1. Cinnamomum Cassia (Twig)
Gardeners have long been using cinnamon to protect their plants against mold—and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used cinnamon to reduce mold and mold toxins in humans for centuries as well. Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon) has shown promise against 11 strains of fungus including 4 forms of Candida albicans and 3 forms of Aspergillus, the toxic black mold found in so many homes.1, 2 A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Environmental Microbiology attributed its effectiveness in eliminating mold to its o-methoxycinnamaldehyde component.3 Other more recent studies have found that cinnamon is effective against molds and toxins, but more research needs to be completed to identify any single "active" component of cinnamon.4, 5, 6
2. Anemarrhena Asphodeloides (Rhizome)
Anemarrhena is a member of the lily family and is known as zhi mu in TCM. Japanese researchers have demonstrated through in vitro studies that Anemarrhena asphodeloides (Anemarrhena), an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for sticky yellow phlegm, may help against 38 different strains of fungi, including the neurotoxic fungi Aspergillus niger.7 Anemarrhena contains high levels of saponins, soap-like substances one of which, broussanin, may be active in reducing mold and mycotoxins.8 Other studies have indicated that Anemarrhena can act against Candida species also.9
3. Houttuynia Cordata (Herb)
Houttuynia cordata is used both as medicine and food in Asia. It is variously known as Chinese lizard tail or the Chameleon plant. In 2011, an article published in the Chinese Journal of Microecology suggested that the Traditional Chinese Medicine Herb, Houttuynia cordata may help limit the growth of toxic black mold, Aspergillus niger as well as the green mold, Aspergillus flavus. It also may support natural defenses to inhibit the growth of Candida.10
4. Artemisia Annua (Herb)
Artemisia annua (Artemisia), is probably best known for its use in the production of an antimalarial drug, artemesinin. It is also known as Sweet wormwood or Sweet Annie—in TCM it is known as qinghao. As a group, the artemesinins are growing in medicinal importance because they are active against other parasites, fungi and molds.11, 12 A recent study indicated that this group of compounds may be effective against various Aspergillus species and may help limit the growth of several other molds such as, Rhizopus, Penicillium, and Mucor racemosus.13, 14, 15
5. Foeniculum Vulgare (Fruit)
Foeniculum vulgare (commonly known as fennel) has long been used in many different traditional medical systems like TCM and Ayurvedic medicine to ease poor digestion. Research also suggests it can help eliminate a wide range of fungi and mold including species of Aspergillus, and the green mold, Cladosporium cladosporioides.16, 17 More recent studies indicate and even broader effect on grey mold caused by Botrytis cinerea.18 Foeniculum vulgare also is effective in neutralizing mycotoxins.19, 20
6. Eugenia Caryophyllata (Flower Bud)
Eugenia caryophyllatta (clove), also known as Syzygium aromaticum. Research suggests the component eugenol in cloves can help limit the growth of two forms of Aspergillus, as well as Colletotrichum, Rhizoctonia, the highly toxic Alternaria and Fusarium fungi.21 It also may help eliminate spores.22, 23 Eugenol and other substances in cloves appear to interfere with how molds "talk" to each other and also interfere with the production of toxins.24 Studies have also shown that eugenol, the presumed "active" ingredient in cloves, is also effective against strains of Candida,25 and other forms of mold.26
7. Cyperus Rotundus (Rhizome)
The root of the plant Cyperus rotundus, also known as adrue and nut grass, is found in Africa, Asia and central Europe. This plant also has anti-malarial properties27 and has long been used, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, to help the body eliminate toxins. Essential oils from the plant suggest it may also be anti-bacterial.28, 29 It has activity against various parasites and strains of Candida.30 Research also suggests it can inhibit Aspergillus as well as Fusarium molds.31 32
8. Xanthium Sibiricum (Fruit)
Xanthium sibiricum is also known as Siberian cocklebur and has been traditionally used in TCM for sinus headaches, nasal congestion, to help control blood sugar in diabetes and against viral infections. Xanthium also is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and has liver protective effects.33 34 Preliminary studies indicate it may be active against Aspergillus fumigatus.35
9. Ligusticum Sinense (Root)
Traditionally, Ligusticum sinense has been used to relieve headaches and for viral infections. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is known as osha. In lab tests, Ligusticum showed activity against various species of plant fungi and molds.36, 37
10. Curcuma Longa (Rhizome)
Curcuma longa (Curcumin) is the plant source of turmeric, a main component of the Indian curry—it is the spice that gives curry its color. Curcumin has been hailed as one of the most powerful botanical antioxidants currently known. It has a special place in Ayurvedic Medicine where it is used for most inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Curcuma longa has been shown to inhibit the growth of fast-growing cells like cancer—this may be one way that the herb is effective against fungi and molds—it is being investigated as an alternative approach in controlling plant mold, and has shown activity against several different species of fungi.38, 39It has also been shown to inhibit the production of aflatoxin by Aspergillus species.40, 41 Curcuma longa has also been shown to support liver function—this may be a possible mechanism of supporting the detoxification of mycotoxins.42, 43
11. Acorus Tatarinowii (Rhizome)
Acorus tatarinowii has many names and a long history of use in both Ayurvedic medicine and TCM for use in Candida infections, with recent findings indicating that it is more effective than currently used anti-fungal agents.44 Research indicates that it is also active against Aspergillus species.45, 46
12. Psoralea Corylifolia (Fruit)
Psoralea xorylifolia is another herb from both the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions. It is also known as babchi, Bu Gu Zhi and Kushtanashini, and has been traditionally used to treat fungal skin diseases, depression and menopausal symptoms. Current research indicates that some of the substances found in the psoralea fruit may help support the immune system and to be anti-inflammatory.47 Some research also indicates that Psoralea may be active against various plant fungi and molds, suggesting that these may be potentially similar mechanisms in humans.48 Laboratory research also indicates it might help neutralize fungal toxins like trichocethine.49
13. Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Root)
Who would think that sweet Glycyrrhiza uralensis or Licorice Root would be more than a candy flavor! In fact, it is a powerful protective herb. Licorice root is very commonly used in herbal medicine around the world to protect against stress and to support the immune system, the adrenal glands and the hormonal systems. It also acts to protect the liver—the main organ of detoxification. It has broad antimicrobial properties, though research into its antifungal actions is limited. Older research as well as a recent study indicated that Glycerhhiza was active against at least four different types of mold and fungus.50, 51
The Last Herb
Ingredients like Curcuma longa may act as effective anti-oxidant support by increasing your body’s production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that removes damaging free radicals and allows for the more effective removal of toxins,52 but we wanted to increase the level of detoxification even more effectively, so we added a 14th herb...
14. Schisandra Chinensis (Fruit)
Schisandra is also known as wu wei zi and is one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), primarily to increase overall health and resistance to disease. It is considered to be an important adaptogen—an herb that allows various systems to adapt to various stressors—like toxins. In addition, it is also a powerful herb when it comes to supporting immune health and the major detoxification systems.53, 54
Recent evidence shows that Schisandra has anti-fungal effects on top of the ones already listed. These were mainly plant fungi, but it is possible similar mechanisms are active against fungi and molds that infect humans.55 Schisandra extracts were found to be effective against fungal skin infections.56
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- Cvek D, Markov K, Frece J, Landeka Dragicević T, Majica M, Delas F. Growth inhibition of Aspergillus ochraceus ZMPBF 318 and Penicillium expansum ZMPBF 565 by four essential oils. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2010 Jun;61(2):191-6. doi:10.2478/10004-1254-61-2010-2009. PubMed PMID: 20587393.
- Morozumi S. Isolation, purification, and antibiotic activity of o-methoxycinnamaldehyde from cinnamon. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 Oct;36(4):577-83. PubMed PMID: 708030; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC243094.
- Wang G-s, Deng J-h, Ma Y-h, Shi M, Li B. Mechanisms, clinically curative effects, and antifungal activities of cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil complex against three species of Candida. (2012) J TradChinMed 32 (1).19-24.
- Liu X, Ma Z, Zhang J, Yang L. Antifungal Compounds against Candida Infections from Traditional Chinese Medicine (2017) Article ID 4614183, https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4614183.
- Singh A, Deepika, Chaudhari AK, Das S, Prasad J, Dwivedy AK, Dubey NK. Efficacy of Cinnamomum cassia essential oil against food-borne molds and aflatoxin B1 contamination. Plant Biosystems-An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology. 2020 Aug 30:1-9.
- Iida Y, Oh KB, Saito M, Matsuoka H, Kurata H, Natsume M, Abe H. Detection of antifungal activity in Anemarrhena asphodeloides by sensitive BCT method and isolation of its active compound. J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Feb;47(2):584-7. PubMed PMID: 10563936.
- Iida Y, Yonemura H, Oh KB, Saito M, Matsuoka H. [Sensitive screening of antifungal compounds from acetone extracts of medicinal plants with a Bio-Cell Tracer]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1999 Dec;119(12):964-71. Japanese. PubMed PMID: 10630102.
- Iida Y, Oh KB, Saito M, Matsuoka H, Kurata H. In vitro synergism between nyasol, an active compound isolated from Anemarrhena asphodeloides, and azole agents against Candida albicans. Planta Medica. 2000 Jun;66(05):435-8.
- Kim GS, Kim DH, Lim JJ, Lee JJ, Han DY, Lee WM, Jung WC, Min WG, Won CG, Rhee MH, Lee HJ, Kim S. Biological and antibacterial activities of the natural herb Houttuynia cordata water extract against the intracellular bacterial pathogen salmonella within the RAW 264.7 macrophage. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Nov;31(11):2012-7. PubMed PMID: 18981565.
- Krishna S, Bustamante L, Haynes RK, Staines HM. Artemisinins: their growing importance in medicine. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008;29(10):520-527. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2008.07.004
- Ho, Wanxing Eugene, et al. "Artemisinins: pharmacological actions beyond anti-malarial." Pharmacology & therapeutics 142.1 (2014): 126-139.
- P. GAUTAM, et al, Artemisinin, its Antifungal Action and Molecular Targets against Aspergillus fumigatus Using Proteomic Approach. Poster presented at 49th annual ICAAC. Accessed (12/20) at: https://www.aspergillus.org.uk/conference_abstracts/artemisinin-its-antifungal-action-and-molecular-targets-against-aspergillus-fumigatus-using-proteomic-approach/
- Kim WS, Choi WJ, Lee S, Kim WJ, Lee DC, Sohn UD, Shin HS, Kim W. Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Effects of Artemisinin Extracts from Artemisia annua L. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Jan;19(1):21-7. doi:10.4196/kjpp.2015.19.1.21. Epub 2014 Dec 31. PubMed PMID: 25605993; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4297758.
- Liu CH, Zou WX, Lu H, Tan RX. Antifungal activity of Artemisia annua endophyte cultures against phytopathogenic fungi. J Biotechnol. 2001 Jul 12;88(3):277-82. PubMed PMID: 11434973.
- Alizadeh A, Zamani E, Sharaifi R, Javan-Nikkhah M, Nazari S. Antifungal activity of some essential oils against toxigenic Aspergillus species. Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2010;75(4):761-7. PubMed PMID: 21534488.
- Kwon YS, Choi WG, Kim WJ, Kim WK, Kim MJ, Kang WH, Kim CM. Antimicrobial constituents of Foeniculum vulgare. Arch Pharm Res. 2002 Apr;25(2):154-7. PubMed PMID: 12009028.
- Chai, A-Li, et al. "Grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea on greenhouse-grown fennel in China." Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 37.2 (2015): 237-241.
- Alinezhad, S., Kamalzadeh, A., Shams-Ghahfarokhi, M. et al. Search for novel antifungals from 49 indigenous medicinal plants: Foeniculum vulgare and Platycladus orientalis as strong inhibitors of aflatoxin production by Aspergillus parasiticus Ann Microbiol (2011) 61: 673. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13213-010-0194-1
- Agarwal, Dolly, L. K. Sharma, and S. N. Saxena. "Anti-microbial properties of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) seed extract." Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 6.4 (2017): 479-482.
- Maximino, Sarah C., et al. "Synthesis of Eugenol Derivatives and Evaluation of their Antifungal Activity Against Fusarium solani f. sp. piperis." Current Pharmaceutical Design 26.14 (2020): 1532-1542.
- Thobunluepop P. Implementation of bio-fungicides and seed treatment in organic rice cv. KDML 105 farming. Pak J Biol Sci. 2009 Aug 15;12(16):1119-26. PubMed PMID: 19899322.
- Hitokoto H, Morozumi S, Wauke T, Sakai S, Kurata H. Inhibitory effects of spices on growth and toxin production of toxigenic fungi. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1980 Apr;39(4):818-22. PubMed PMID: 6769391; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC291425.
- Cortés-Rojas DF, de Souza CR, Oliveira WP. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2014;4(2):90-6.
- da Silva, Ingrid Carla Guedes, et al. "Antifungal Activity of Eugenol and its Association with Nystatin on Candida albicans." Pesquisa Brasileira em Odontopediatria e Clínica Integrada 17.1 (2017): 1-8.
- Campaniello, Daniela, Maria Rosaria Corbo, and Milena Sinigaglia. "Antifungal activity of eugenol against Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Fusarium species." Journal of Food Protection 73.6 (2010): 1124-1128.
- Sivapalan, Sri Ranjani. "Medicinal uses and pharmacological activities of Cyperus rotundus Linn-A Review." International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications 3.5 (2013): 1-8.
- Parekh, Jigna, and Sumitra Chanda. "In vitro antifungal activity of methanol extracts of some Indian medicinal plants against pathogenic yeast and moulds." African journal of Biotechnology 7.23 (2008).
- Sivapalan, Sri Ranjani. "Medicinal uses and pharmacological activities of Cyperus rotundus Linn-A Review." International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications 3.5 (2013): 1-8.
- Singh, N., et al. "Phyto-pharmacotherapeutics of Cyperus rotundus Linn.(Motha): an overview." (2012).
- Nagarajan M, Kuruvilla GR, Kumar KS, Venkatasubramanian P. Pharmacology of Ativisha, Musta and their substitutes. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2015 Apr-Jun;6(2):121-33. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.146551. Review. PubMed PMID: 26167002; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4484047.
- Bisht, A & Bisht, G.R.S. & Singh, M & Gupta, R & Singh, V. (2011). Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oil of tubers of Cyperus rotundus Linn collected from Dehradun (Uttarakhand). Int J Res Pharm Biomed Sci. 2. 661-665.
- Xia, Zhao, et al. "New phenylpropanoids from the fruits of Xanthium sibiricum and their anti-inflammatory activity." Natural Product Research (2020): 1-9.
- Ju, Anna, Young-Chang Cho, and Sayeon Cho. "Methanol extracts of Xanthium sibiricum roots inhibit inflammatory responses via the inhibition of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in murine macrophages." Journal of ethnopharmacology 174 (2015): 74-81.
- Qi, L. Y., et al. Preliminary studies on antifungal activity of Xanthium sibiricum and the endophytic fungi. Journal of Anhui Agricultural Sciences 36 (2008): 12780-12782.
- HE Lei, HU Jun-hua, YAO Tin-shan, LI Hong-jun, RAN Chun, LIU Hao-qiang, LIU Juan, LEI Hui-de. Antifungal Activities of the extract from Ligusticum sinense against two Citrus Storage Pathogens Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences South China Fruits:2010-02
- ZHANG Yan-ning, LEI Min, SUN Wei, JIANG Hong-yun (State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China). Antifungal Activities of 56 Kinds of Plant Agrochemicals:2010-04
- Damalas, Christos A. "Potential uses of turmeric (Curcuma longa) products as alternative means of pest management in crop production." Plant omics 4.3 (2011): 136-141.
- Kim, Moo-Key, Gyung-Ja Choi, and Hoi-Seon Lee. "Fungicidal property of Curcuma longa L. rhizome-derived curcumin against phytopathogenic fungi in a greenhouse." Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 51.6 (2003): 1578-1581.
- Ferreira, Flavio Dias, et al. "Inhibitory effect of the essential oil of Curcuma longa L. and curcumin on aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus Link." Food chemistry 136.2 (2013): 789-793.
- Hu Y, Zhang J, Kong W, Zhao G, Yang M. Mechanisms of antifungal and anti-aflatoxigenic properties of essential oil derived from turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) on Aspergillus flavus. Food Chem. 2017 Apr 1;220:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.179. Epub 2016 Sep 29. PubMed PMID: 27855875.
- Kumar, S. Vipin, et al. "A review on hepatoprotective activity of medicinal plants." Ijarpb 2.1 (2012): 31-8.
- Krup, Vasavda, L. H. Prakash, and A. Harini. "Pharmacological activities of turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn): a review." J Homeop Ayurv Med 2.133 (2013): 2167-1206.
- Wang, Zhao-Jie, et al. "Bioguided isolation, identification and activity evaluation of antifungal compounds from Acorus tatarinowii Schott." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 261 (2020): 113119.
- Bisht D, Pal A, Chanotiya CS, Mishra D, Pandey KN. Terpenoid composition and antifungal activity of three commercially important essential oils against Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. Nat Prod Res. 2011 Dec;25(20):1993-8. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.521926. Epub 2011 Jun 27. PubMed PMID: 21707253.
- Lee YS, Kim J, Lee SG, Shin SC, Park IK. Fumigant antifungal activity of essential oil components from Acorus gramineus against three phytopathogenic fungi. Z Naturforsch C. 2008 Jul-Aug;63(7-8):503-6. PubMed PMID: 18810992.
- Haraguchi, Hiroyuki, et al. "Antioxidative components of Psoralea corylifolia (Leguminosae)." Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives 16.6 (2002): 539-544.
- Ouyang, Hui, et al. "Antimicrobial activities of flavonoids against bamboo-destroying fungi and molds." Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry 99.5-6 (2017): 892-899.
- Srinivasan S, Sarada DV. Antifungal activity of phenyl derivative of pyranocoumarin from Psoralea corylifolia L. seeds by inhibition of acetylation activity of trichothecene 3-o-acetyltransferase (Tri101). J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:310850. doi: 10.1155/2012/310850. Epub 2012 Jun 21. PubMed PMID: 22778547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3388716.
- Sato J, Goto K, Nanjo F, Kawai S, Murata K. Antifungal activity of plant extracts against Arthrinium sacchari and Chaetomium funicola. J Biosci Bioeng. 2000;90(4):442-6. PubMed PMID: 16232887.
- Park, Sang-jo, et al. "Screening of antifungal activities of plant extracts against phytopathogenic fungi." Korean Journal of Plant Resources 30.4 (2017): 343-351.
- Liju, Vijayastelter B., Kottarapat Jeena, and Ramadasan Kuttan. "An evaluation of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from Curcuma longa. L." Indian journal of pharmacology 43.5 (2011): 526.
- Li, Zijian, et al. "A review of polysaccharides from Schisandra chinensis and Schisandra sphenanthera: Properties, functions and applications." Carbohydrate polymers 184 (2018): 178-190.
- Szopa, Agnieszka, Radosław Ekiert, and Halina Ekiert. "Current knowledge of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill.(Chinese magnolia vine) as a medicinal plant species: a review on the bioactive components, pharmacological properties, analytical and biotechnological studies." Phytochemistry Reviews 16.2 (2017): 195-218.
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- Yang, Fengqin, et al. "Antifungal activity of 40 TCMs used individually and in combination for treatment of superficial fungal infections." Journal of ethnopharmacology 163 (2015): 88-93.
Please Note: While all of these herbs have an extensive history of safe use internally through traditional herbal practices, only a few of them have been studied clinically using Western techniques. Despite their historical use, there still is not extensive published research on their effectiveness in helping your body kill or eliminate mold.