Effectiveness of Curcumin on Outcomes of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials.
Despite the ongoing vaccination efforts, there is still an urgent need for safe and effective treatments to help curb the debilitating effects of COVID-19 disease. This systematic review aimed to investigate the efficacy of supplemental curcumin treatment on clinical outcomes and inflammation-related biomarker profiles in COVID-19 patients. We searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, ProQuest, and Ovid databases up to 30 June 2021 to find studies that assessed the effects of curcumin-related compounds in mild to severe COVID-19 patients. Six studies were identified which showed that curcumin supplementation led to a significant decrease in common symptoms, duration of hospitalization and deaths. In addition, all of these studies showed that the intervention led to amelioration of cytokine storm effects thought to be a driving force in severe COVID-19 cases. This was seen as a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in proinflammatory cytokines such as IL1β and IL6, with a concomitant significant (p < 0.05) increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-10, IL-35 and TGF-α. Taken together, these findings suggested that curcumin exerts its beneficial effects through at least partial restoration of pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance. In conclusion, curcumin supplementation may offer an efficacious and safe option for improving COVID-19 disease outcomes. We highlight the point that future clinical studies of COVID-19 disease should employ larger cohorts of patients in different clinical settings with standardized preparations of curcumin-related compounds.
Phytotherapy for treatment of cytokine storm in COVID-19.
Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition). 2021;(5):51-75
In 2020, a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to a significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. As of the date of this writing, a total of 116 M cases has been diagnosed worldwide leading to 2.5 M deaths. The number of mortalities is directly correlated with the rise of innate immune cells (especially macrophages) in the lungs that secrete inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6) leading to the development of "Cytokine Storm Syndrome" (CSS), multi-organ-failure and death. Given that currently the treatment of this condition is rare and release of effective vaccine might be months away, here, we review the plants and their pharmacologically active-compounds as potential phytopharmaceuticals for the virus induced inflammatory response. Experimental validation of the effectiveness of these natural compounds to prevent or reduce the cytokine storm might be beneficial as an adjunct treatment of SARS-CoV-2.
Licorice: A Potential Herb in Overcoming SARS-CoV-2 Infections.
Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine. 2021;:2515690X21996662
The management of the global pandemic outbreak due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been challenging with no exact dedicated treatment nor established vaccines at the beginning of the pandemic. Nonetheless, the situation seems to be better controlled with the recent COVID-19 vaccines roll-out globally as active immunisation to prevent COVID-19. The extensive usage and trials done in recent outbreak in China has shown the effectiveness of traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) in improving the wellbeing of COVID-19 patients. Therefore, COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment guidelines has listed a number of recommended concoctions meant for COVID-19 patients. Licorice, more commonly known as Gancao in Chinese Pinyin, is known as one of the most frequently used ingredients in TCM prescriptions for treatment of epidemic diseases. Interestingly, it is deemed as food ingredient as well, where it is normally used in Western cuisines' desserts and sweets. The surprising fact that licorice appeared in the top 10 main ingredients used in TCM prescriptions in COVID-19 has drawn great attention from researchers in revealing its biological potential in overcoming this disease. To date, there are no comprehensive review on licorice and its benefits when used in COVID-19. Thus, in this current review, the possible benefits, mechanism of actions, safety and limitations of licorice were explored in hope to provide a quick reference guide for its preclinical and clinical experimental set-up in this very critical moment of pandemic.
Natural products for COVID-19 prevention and treatment regarding to previous coronavirus infections and novel studies.
Phytotherapy research : PTR. 2021;(2):864-876
Recently, the novel life-threatening coronavirus infection (COVID-19) was reported at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China, and spread throughout the world in little time. The effective antiviral activities of natural products have been proved in different studies. In this review, regarding the effective herbal treatments on other coronavirus infections, promising natural products for COVID-19 treatment are suggested. An extensive search in Google Scholar, Science Direct, PubMed, ISI, and Scopus was done with search words include coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS, MERS, natural product, herb, plant, and extract. The consumption of herbal medicine such as Allium sativum, Camellia sinensis, Zingiber officinale, Nigella sativa, Echinacea spp. Hypericum perforatum, and Glycyrrhiza glabra, Scutellaria baicalensis can improve the immune response. It seems that different types of terpenoids have promising effects in viral replication inhibition and could be introduced for future studies. Additionally, some alkaloid structures such as homoharringtonine, lycorine, and emetine have strong anti-coronavirus effects. Natural products can inhibit different coronavirus targets such as S protein (emodin, baicalin) and viral enzymes replication such as 3CLpro (Iguesterin), PLpro (Cryptotanshinone), helicase (Silvestrol), and RdRp (Sotetsuflavone). Based on previous studies, natural products can be introduced as preventive and therapeutic agents in the fight against coronavirus.
Dietary supplements and herbal medicine for COVID-19: A systematic review of randomized control trials.
Clinical nutrition ESPEN. 2021;:50-60
BACKGROUND The world is currently struggling with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Dietary supplements (DSs) and herbal medicine provide a potentially convenient and accessible method for its recovery, but direct evidence is limited. OBJECTIVE This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of DSs and herbs in patients with COVID-19. METHODS A systematic literature search was conducted in multiple electronic English and Chinese databases. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving DSs or herbal medicine interventions on patients with COVID-19 from November 2019 to February 2021 were included. Data was extracted, summarized and critically examined. RESULTS Out of 9402 records identified in the initial search, twelve RCTs were included in this review. Risk of bias of these RCTs was deemed high. Most of the trials were of low methodologic quality. Nine studies showed herbal supplements were beneficial to the recovery of COVID-19 patients; zinc sulfate could shorten the duration of loss of smell but not total recovery from COVID-19. No severe adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION Herbal supplements may help patients with COVID-19, zinc sulfate is likely to shorten the duration of olfactory dysfunction. DS therapy and herbal medicine appear to be safe and effective adjuvant therapies for patients with COVID-19. These results must be interpreted with caution due to the overall low quality of the included trials. More well-designed RCTs are needed in the future.
Interventions for the prevention of persistent post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction.
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2021;(7):CD013877
BACKGROUND Loss of olfactory function is well recognised as a cardinal symptom of COVID-19 infection, and the ongoing pandemic has resulted in a large number of affected individuals with abnormalities in their sense of smell. For many, the condition is temporary and resolves within two to four weeks. However, in a significant minority the symptoms persist. At present, it is not known whether early intervention with any form of treatment (such as medication or olfactory training) can promote recovery and prevent persisting olfactory disturbance. OBJECTIVES To assess the effects (benefits and harms) of interventions that have been used, or proposed, to prevent persisting olfactory dysfunction due to COVID-19 infection. A secondary objective is to keep the evidence up-to-date, using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register; Cochrane ENT Register; CENTRAL; Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid Embase; Web of Science; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished studies. The date of the search was 16 December 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised controlled trials including participants who had symptoms of olfactory disturbance following COVID-19 infection. Individuals who had symptoms for less than four weeks were included in this review. Studies compared any intervention with no treatment or placebo. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. Our primary outcomes were the presence of normal olfactory function, serious adverse effects and change in sense of smell. Secondary outcomes were the prevalence of parosmia, change in sense of taste, disease-related quality of life and other adverse effects (including nosebleeds/bloody discharge). We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence for each outcome. MAIN RESULTS We included one study of 100 participants, which compared an intranasal steroid spray to no intervention. Participants in both groups were also advised to undertake olfactory training for the duration of the trial. Data were identified for only two of the prespecified outcomes for this review, and no data were available for the primary outcome of serious adverse effects. Intranasal corticosteroids compared to no intervention (all using olfactory training) Presence of normal olfactory function after three weeks of treatment was self-assessed by the participants, using a visual analogue scale (range 0 to 10, higher scores = better). A score of 10 represented "completely normal smell sensation". The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of intranasal corticosteroids on self-rated recovery of sense of smell (estimated absolute effect 619 per 1000 compared to 520 per 1000, risk ratio (RR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85 to 1.68; 1 study; 100 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Change in sense of smell was not reported, but the self-rated score for sense of smell was reported at the endpoint of the study with the same visual analogue scale (after three weeks of treatment). The median scores at endpoint were 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 9 to 10) for the group receiving intranasal corticosteroids, and 10 (IQR 5 to 10) for the group receiving no intervention (1 study; 100 participants; very low-certainty evidence). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS There is very limited evidence regarding the efficacy of different interventions at preventing persistent olfactory dysfunction following COVID-19 infection. However, we have identified a small number of additional ongoing studies in this area. As this is a living systematic review, the evidence will be updated regularly to incorporate new data from these, and other relevant studies, as they become available. For this (first) version of the living review, we identified a single study of intranasal corticosteroids to include in this review, which provided data for only two of our prespecified outcomes. The evidence was of very low certainty, therefore we were unable to determine whether intranasal corticosteroids may have a beneficial or harmful effect.
Phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of the genus artemisia.
Archives of pharmacal research. 2021;(5):439-474
Artemisia and its allied species have been employed for conventional medicine in the Northern temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia for the treatments of digestive problems, morning sickness, irregular menstrual cycle, typhoid, epilepsy, renal problems, bronchitis malaria, etc. The multidisciplinary use of artemisia species has various other health benefits that are related to its traditional and modern pharmaceutical perspectives. The main objective of this review is to evaluate the traditional, modern, biological as well as pharmacological use of the essential oil and herbal extracts of Artemisia nilagirica, Artemisia parviflora, and other allied species of Artemisia. It also discusses the botanical circulation and its phytochemical constituents viz disaccharides, polysaccharides, glycosides, saponins, terpenoids, flavonoids, and carotenoids. The plants have different biological importance like antiparasitic, antimalarial, antihyperlipidemic, antiasthmatic, antiepileptic, antitubercular, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anxiolytic, antiemetic, antidepressant, anticancer, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, insecticidal, antiviral activities, and also against COVID-19. Toxicological studies showed that the plants at a low dose and short duration are non or low-toxic. In contrast, a high dose at 3 g/kg and for a longer duration can cause toxicity like rapid respiration, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, etc. However, further in-depth studies are needed to determine the medicinal uses, clinical efficacy and safety are crucial next steps.
Plants and Natural Products with Activity against Various Types of Coronaviruses: A Review with Focus on SARS-CoV-2.
Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;(13)
COVID-19 is a pandemic disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is potentially fatal for vulnerable individuals. Disease management represents a challenge for many countries, given the shortage of medicines and hospital resources. The objective of this work was to review the medicinal plants, foods and natural products showing scientific evidence for host protection against various types of coronaviruses, with a focus on SARS-CoV-2. Natural products that mitigate the symptoms caused by various coronaviruses are also presented. Particular attention was placed on natural products that stabilize the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), which has been associated with the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 into human cells.
Evaluating the efficacy and safety of the myrtle (Myrtus communis) in treatment and prognosis of patients suspected to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND Since December 2019, the outbreak of coronavirus pneumonia was observed in China and quickly propagate in all of the world. Nowadays, many trials are underway on this disease in which the efficacy of various therapeutic remedies including chemical or natural agents as well as different non-pharmacological methods such as acupuncture are evaluated. This study aims at investigating the effect of M. communis fruit for treatment of COVID-19 disease. METHODS We are performing an open-label randomized controlled trial on outpatients clinically suspected to COVID-19 disease in the age range of 18-65 years old with mild to moderate symptoms and without respiratory distress. Patients in both groups (M. communis and control) receive conventional therapy, but those in M. communis group get M. communis preparation in addition to conventional therapy. Intervention will continue for 5 days and the study outcomes including clinical status as well as mortality rate and adverse effects will be measured up to 14 days. DISCUSSION The protocol describes the design of an ongoing randomized controlled trial to establish the evidence for the usage of water extract of M. communis fruit in clinically suspected COVID-19 disease and identify any safety concerns. TRIAL REGISTRATION The trial has been registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials website under the code IRCT20180923041093N3 on March 28th, 2020 ( https://www.irct.ir/trial/46721 ). The results will be disseminated through manuscript publications and presentations to scientific meetings.
Current State of Research About Chinese Herbal Medicines (CHM) for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Scoping Review.
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.). 2020;(7):557-570
Background: There is currently no effective treatment against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The optimal selection of interventions targeting the virus is unknown. Therefore, evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to support specific treatment against COVID-19 is urgently needed. The use of Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) might have a role in the treatment and symptomatic management of patients with COVID-19. It was aimed at providing an overview of the available evidence and ongoing trials concerning the effects of CHMs for the treatment of COVID-19. Methods: This is a narrative review of relevant studies. Searches were conducted to identify documents published till April 22, 2020. Electronic databases, evidence-based collections, websites of relevant organizations, and trial registries were consulted. Results: A total of 25 guidelines on the treatment of patients with COVID-19 were identified. Four guidelines provided recommendations on the use of CHMs; these guidelines were developed in China and South Korea and were based on the consensus of experts exclusively. The remaining 21 guidelines provided no guidance on CHMs. No finished RCTs of CHMs for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 was found. According to the evidence evaluated in this review, a Cochrane review of CHMs for severe acute respiratory syndrome and five uncontrolled observational studies of the effects of CHMs in patients with COVID-19, the effects of CHMs for COVID-19 are unknown. A total of 52 ongoing clinical trials of CHM interventions for the treatment of COVID-19 were found. These trials will be carried out mostly in China (n = 51). Forty (77%) of the ongoing trials will be randomized, whereas 12 (23%) have an unclear sequence generation procedure. Forty-seven trials (90%) will have a sample size <400 participants. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, only the Chinese and the South Korean guidelines recommend CHMs as a treatment option for patients with COVID-19. These guidelines base their recommendations on the consensus of experts. Clinical guidelines or health authorities from other countries do not provide advice on CHMs. Due to the absence of RCT, there is currently no reliable evidence on the effects of any specific CHM intervention for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. A high number of clinical trials of different herbal products are being currently conducted in China.