relationship amongst medicinal plants, animals (and humans) certainly represents a challenging scientific field with a great potential. One can only hope that through further studies of the most promising medicinal plants discussed in this thesis, such medicinal plants will contribute to effective drugs against viral diseases going forward.

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