National Institutes of Health

The following are excerpts from Bard, R. Effects of Fulvic and Humic Acid on Animals and Humans, 2002, pages 3-7, a review of current research of the many traditional uses for Humic Acid:

In 2002, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a report titled “Broad Spectrum Antiviral Effectiveness of Humates”. The NIH studied Fulvic and Humic Acid’s virus-fighting properties for viral diseases such as gastroenteritis, influenza, herpes, chicken pox, mononucleosis and hemorrhaging fevers caused by the Ebola and Hanta viruses.

Results showed that Fulvic and Humic Acid, when consumed before the virus invaded the body, was effective in preventing disease. Tests performed against multiple virus types further confirmed Humic Acids broad anti-viral properties. Toxicity tests showed that Fulvic and Humic Acid bound itself to human cells but was not itself toxic, nor did it inhibit or interfere with cell development or reproduction.

Humic Acids “Broad Spectrum Antiviral Effectiveness” is the result of Fulvic and Humic Acids ability to put a prophylactic coating on viruses receptor sites, thereby preventing the viruses from reattaching to the host cell. Humic Acid does this to all viruses and thereby has the ability to naturally stop all viruses and bacteria. 

The take away from this report is that humic acid

is extremely effective in arresting most viral infections and it is safe to ingest in even large doses.

Around the World

Prior to the 1970’s very little research had been done to determine the pharmacological benefits of Humic and Fulvic Acids. Since then, the United States and other countries including China, India, Russia, and the UK have all conducted numerous research studies and published thousands of papers on the pathology and toxicology of Humic and Fulvic Acids.

Although studying and understanding the health benefits of Humic and Fulvic Acids is still relatively new, inhabitants of remote areas such as the Tibetans of the Tibet region of China, the Georgian Russians living in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, the Hunzas of Pakistan and Afghanistan (Hindu Kush and Karakoram Mountains), the Sherpas in Nepal, the people of the Kashmir region, and the Indians living in the Kumaon, Himalayas, Vindhyas and Aravallis Mountains of India have been using these rare compounds for centuries to enhance both their physical and mental well-being. Historical records testify to the extraordinary longevity and health of these people.

In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, Humic and Fulvic Acids are known as Shaljit. Many people in the Himalayan belt are known to live well over 100 years in excellent health, free from disease and other health complications, attributing much of their vigor to Humic and Fulvic Acid consumption. In this part of the world, these compounds are listed as a “rasayana” or rejuvenator, a class of drugs believed to dramatically slow the aging process and promote revitalization of otherwise degenerative physiological functions. People of the region using Humic and Fulvic Acid preparations not only report outstanding health benefits for themselves, but also for their animals. Medical studies on Sherpas have linked Humic and Fulvic Acids to their remarkable ability to endure high altitudes and extremely cold temperatures.

The Chinese Material Medica Pharmacological Compendium, which dates back to the 15th century Ming Dynasty, documents the use of Humic and Fulvic Acids in “Wujinsan” to treat ulcerous growth and female hemorrhage diseases by means of an anti-inflammatory and blood coagulating agent.

Russian scientists are using Humic and Fulvic Acids for the treatment of radiation sickness. Victims of radiation sickness experience immune system responses that attack the body’s dead cells, creating unwanted infections. Humates cause the immune system to recognize its own dead cells, thereby reducing infection.

After an extensive study on Humic Acid conducted in Moscow, researchers concluded that pharmaco-biological tests proved Humic Acid was effective in warding off a host of diseases because Humic Acid raised the body’s immunity fighting functions. The study also reinforced other findings that showed Humic Acid was harmless to humans when ingested or applied topically, and did not result in any allergies or adverse reactions.

Nature’s Most Optimal Electrolyte

Fulvic Acid has proven to be a powerful organic electrolyte, serving to balance cell life. If the individual cell is restored to its normal chemical balance and thereby in turn its electrical potential, we have given life where death and disintegration would normally occur within plant and animal cells.[0] Fulvic Acid has the outstanding ability to accomplish this objective in numerous ways.[1]

Can Act As an Electron Donor Or Acceptor

Fulvic Acid is available at times as an electron donor and at other times as an electron acceptor, based on the cell’s requirements for balance.[2] One of the reactions that occurs is always an oxidation reaction in which the chemical species loses electrons as a donor. The other reaction is a reduction in which the active species gains electrons as an acceptor.[3]

What does it mean to donor or accept an electron? When a toxin is missing and in need of an electron, it will greedily steal one from your body, causing the healthy tissue to oxidize. Humic and Fulvic Acids may help prevent this from happening by either giving the hungry toxin an electron or by absorbing the toxin and carrying it out of the body through excretion.

A recent study of the binding of a donor molecule to Fulvic Acid in solution revealed direct evidence for donor-acceptor charge-transfer mechanisms. [4] Trace minerals in the Fulvic Acid electrolyte could also be beneficial in this process by serving as electrodes.[5]

The mechanism whereby Humic substances inhibit the cytopathicity of a number of viruses has been studied in some depth. It is thought that the materials prevent viral replicating by sorbing onto the viral envelope protein and thereby blocking the sorption of viral particles to cell surfaces (6).

Superior Anti-Oxidant

One Of The Most Powerful Natural Free Radical Scavengers & Antioxidants Known.[7] Free radicals of Fulvic Acid behave as electron donors or acceptors, depending upon the need for balance in the situation. [8] Fulvic Acid can in the same way take part in oxidation-reduction reactions with transition metals. [9]

Reduces Inflammation and Promotes Healing

Not only does the humate relieve swelling from joint inflammation, it has been shown to bond to the collagen fibers to aid in repair of damaged tendons and bone. Tendon strength has been shown to increase by as much as 75% [10] [11].

Advanced Delivery System

It is known also that Fulvic Acid is readily admitted into living cells. This may be in part to its low molecular weight, its electrical potential, its biotransporting ability or factors yet to be discovered. It is known however that once inside the living cell it participates in selective trading or supply of minerals and other nutrient factors inside the cell. [12]

Natural Detoxifier

In addition to supplying essential nutrients to the cell, it has been shown that the Fulvic Acid can chelate toxins reducing them to a harmless state. The Fulvic and Humic Acids are effective in neutralizing such a wide range of toxic materials from heavy metals, radioactive waste, petro-chemicals and industrial waste that tests are soon to be conducted on a new system designed to compost land fill refuse using the Fulvic and Humic Acids to safely render all toxins harmless. On the cellular level Fulvic Acid is superior for neutralizing toxins, heavy metals and other harmful substances and carrying these intruders out of the body.[13]

Broad Spectrum Anti-Viral

Humic substances have long been known to exhibit antiviral properties [14] in particular rhinoviruses [15]. The most well known disease caused by rhinoviruses is the common cold. There are over 100 serologic virus types which cause cold symptoms and rhinoviruses are responsible for around 50% of all cases.

Viral pathogens for which soil-extract materials have been shown to be effective include in particular Coxsackie virus A9 [16], herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 [17],[18], [19], [20], [21], and [22], human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) [23], [24], [25], [26], and[27], influenza type A and B [23], [15],[26], and [28], as well as other respiratory tract infections. [30], [16], [15],[22], and [29].

With most viruses, the inhibitory effect of (Humic Acid) is directed specifically against an early stage of virus replication, namely virus attachment to cells.[46]

Preliminary in-vitro studies with Coxsackie A9 virus, influenza A virus and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) have already shown that (Humic Substances) are effective against both naked and enveloped DNA viruses.[47]

Further investigations corroborate the ability of (Humic Acid) to inhibit selectively viruses for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and vaccinia virus.[48]

Balance T Cells

Humates boosts the immune system. Dr. Daryl See, MD, Immunologist of UCLA Medical School suggests that the mechanism is related to the humates ability to complex sugars within the body. The abundance of these complex sugars allows the body to manufacture glycoproteins that attach to the killer and T cell acting as a modulator or communication link between the cells. This regulates the immune system cells and prevents either the T or Killer cells from becoming out of balance. Excessive killer cells can attack bone and joints causing arthritis. Conversely, excessive T cells can cause auto-immune diseases.

Ayurveda Research

Fulvic Acid stimulates blood formation, energy production, and prevents cold exposure and hypoxia.[37-41] It actively takes part in the transportation of nutrients into deep tissues and helps to overcome tiredness, lethargy, and chronic fatigue.[37,38,40-42] It also works effectively as a tonic for cardiac, gastric, and nervous systems, adaptogen and anti-stress agent.[38-41,42-45]

Clinical Applications

Shoxin, Zhejiang Province, China eye clinic treated 53 patients with ulcerous cornea infection with Fulvic Acid eye drops and intramuscular injections, resulting in a 94.2% success rate.[31]

Haidian Hospital, Beijing, China treated 95 patients for chronic ulcerous colon infections with 30 dosages of a Fulvic Acid enema and had a 92.6% success rate.[31] Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China, treated 160 patients suffering from acute upper gastroenterological bleeding with an oral Fulvic Acid medicine and injections and had a 95.6% success rate.[31]

91.1% of patients with gastric and duodenal ulcers improved their condition when treated with Fulvic Acid. The treatment showed no side effects and substantially diminished their pain with few relapses. 61.1% of the patients were cured completely.[32]

Hospitals in China conducted studies on elderly patients, ages 60-90, who were treated with Fulvic Acid. The results showed they regained appetite, slept better, and became more energetic. Hospital studies in India showed that Fulvic Acids are considered to be a powerful anti-aging therapy that also helped patients with symptoms of dementia.[33]

Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China studied 1800 cases of malnutrition in women treated with Fulvic Acid. The success rate was 96.0%. [34]

Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China studied 33 cases of patients with over-active thyroid treated with Fulvic Acid. The success rate was 90.9%. [35]

Hospital studies show that patients with epidemic Hemorrhagic Fever (typically incurable) were successfully treated with Humic extracts, which stopped bleeding, restored circulation, removed blood clots, was anti-viral, and significantly bolstered and regulated the immune system.[36]

Several clinical studies have been carried out where varying doses of humic acid were administered to small focus groups of HIV+ patients in multiple countries. The results of these studies were very encouraging. Here are some of the results:

2003 HIV+ Study in USA

Test Subjects: three HIV+ Caucasian adults, ages 20 – 40 years

Dosage: 1 tablet humic acid, three times daily

Results: viral load dropped from 12,000 – 15,000 to almost zero within one month

2003 HIV+ Study in Taiwan

Test Subjects: three HIV+ Taiwanese adults, ages 30 – 40 years

Dosage: 1 tablet humic acid, four times daily

Results: viral load dropped from 16,000 – 20,000 to almost zero within two months

2003 HIV+ Study in Nigeria

Test Subjects: three HIV+ African adults, ages 20 – 30 years

Dosage: 1 tablet humic acid, four times daily

Results: viral load dropped from 15,000 – 18,000 to almost zero within two months


[0] Powerful electrolyte – Jackson, William R. (1993). Humic, Fulvic and Microbial Balance: Organic Soil Conditioning, 329. Evergreen, Colorado: Jackson Research Center.

[1] New Electronic Encyclopedia. (1991). Photosynthesis. Grolier Electronic Publishing.

[2] Donor and acceptor – Jackson, William R. (1993). Humic, Fulvic and Microbial Balance: Organic Soil Conditioning. Evergreen, Colorado: Jackson Research Center.

[3] Donor and receptor – Rashid, M.A. (1985). Geochemistry of marine Humic substances. New York: Springer-Verlag.

[4] Donor, receptor – Sposito, G., Holtzclaw, K.M., LeVesque, C.S., & Johnston, C.T.(1982). Trace metal chemistry in arid-zone field soils amended with sewage sludge. II. Comparative study of the Fulvic Acid fraction. Soil Science Society America Journal, 46. 265-270.

[5] Mineral complexes in Fulvic may serve as electrodes – Rashid, M.A. (1985). Geochemistry of marine Humic substances. New York: Springer-Verlag.

(6)Process for preparing synthetic soil-extract materials and medicament based thereon. Laub, R. U. S. Patient No. 5,945,446, August 1999.

[7] Free radical – Senesi, N. (1990) Analytica Chmica Acta, 232, 51-75. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.

[8] Free radical – Senesi, N., Chen, Y., & Schnitzer, M. (1977b). The role of Humic Acids in extracellular electron transport and chemical determination of pH in natural waters. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 9,397-403.

[9] Oxidation reduction – Senesi, N., Chen, Y., & Schnitzer, M. (1977b). The role of Humic Acids in extracellular electron transport and chemical determination of pH in natural waters. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 9, 397-403.

[10]Sodium humate in the treatment of osteoarthrosis patients. Iubitskaia, N. S.; Ivanov, E. M. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, 1999; Issue 5; Pages 22-24.

[11]Effects of Implanted bovine calcium hydroxyapatite with humate. Kreutz; Schlikekewey, W. Arch. Orthop. Trauma Surg., 1992, Vol. 111; Issue 5; pages 259-264.

[12] Rashid, M.A. (1985) Geochemistry of Marine Humic Substances. New York: Springer-Verlag.; Vaughn, D., Malcolm, R.E., & Ord, B.G. (1985) Soil Organic Matter and Biological Activity. (p. 77-108) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff; Vaughn, D., Ord, B., & Malcolm, R.E. (198) Journal of Experimental Botany, 29,1337-1344.

[13] Rashid, M.A. (1985). Geochemistry of Marine Humic Substances. New York: Springer-Verlag.

[14]The use of the HET-CAM test for the determination of the irritating effect of Humic Acids. Wiegleb, K.; et al. Dtsch Tierarzl Wochenschr, October 1993; Vol. 100; Issue 10; pages 412-416.

[15]The effects of phenolic polyments on retroviruses. Sydow, G.; et al. Pharmazie, December 1986. Vol. 41, Issue 12, Pages 865-868.

[16]Antiviral properties of Humic Acids. Klocking, R.; et al. Experientia, May 1972, Vol. 28, Issue 5, Pages 607-608.

[17]Results of an oriented clinical trial of ammonium humate for the local treatment of herpesvirus hominis (HVH) infections. Schiller, F.; Klocking, R.; Wutzler, P.; Farber, I. Dermatoi Monatsschr, 1979; Vol. 165; Issue 7; Pages 505-509.

[18]Comparison of the in vitro activities of ammonium humate and of enzymically oxidized chlorogenic and caffeic Acids against type 1 and type 2 human herpes virus. Thiel, K. D.; Heibig, B.; Kloching, R.; Vutzier, P.; Sprossig, M.; Schweizer, H. Pharmazie, 1981; Vol. 36; Issue 1; Pages 50-53.

[19]In vitro studies of the antiviral activity of ammonium humate against herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2. Thiel, K. D.; Klocking, R.; Schweizer, H.; Sprossig, M. Zentralbl Bakteriol, 1977; Vol. 239; Issue 3; Pages 304-321.

[20]The chemically induced inhibition of HSV infection. Laub, R. Laub BioChem Corp., August 1998.

[21]Therapeutic effect of E-5-2-bromovinyl 2-deoxyuridine, caffeic Acid oxidation product, and trisodiumphosphonoformate on cutaneous herpes simplex virus type 1 infected guinea pigs. Helbig, B.; et al. Med Viral, 1987; Vol. 23; Issue 3; pages 303-309.

[22]Interaction of Humic Acids and Humic Acid like polymers with herpes simplex virus type 1. Knocking, R. Humic Substances in the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment, Berlin, 1991; pages 408-412.

[23]Laub developing humate with anti-HIV, HSV, HPV and other antiviral activity. Laub, R. Biotechnology Information Institute, February 2000. Antiviral Drug and Vaccine Development Information, Vol. 12, No. 2. ISBN 0897-9871.

[24]The chemically induced inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Laub, R. Laub BioChem Corp., January 1995.

[25]Process for preparing synthetic soil-extract materials and medicament based thereon. Laub, R. U. S. Patient No. 5,945,446, August 1999.

[26]Selective inhibitory activity of polyhydroxcarboxylates derived from phenolic compounds agains human immunodeficiency virus replication. Schols, D.; et al. Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 1991; Vol. 4; Issue 7, pages 677-685.

[27]Hexaprenoid hydroquinones. Novel inhibitors of the reverse transcriptase of human iminunodeficiency virus type 1. Loya, S.; et al. Journal of Natural Products, December, 1993; Vol. 52, Issue 12; pages 2120-2125.

[28]Effectiveness of phenol body polymers against influenza virus. Mentel, R., et al. Biochem Acta, 1983; Vol. 42;Issue 10; pages 1353-1356.

[29]A randomized blind study on the efficacy of Tolpa Torf preparation in the treatment of recurring respiratory tract infections. Jankowski, A.; et al. Arch Immunol Ther Exp, 1993; Vol. 41; Issue 1; pages 95-97.

[30]Investigations on the viricidal effects of Humic Acids in peat. Schultz, H. Tierarztl Vochenschr, July 1965, Vol. 72, Issue 13, pages 294-297.

[31] Yuan, Shenyuan; Fulvic Acid, 4 1988; in Application of Fulvic Acid and its derivatives in the fields of agriculture and medicine; First Edition June 1993

[32] Xinsheng Zhu, Fulvic Acid, 9 (1991)

[33] Erchuan Wang et al, Humic Acid, 3 (1991)

[34] Studies performed by Professor Deging Yao at Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China

[35] Studies performed at Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China

[36] Yinzhang Cui, Humic Acid, 1 (1991)

[37] Bucci LR. Selected herbals and human exercise performance. Am Socii for Clin Nutr. 2000;72:624S–6.

[38] Chopra RN, Chopra IC, Handa KL, Kapur LD. Chopra’s Indigenous Drugs of India. 2nd edn. B Calcutta India: K Dhur of Academic Publishers; 1958.

[39] Dash B. Materia Medica of Ayurveda. New Delhi: B Jain Publishers; 1991.

[40]Frawley David, Lad Vasant. The Yoga of Herbs. 2nd edn. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press; 2001. p. 250.

[41] Puri HS. Rasayana. London, England: Taylor & Francis; 2003.

[42] Chattopadhyay U, Das S, Guha S, Ghosal S. Activation of lymphocytes of normal and tumor bearing mice by mangiferin, a naturally occurring glucosylxanthone. Cancer Lett. 1987;2:293–299.

[43]Ghosal S, Soumya L, Kumar Y. Interaction of Shilajit with biogenic free radicals. Indian J Chem. 1995;34B:596–602.

[44] Halpern M. Clinical Ayurvedic Medicine. 4th edn. Grass Valley, CA: California College of Ayurveda; 2003a.

[45] Jaiswal AK, Bhattacharya SK. Effects of Shilajit on memory, anxiety and brain monoamines in rats. Ind J of Pharmacol. 1992;24:12–7.

[46] Klocking and Sprosig, 1975; Schols et al., 1991; Neyts et al., 1992.

[47]Klocking and Sprosig, Institute for Antiviral Chemotherapy, Friedrich Schiller University,Jena, Germany 1972, 1975; Thiel et al., 1977.

[48]Schols et al., 1991; Neyts et al., 1992.


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