With the worldwide search for an effective drug against SARS-CoV-2, herbs widely used in Ayurvedic medicine provide exciting new clues.
Scientists at the National Brain Research Center in Manesar found that one of the ingredients Mullers (Ashmadhu In Sanskrit) may be a candidate for anti-SARS-CoV-2, because it can reduce the severity of the disease and reduce virus replication.
In the 15 months after the Covid-19 pandemic, although several vaccines have been introduced, scientists are still looking for a drug to fight the spreading virus.
Currently, doctors use several different drugs to treat patients.
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Last year, with the support of the Ministry of Biotechnology, the NBRC team began to look for new treatments against Covid-19 in the middle of the lock-in period.
When the search was narrowed to glycyrrhizin due to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers conducted a series of experiments to verify its potential against SARS-CoV-2.
In the laboratory, scientists expressed specific viral proteins in human lung epithelial cells. The viral protein triggered inflammation in these cells, but treatment with glycyrrhizin cleared the inflammation in these cells. Untreated cells die from inflammation.
NBRC senior scientist Ellora Sen told the team: “By reducing the cytokine storm (a severe immune response triggered by severe Covid-19 cases), glycyrrhizin can reduce the severity of the infection.” DH.
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Later, when Sen and her researchers Pruthvi Gowda, Shruti Patrick, Shanker Datt, Rajesh Joshi, and Kumar Kumawat further analyzed the molecule, they found that in addition to suppressing the cytokine storm, glycyrrhizin also reduced viral replication by 90%.
Although Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat lung diseases, chronic fever and respiratory inflammation, glycyrrhizin can be used to treat chronic hepatitis B and C.
She said: “Given its safety and tolerability, it may constitute a viable treatment option for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.” The team is now looking for partners to advance the research to the preclinical stage.
The research has been published in Cytokines, The official journal of the International Society of Cytokines and Interferons.