ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter

(HealthDay News) -- A plant with a particularly malodorous sap has components that show great efficacy in killing off the H1N1 swine flu virus, Chinese scientists report.

The plant, Ferula assa-foetida, grows throughout Iran, Afghanistan and mainland China, and is commonly dubbed "Dung of the Devil" due to its ill-smelling sap. But the researchers note that the plant was used in China against the influenza virus during the great 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which is thought to have killed tens of millions worldwide. But until now no one has confirmed that Ferula assa-foetida has natural antiviral properties, according to a news release from the American Chemical Society.

The report appears in the Sept. 25 issue of the Journal of Natural Products.

In their laboratory experiments, researchers Fang-Rong Chang, Yang-Chang Wu and colleagues identified a group of chemicals in the plant's extracts that appear to have a stronger potency against H1N1 flu than a prescription antiviral medication already in use against the flu. They write that these compounds "may serve as promising lead components for new drug development against influenza A (H1N1) viral infection."

SOURCES: American Chemical Society, news release, Sept. 9, 2009