Plants with Anti-viral Properties

Not sure what would be the best way to publicize plants on iNat that have anti-viral properties. Start a project? Write a blog post? I’m not an herbalist or a pharmacist, but I know that research has been done into plants with antiviral potential. Some candidates immediately come to mind. Hot pepper, garlic, ginger, oregano, black pepper, etc. Probably we can’t eat our way to a cure, but at least we can have tasty, healthy foods which might lessen recovery times.


I’d think that it’s probably best not to try to post anything that could be construed as medical advice… During uncertain times it’s helpful to learn about your environment including potentially useful plants but…people have been discouraged from using iNat for this in the past and it’s probably still the case.


I can see why iNat would wish to be careful about medical advice because of legal ramifications and other ethical concerns. However, I wonder if the Good Samaritan Law would cover this topic at this time. All of the plants I mentioned are food grade. Of course, that is not to say that some people might not have allergies to some of these. Also I wouldn’t want anyone to raid their spice cabinet and reject traditional medical assistance or therapeutics that are available to them.


It’s certainly fine to look for these species in your area and say, set up a collection project for the species you are interested in. However, I’d stop there… and keep any medicinal or edible species discussion somewhere else on the wide Internet. And please do be careful. There’s a LOT of misinformation that is wrong or even dangerous out there about Coronavirus, which isn’t to say there isn’t value in medicinal plants, just that using iNat to plan treatment for a dangerous disease is not really what the site is for.

I’m just a volunteer moderator though, not an admin. So if they say differently, that’s fine of course.


I agree with you. I know a lot about herbs, and while they may help relieve the symptoms, if you start telling people that it will help, and it doesn’t for whatever reason, then you become liable, and can be sued, etc.


or someone could do the wrong thing and die.


Yes, exactly.

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I agree with @charlie, iNaturalist does not endorse or provide any medicinal advice, it’s a community for sharing and discussing observations of wild organisms. There are plenty of health and nutrition sites on the internet for people to seek out, although anything there should be taken with many grains of salt, especially in relation to SARS-COV-2, of which we know so little.