An Opinion: Herbal Medicines may Provide a Means of Controlling the Covid-19 Pandemic

Ian Edwin Cock1,2,*
1School of Environment and Science, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
2Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.

Pharmacognosy Communications,2020,10,3,140-142.
Published: July 2020
Type: The Janus Corner


Since the onset of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the search has been on for methods to provide immunity, decrease mortality and lessen the symptoms of the disease. Much of the current research focuses is on the development of effective vaccines and with good reason. The discovery of an effective vaccine promises the establishment of widespread immunity to the SARS-COV-2 virus and is potentially the best long-term strategy to obtain herd immunity and thereby control this disease. However, the production an effective vaccine may take years and strains of the virus resistant to the vaccine are likely to have developed during that period, lessening the efficacy of the vaccine. Medical science must also look at other options to treat this disease, at least in the interim and potentially as an adjunct to vaccines once developed. Herbal medicines may provide effective therapies with multiple beneficial effects against Covid-19 and these should be explored. Individual medicines may inactivate the virus, block its reproduction or spread, or decrease the symptoms, thereby not only lessening suffering and decreasing mortality, but also lessening further spread. Indeed, several groups have already highlighted the potential of selected herbal medicines against this virus. For example, Thialand Medical News published a report in January 2020 highlighting Glycyrrhiza glabra (liccorice) as a potential therapy for covid-19 based on its previous efficacy against the SARS epidemic of 2003.1 Furthermore, several Chinese studies tested selected Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) against covid-19 and reported that some TCMs reduced the symptoms of the disease, especially fevers and decreased the viral load substantially.2 Based on that report, four TCMs were highlighted as having the greatest potential: Qingfei Paidu decoction, Gancaoganjiang decoction, Sheganmahuang decoction and the Qingfei Touxie Fuzheng decoction. Interestingly, liccorice was a major component of all of those therapies, further highlighting its potential as a Covid-19 therapy. Read more…

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