Updated pharmacological effects of Lonicerae japonicae flos, with a focus on its potential efficacy on coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
Current opinion in pharmacology. 2021;:200-207
Lonicerae japonicae flos (LJF), known as Jin Yin Hua in Chinese, is one of the most commonly used traditional Chinese herbs and nutraceuticals. Nowadays, LJF is broadly applied in an array of afflictions, such as fever, sore throat, flu infection, cough, and arthritis, with the action mechanism to be elucidated. Here, we strove to summarize the main phytochemical components of LJF and review its updated pharmacological effects, including inhibition of inflammation, pyrexia, viruses, and bacteria, immunoregulation, and protection of the liver, nervous system, and heart, with a focus on the potential efficacy of LJF on coronavirus disease-2019 based on network pharmacology so as to fully underpin the utilization of LJF as a medicinal herb and a favorable nutraceutical in daily life.
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.
Medicinal Plants and Zinc: Impact on COVID-19 Pandemic.
The world is currently grappling with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The infection can cause fever, a dry cough, fatigue, severe pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, and in some cases death. There is currently no effective antiviral SARS-CoV-2 drug. To reduce the number of infections and deaths, it is critical to focus on strengthening immunity. This review aims to conduct a comprehensive search on the previous studies using Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, Medline, PubMed, and Scopus for the collection of research papers based on the role of zinc in the immune system, the antiviral activity of zinc, the effect of zinc supplementation in respiratory infections, the therapeutic approaches against viral infections based on medicinal plants, and the role of plants' bioactive molecules in fighting viral infections. In conclusion, we highlighted the pivotal role of zinc in antiviral immunity and we suggested the bioactive molecules derived from medicinal plants as a search matrix for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs.
Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review.
BMC complementary medicine and therapies. 2021;(1):112
BACKGROUND Elderberry has traditionally been used to prevent and treat respiratory problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been interest in elderberry supplements to treat or prevent illness, but also concern that elderberry might overstimulate the immune system and increase the risk of 'cytokine storm'. We aimed to determine benefits and harms of elderberry for the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory infections, and to assess the relationship between elderberry supplements and negative health impacts associated with overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. METHODS We conducted a systematic review and searched six databases, four research registers, and two preprint sites for studies. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data from studies, assessed risk of bias using Cochrane tools, and evaluated certainty of estimates using GRADE. Outcomes included new illnesses and the severity and duration of illness. RESULTS We screened 1187 records and included five randomized trials on elderberry for the treatment or prevention of viral respiratory illness. We did not find any studies linking elderberry to clinical inflammatory outcomes. However, we found three studies measuring production of cytokines ex vivo after ingestion of elderberry. Elderberry may not reduce the risk of developing the common cold; it may reduce the duration and severity of colds, but the evidence is uncertain. Elderberry may reduce the duration of influenza but the evidence is uncertain. Compared to oseltamivir, an elderberry-containing product may be associated with a lower risk of influenza complications and adverse events. We did not find evidence on elderberry and clinical outcomes related to inflammation. However, we found evidence that elderberry has some effect on inflammatory markers, although this effect may decline with ongoing supplementation. One small study compared elderberry to diclofenac (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and provided some evidence that elderberry is as effective or less effective than diclofenac in cytokine reduction over time. CONCLUSIONS Elderberry may be a safe option for treating viral respiratory illness, and there is no evidence that it overstimulates the immune system. However, the evidence on both benefits and harms is uncertain and information from recent and ongoing studies is necessary to make firm conclusions.
The effect of propolis plus Hyoscyamus niger L. methanolic extract on clinical symptoms in patients with acute respiratory syndrome suspected to COVID-19: A clinical trial.
Phytotherapy research : PTR. 2021;(7):4000-4006
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global health crisis. Nevertheless, no antiviral treatment has yet been proven effective for treating COVID-19 and symptomatic supportive cares have been the most common treatment. Therefore, the present study was designed to evaluate the effects of propolis and Hyoscyamus niger L. extract in patients with COVID-19. This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 50 cases referred to Akhavan and Sepehri Clinics, Kashan university of medical sciences, Iran. Subjects were divided into two groups (intervention and placebo). This syrup (containing 1.6 mg of methanolic extract along with 450 mg of propolis per 10 mL) was administered three times a day to each patient for 6 days. The clinical symptoms of COVID-19 such as: dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chest pain, fever, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea were reduced with propolis plus Hyoscyamus niger L. extract than the placebo group. However, the administration of syrup was not effective in the control of nausea and vomiting. In conclusion, syrup containing propolis and Hyoscyamus niger L. extract had beneficial effects in ameliorating the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 disease, in comparison with placebo groups.
A quadruple blind, randomised controlled trial of gargling agents in reducing intraoral viral load among hospitalised COVID-19 patients: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVES 1- To compare the effectiveness of 1% Hydrogen peroxide, 0.2% Povidone-Iodine, 2% hypertonic saline and a novel solution Neem extract (Azardirachta indica) in reducing intra-oral viral load in COVID-19 positive patients. 2- To determine the salivary cytokine profiles of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL- 17 among COVID-19 patients subjected to 1% Hydrogen peroxide, 0.2% Povidone-Iodine, 2% hypertonic saline or Neem extract (Azardirachta indica) based gargles. TRIAL DESIGN This will be a parallel group, quadruple blind-randomised controlled pilot trial with an add on laboratory based study. PARTICIPANTS A non-probability, purposive sampling technique will be followed to identify participants for this study. The clinical trial will be carried out at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi, Pakistan. The viral PCR tests will be done at main AKUH clinical laboratories whereas the immunological tests (cytokine analysis) will be done at the Juma research laboratory of AKUH. The inclusion criteria are laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, male or female, in the age range of 18-65 years, with mild to moderate disease, already admitted to the AKUH. Subjects with low Glasgow coma score, with a history of radiotherapy or chemotherapy, who are more than 7 days past the onset of COVID- 19 symptoms, or intubated or edentulous patients will be excluded. Patients who are being treated with any form of oral or parenteral antiviral therapy will be excluded, as well as patients with known pre-existing chronic mucosal lesions such as lichen planus. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR Group A (n=10) patients on 10 ml gargle and nasal lavage using 0.2% Povidone-Iodine (Betadiene® by Aviro Health Inc./ Pyodine® by Brooks Pharma Inc.) for 20-30 seconds, thrice daily for 6 days. Group B (n=10) patients will be subjected to 10 ml gargle and nasal lavage using 1% Hydrogen peroxide (HP® by Karachi Chemicals Products Inc./ ActiveOxy® by Boumatic Inc.) for 20-30 seconds, thrice daily for 6 days. Group C will comprised of (n=10) subjects on 10ml gargle and nasal lavage using Neem extract solution (Azardirachta indica) formulated by Karachi University (chemistry department laboratories) for 20-30 seconds, thrice daily for 6 days. Group D (n=10) patients will use 2% hypertonic saline (Plabottle® by Otsuka Inc.) gargle and nasal lavage for a similar time period. Group E (n=10) will serve as positive controls. These will be given simple distilled water gargles and nasal lavage for 20-30 seconds, thrice daily for six days. For nasal lavage, a special douche syringe will be provided to each participant. Its use will be thoroughly explained by the data collection officer. After each use, the patient is asked not to eat, drink, or rinse their mouth for the next 30 minutes. MAIN OUTCOMES The primary outcome is the reduction in the intra-oral viral load confirmed with real time quantitative PCR. RANDOMISATION The assignment to the study group/ allocation will be done using the sealed envelope method under the supervision of Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) of Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. The patients will be randomised to their respective study group (1:1:1:1:1 allocation ratio) immediately after the eligibility assessment and consent administration is done. BLINDING (MASKING): The study will be quadruple-blinded. Patients, intervention provider, outcome assessor and the data collection officer will be blinded. The groups will be labelled as A, B, C, D or E. The codes of the intervention will be kept in lock & key at the CTU and will only be revealed at the end of study or if the study is terminated prematurely. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): As there is no prior work on this research question, so no assumptions for the sample size calculation could be made. The present study will serve as a pilot trial. We intend to study 50 patients in five study groups with 10 patients in each study group. For details, please refer to Fig. 1 for details. TRIAL STATUS Protocol version is 7.0, approved by the department and institutional ethics committees and clinical trial unit of the university hospital. Recruitment is planned to start as soon as the funding is sanctioned. The total duration of the study is expected to be 6 months i.e. August 2020-January 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION This study protocol was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov on 10 April 2020 NCT04341688 . FULL PROTOCOL The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines (Additional file 2). Fig. 1 Flow diagram of study-participants' timeline.
Effects of Gene-Eden-VIR and Novirin on SARS-CoV: Implications for COVID-19.
Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine. 2020;:2515690X20932523
The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, is a betacoronavirus closely related to the human severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The recent COVID-19 outbreak created an urgent need for treatment. To expedite the development of such treatment, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies are currently testing several existing drugs for their effect on the virus. Gene-Eden-VIR and Novirin are natural, broad-spectrum, antiviral treatments proven to be safe and effective in several clinical studies. In this article, we present evidence indicating that the 5 Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin ingredients have anti-betacoronavirus, and specifically, anti-SARS-CoV effects. We consider this evidence as a first indication of the anti-coronavirus effects of Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin. Next, we are planning to conduct a clinical study with users of the treatments to test the effects of Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin on individuals at risk and those infected with the virus.
A narrative literature review on traditional medicine options for treatment of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Complementary therapies in clinical practice. 2020;:101214
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a life-threatening disease is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that is accounted as global public health concern. Treatment of COVID-19 is primarily supportive and the role of antiviral agents is yet to be established. However, there are no specific anti-COVID-19 drugs and vaccine until now. This review focuses on traditional medicine such as medicinal plant extracts as promising approaches against COVID-19. Chinese, Indian and Iranian traditional medicine, suggests some herbs for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the diseases including COVID-19. Although, inhibition of viral replication is considered as general mechanism of herbal extracts, however some studies demonstrated that traditional herbal extracts can interact with key viral proteins which are associated with virus virulence. Chinese, Indian and Iranian traditional medicine, suggests some herbs for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the diseases including COVID-19. However the beneficial effects of these traditional medicines and their clinical trials remained to be known. Herein, we reviewed the latest updates on traditional medicines proposed for treatment of COVID-19.
Herbal medicine, a reliable support in COVID therapy.
Journal of immunoassay & immunochemistry. 2020;(6):976-999
At present, specific therapies for COVID-19 are not well established, being certain only that the immune system plays a decisive role in the initiation and progression of the disease. Plants have given and continue to give compounds with great efficiency and low toxicity, some of them being a starting point for extremely effective synthetic substances. Although herbal remedies are used mainly for preventive purposes, there are also guidelines issued by some countries that indicate the use of traditional remedies for different stages of COVID-19 disease.Europe has a long and strong tradition of using medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes, but clinical trials for this type of approach are scarce, compared to Asia. In this regard, a bridge between tradition and science, would have a strong impact on the capacity for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The paper reviews compounds of plant origin that have previously proven effective in counteracting some coronaviruses but also some of their major effects - direct action on virus replicative apparatus (viral entry or replication, action on the viral enzymatic system), collateral action of natural compounds on the immune system and also the contribution of herbal medicine as vaccine adjuvants are tackled.
Integrative considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Explore (New York, N.Y.). 2020;(6):354-356