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Luteolin - A Possible Natural Substance for Protection against coronavirus

Luteolin is a naturally occurring flavonoid compound found in fruits and vegetables which may assist in protecting us against coronavirus. The way in which it may offer protection is through inhibiting a protein called furin.  Furin likely activates the spike protein on the coronavirus, and when furin cleaves the spike protein, the virus is then able to enter our cells.  I elaborate on this at Furin Inhibitors and provide a number of sources on that page as well.   


Foods High in Luteolin

Foods high in luteolin include various peppers, broccoli, celery, onion leaves, carrots, cabbages, apple skins, radicchio, chicory greens, pumpkin, artichokes, kohlrabi, and red leaf lettuce. [1, 2, 3]


Herbs with luteolin include thyme, parsley, rosemary, cumin, Lonicera japonica, lemon grass, olive leaf, chrysanthemum flowers, chamomile, and perilla seed oil.  However, chrysanthemum, chamomile, and perilla should be used carefully as some people are allergic to the herbs. 

According to a pdf file on the USDA site rutabagas, celery, and parsley are foods with some of the highest flavone content.  The file also lists peppermint and thyme as being high in these compounds.  For more information see Flavonoid Content of Vegetables.

In an excellent article called Bolstering Your Defenses Against COVID-19: An “Epigenetic” Diet, Adam Li gives an excellent account of the biological mechanisms involved in coronavirus and how certain foods can offer us protection.  In addition to discussing luteolin, he also examines the role of quercitin, hesperetin, naringenin, and EGCG found in greet tea.  Some of his top recommendations include onions, oranges, green tea, and juniper berries.  


Getting the Right Amount of Luteolin 

In order to get high enough amounts of flavonoids like luteolin in our diet, it is necessary to consume larger amounts of the foods than we may typically eat in our meals.  While each food source has various amounts of these substances, some general rules of thumb to increase our intake, is to make two glasses of juice per day, and drink two - three cups of tea.


For instance, juicing celery, parsley, and peppers together in a 8 - 12 ounce glass, will start to get us into the proper dosages to offer us extra protection.  In the article mentioned above, Li recommends 300 ml of orange juice to get the right levels of flavonoids, while 1 gram of green tea, and 50 grams of Juniper berries are sufficient for each of those plant sources.

By juicing the foods listed above, and taking them two or three times a day, while also including them in our meals, we can get higher levels of luteolin in our diet.  Again, doing this may help to inhibit the virus from entering our cells and replicating.  In a future article I will discuss other natural substances that work through different mechanisms to protect us from this dreadful virus. 


1. Science Direct - Luteolin

On a search inquiry for luteolin on Science Direct, a number or research articles appear that show how luteolin may be useful in various diseases such as Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, and Psoriasis.  The articles also list food sources.

2. Flavonoid Content of Vegetables, USDA.GOV site

3. This page list 10 sources of Luteolin Rich Foods

4. Bolstering Your Defenses Against COVID-19: An “Epigenetic” Diet

Li, Adam;

Other Sources

Science Direct Article: 

Luteolin restricts dengue virus replication through inhibition of the proprotein convertase furin

NIH.GOV Research Site

Luteolin, a flavonoid with potentials for cancer prevention and therapy

Yong Lin, Ranxin Shi, Xia Wang, and Han-Ming Shen

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2008 Nov; 8(7): 634–646.

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