Background

Viruses
For as long as man has been around, viruses have been a mystery. In order for a virus to live it must have a host. If the host dies, then the virus dies. Scientists classify viruses as both living and non living organisms. Viruses cannot make proteins or use energy. Viruses are half to one hundredth size of the smallest bacterium. A virus is not an independently living organism and must have some sort of a host. Antibiotics can not cure a virus, but can ease some of the symptoms. Viruses basically reproduce and infect other hosts. Everything can be infected by viruses as far as we know. Many viruses are named after the disease they cause.


Structure of Viruses
All viruses, or virons, are made of a nucleic core and a protein coat. A virus is not a cell because it does not have a nucleus or cell membrane. The protein coat, also known as a capsid, protects the DNA. Bacteriophages have a tail that is used to attach itself to the cell and inject its DNA.



Reproduction
Viruses can only reproduce inside a living cell, the host cell. The reproduction of viruses happen in a cycle, the Lytic Cycle. First the bacteriophage attaches to the host cell. Then nucleic acid is injected into the cell. Then the hosts DNA is destroyed and a new nucleic acid and proteins replace the DNA. The new viral particles are assembled. The host cell breaks open and new viral particles are released. Then the Lytic Cycle repeats its self over and over again. Viral particles go through another cycle called the Lysogenic Cycle. The cycle is when the virus DNA becomes irrigated with the host chromosome. The Lysogenic Cycle leads up to the Lytic Cycle.



Bacteriophages

Bacteriophages were first discovered in 1915, and are the most understood viruses. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. When the host, the bacteria, gets infected it dies. Phages can have many different bacterial hosts. When bactteriophages kill the bacteria they infect, they are called virulent.
A temperate phage is a bacteriophage that reproduce without killing their host. They mainly reproduce in two ways, the lytic cycle and the lysogenic cycle. When they go through these cycles, the phages DNA combine with the host chromosome, then it is known as a prophage.



Plaques

Plaques are formed when there is a high amount of dead bacteria. Which means that there is a high numbers of living viruses. When a virus injects its DNA into a new host cell, the cell then lyses, or bursts, releasing new viruses. The process is then repeated, until it can find no more hosts. In order for an extract to have antiviral properties, it must result in a low number of plaques. The higher the plaques, the lower antiviral properties.


Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alterifolia)

The Tea Tree comes from Australia and is very useful. Tea tree oil comes from the tree leaves. The cells in the leaves are very healing and is used as an antiseptic. Aboriginal tribes use tea tree oil for an antiseptic for thousands of years. Stories and myths say that they used to bathe in creeks and lagoons by tea tree oil trees and be healed if they were sick. The leaves would dissolve in the creeks and lagoons, making a water that was safe to bathe in and to drink as a tea.
A famous British explorer came up with the name tea tree because he made his sailors drink a tea from the tree to prevent diseases. In 1923 Australian soldiers used tee tree oil as an antiseptic in World War ll. Now in about every Australian household, you will find a bottle of tea tree oil.


Golden Seal

Golden Seal is a root that is native to North America and has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. Some of the vitamins and elements in Golden Seal are: calcium, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many other minerals and nutrients.
Because Golden Seal is like a multivitamin, its very popular and a lot of people use it. It is know for its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.