In the fall of 2014, for the first time, ebola broke out of the African nations and reached (via airplane, as epidemiologists had long predicted it would) the United States, I began receiving scores of emails asking for some deeper information regarding herbal approaches to help prevent and treat the condition. This is a brief exploration to address those concerns.

The virus and its effects really does need an in-depth treatment, especially going into its nature and function as I do in the coinfection books. I would like to, as well, to cite all the journal articles I used, as I did in those books, but so many people are asking (and I have so little time and certainly none to do an entire book on the virus) that I am just posting the pertinent information here. Much of this will go into the Herbal Antiviral book during an upcoming reprint but due to space limitations I am not sure how much. This protocol should do a lot to help prevent or reduce infection and, if necessary, help combat the septic shock that occurs in the later stages of the disease.

There are four species of ebola that can cause human disease; the virus responsible for the 2014 outbreak is (Zaire ebolavirus species) which causes anywhere from a 40% to a 90% mortality rate. The virus is highly virulent and actively subverts both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Although up to half of those infected are able to mount an immune defense, in the rest the virus so subverts the immune response it progresses to an acute hemorrhagic fever which is often fatal. This group of viruses is relatively new to human science, the first identification occurring in 1976 during an outbreak in Zaire.

Infection generally occurs from direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood or the vomit and diarrhea that often occur with the disease. Infection through direct skin contact with an infected person or through contact with blankets the infected have used has also been documented but is much less common. There is some concern among virologists that the disease could mutate to an infectious airborne type; it has not been documented so far.

As with most viruses, onset is flu-like with the usual fever, chills, and so on, generally after a 4-10 day incubation period. A rash often appears around day five which is the only way to differentiate it, in its early stages, from the flu. Generally, the liver, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, and endothelial structures are heavily infected, often leading to organ necrosis and failure. During fatal infections the endothelial structures of the vascular system fail with accompanying blood loss. The virus inhibits and modulates the immune response, ultimately producing a powerful cytokine storm, leading to septic shock. The latter stages of the infection are, in fact, nearly identical to the 1918 flu (see The Herbal Antiviral book for more on this).

The primary cytokines that increase during severe and fatal infections are IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15 and 16, and MIP-1beta; interferon-a levels are severely reduced as is IL-2 through 5, IL-9, IL-13 and a severe drop of both CD+3CD4+ and CD3+Cd8+ peripheral cells. Those who successfully recover show the opposite profile, hence decreasing those cytokines and increasing IFN-a and other reduced cytokines is crucial.

Protecting the affected organs, reducing the cytokine cascade, and enhancing immune function are essential. A number of substances has been found useful for interfering with viral penetration and replication as well as protecting the affected organs and modulating the ebola effects on the immune system.

(Please note the following dosage guidelines are, at the lower end, protective, at the higher end, for use during early infection. Long term use of these amounts is contraindicated.)The suggested protocol is:

* General antiviral formulation: Isatis, Baikal skullcap root, licorice, equal parts of the tinctures, 1 tablespoon 3-6x daily. Broad spectrum antiviral combination, skullcap and licorice are synergists, licorice enhances IFN-a production, all acts in various ways to reduce ebola cytokines.

* Elder tincture: Needs to be produced from stem, leaf, and berries as outlined in this book. Dose to bowel tolerance, from ¼ tsp to 1 tbl 3-6x daily.

* Genistein powder, 1 teaspoon 3-6x daily. Inhibits both infection with the virus and transduction in infected cells.

* Milk Thistle Seed, standardized capsules, 2500 mg 3-6x daily. Protects the liver and contains compounds that reduce viral replication and penetration of cells.

* Salvia miltiorrhizae (red sage) tincture, 1 tablespoon tincture 3-6x daily. Protects the spleen, enhances immune function, reduces cytokine cascade.

* Japanese knotweed root (Polygonum cuspidatum), 1 tablespoon of powder or tincture 3-6x daily. Protects endothelial cell integrity, reduces cytokine cascade.


1) Angelica sinensis/Astragalus spp, equal parts, 1 tbl each hour

2) Salvia miltiorrhiza, 1 tbl each hour

3) Pueria lobata/Cordyceps, equal parts, 1 tbl each hour

4) Glycyrrhiza (licorice)/Bailak skullcap, equal parts, 1 tbl each hour

Note: this has been found in vivo to stop exactly this kind of septic shock.