Potential cure for COVID-19? 10 medicinal plants in PH with immunomodulatory and anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities identified – Manila Bulletin
The country’s medical experts and chemists have identified at least 10 herbal medicines that possess phytochemicals with potential anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activities, and have immunomodulatory properties that can strengthen its system. immune system against coronavirus disease (COVID -19).
In a 17-page review article published in the October 2021 issue of the Philippine Journal of Science (PJS), Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU); Armando M. Guidote Jr. of the Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC), Dr Nina Gloriani, head of the vaccine expert group of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and six other experts said that the 10 plants had been selected from among 100 of the best-studied medicinal plants with antiviral and immunomodulatory properties from three volumes of the “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants of the Philippines”.
“These are the Philippine herbal medicines with the most botanical, pharmacological and phytochemical publications, and with the longest documented history of use,” they said.
These plants were:
Allium spp. bulbs (bawang)
Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees leaves (sinta)
Cocos nucifera L. oil (niyog)
Leaves of Euphorbia hirta L. (tawa-tawa)
leaves of Euphorbia neriifolia L. (sorosoro),
Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves (malunggay)
Ocimum basilica L. leaves (balanoy)
Seeds of Piper nigrum L. (paminta)
Leaves of Vitex negundo L. (lagundi),
Rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe (luya)
“The general and specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activities and the immunomodulatory properties of the phytochemicals contained in these plants have been investigated. While many compounds evaluated individually using in vitro and in silico techniques suggest potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 or immunomodulatory effects, this review sought to identify herbal remedies that contain these compounds and which, on the basis of the literature, have the best potential application against COVID-19 ”, read the review article titled“ Philippine medicinal plants with potential immunomodulatory and anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities ”.
Experts clarified that the aim of their article is not to analyze the immunomodulatory and antiviral mechanisms of COVID-19, but to recommend the country’s medicinal plants that can be used in clinical studies against COVID-19 on the basis of their phytochemical constituents.
“Although herbal remedies are recognized for particular benefits, their effective and safe use against COVID-19 must be carefully studied to avoid conflicting results,” they said.
They said only a few herbal remedies have actually undergone clinical trials for COVID. “It is hoped that this review will help identify those who have scientific evidence to consider. “
Herbal immunomodulators have been described as plants capable of stimulating or suppressing innate or adaptive responses of the immune system.
“Herbal remedies are multi-component agents capable of modulating the complex immune system to defend against viral infections rather than acting directly against the virus,” the experts explained.
They noted that phytochemical constituents identified in herbal products that exhibit favorable immunomodulatory properties include anthraquinones, flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, proteins, fatty acids, and sulfur compounds.
“Of these classes of compounds, flavonoids and their glycosides have the highest number of documented cases.”
Experts also cited that many of the herbal remedies identified also have beneficial effects against comorbidities which are known risk factors for COVID-19.
These include A. sativum (bawang) and A. paniculata (sinta) for cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes mellitus; C. nucifera and Z. officinale for chronic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes mellitus; E. hirta (tawa-tawa) and O. basilicum (balanoy) for cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes mellitus; E neriifolia (sorosoro) for chronic respiratory diseases; M. oleifera (malunggay) for cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease; and P. nigrum (paminta) and V. negundo (lagundi) for chronic respiratory disease and diabetes mellitus.
“These are important additional benefits that are not found in many drug candidates,” the group said.
They recommended the implementation of a strategy based on priority plant sources, “given the urgent need for a response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“Plant sources must have a good margin of safety, be available and affordable, and contain identified active constituents that can be standardized accordingly. However, it is important that clinical studies are carried out on standardized herbal preparations.
Sheriah Laine M. de Paz-Silava from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila, Irene M. Villaseñor from UP Diliman, Rene Angelo S. Macahig from Andrew Moore and Associates Ltd., Singapore also participated in the study. ; Mario A. Tan from the University of Santo Tomas; and Isidro C. Sia of Integrative Medicine for Alternative Health Systems (INAM) Philippines Inc.
The PJS is the oldest peer-reviewed scientific journal in the country. The first issue of PJS was published in 1906.
The scientific journal is published by the Department of Science and Technology-Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (DOST-STII).
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