All nations are becoming ever more eager to ensure an end to the Covid-19 pandemic that’s rampaged the world, since initially spreading from Wuhan, China. Countless people have found themselves scrambling for an effective “cure”. Traditional medicine—systems of health care with indigenous cultural roots—has not been left out of the equation in this complex modern race to secure safe treatment.
In a statement recently released by the WHO, there has been the recognition of the benefits of traditional healing and other alternative medicines as possible treatments for COVID-19 and as such much more attention is being paid to researching the effectiveness of several remedies.
The World Health Organization defines traditional medicine as “the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness”. In other words, it is any system of health care that has ancient roots, cultural bonds, and trained healers.
One of such research includes one carried out in Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and Yunnan University of Chinese Medicine. The research involved exploring the therapeutic possibilities of Chinese herbal, Yinqiao powder and the properties that could be useful in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms as explained in the paper, Phytotherapy Research.
Yinqiao herbal powder is a traditional Chinese mixture of nine herbs developed in the 1700’s to combat the symptoms of the common cold. These nine herbs include honeysuckle, forsythia, balloon flower, peppermint, edible burdock, crested grass, Japanese mint, soybean and licorice root. This herbal therapy was widely used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that plagued many Asian countries in 2003. It has always been known for its effect on curing acute respiratory illnesses, lung injuries, relieving pulmonary fibrosis and also, in improving immune response to viruses.
From recent studies as published in the Phytotherapy Research paper Yinqiao powder is shown to be able to help in treating the early stages of Covid-19 symptoms.
By using several techniques to analyse the active ingredients and possible modes of action of Yinqiao powder in COVID-19 treatment, researchers have been able to confirm a few active ingredients out of 30 components of this medicine that were tested, which are thought very crucial for the treatment of Covid-19 and its symptoms as well as in ensuring proper body immunity. These active ingredients include: Rutin, Hesperidin, Luteolin, Eriodictyol, Quercetin, and Naringenin.
It was also discovered that several proteins are involved in conferring anti-viral effects on the Covid -19 virus pathways in the human body.
The functions of these herbal active components.
Even though the specific mechanism of action by which Yinqaio powder acts to treat Covid-19 is still largely unknown, there has been significant results to prove the effects of some of its active ingredients in the treatment of Covid-19 symptoms.
Rutin: Binds to the main protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 which is critical in the virus’ replication within the host’s cell.
Hesperidin: Has an inhibitory effect on human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) thus preventing the entry of the viral cells into the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney and intestines.
Luteolin: Helps to strengthen the immune system and relieve inflammation.
Eriodictyol: Apart from providing antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities, it also helps to prevent the destruction of cells due to oxidation during inflammatory processes in Covid-19.
Quercetin: Helps to prevent hypersensitivity reactions during treatment and is also crucial in healing damaged tissues.
Naringenin: A Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (Mpro)
Cheap prices, ease of administration, ready availability, and fewer side effects than therapies of modern medicine, Yinqaio powder is beginning to take the spotlight as research reveal more and more possibilities for this medicine.
There are several other drugs of Traditional Chinese Medicine that could be essential for the treatment of Covid-19 symptoms. The drugs contain a number of pharmacological activities, which may provide new insight into the management of infections and epidemic.