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Herb used in Ayurveda may contain a new drug against Covid-19

4 min read

As the world seems to be for an efficient drugs against SARS-CoV-2, a herb broadly used in Ayurveda offers an thrilling new lead.

Scientists on the National Brain Research Centre, Manesar have discovered that an ingredient in Mulethi (Yashthimadhu in Sanskrit) has the potential to emerge as a drug candidate against SARS-CoV-2 because it lowers the severity of the illness and brings down viral replication.

More than 15 months after Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, scientists are nonetheless to find a drugs to counter the rampaging virus although a number of vaccines have been rolled out.

The docs presently handle sufferers with a handful of repurposed medicines with a various diploma of efficacy.

Read | Covid-19 patients can be categorised into three groups, say scientists

With assist from the Department of Biotechnology, the NBRC group final yr started on the lookout for a new therapeutic against Covid-19 in the center of the lockdown interval.

When the search was narrowed right down to glycyrrhizin due to its fantastic anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers carried out a collection of experiments to examine its potential against SARS-CoV-2.

In the laboratory, the scientists expressed particular viral proteins in human lung epithelial cells. The viral proteins triggered irritation in these cells, however remedy with glycyrrhizin clears the irritation in such cells. The untreated cells succumbed to irritation.

“By dampening cytokine storm (a severe immune reaction triggered by serious Covid-19 cases), glycyrrhizin can reduce the severity of the infection,” NBRC senior scientist Ellora Sen who led the group instructed DH.

Also Listen | The Lead: Coronavirus and Kidneys

Subsequently, when Sen along with her fellow researchers Pruthvi Gowda, Shruti Patrick, Shanker Datt, Rajesh Joshi, and Kumar Kumawat analysed the molecule additional, they discovered that moreover inhibiting the cytokine storm, glycyrrhizin additionally reduces viral replication by 90%.

While Mulethi (Yashtimadhu) is broadly prescribed for lung illnesses, persistent fevers and respiratory tract irritation in Ayurveda, glycyrrhizin is used in the remedy of persistent hepatitis B and C.

“Given its safety profile and tolerability, it might constitute a viable therapeutic option in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” she stated. The group is now on the lookout for companions to hold ahead the analysis into the preclinical stage.

The research has been revealed in Cytokine, the official journal of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society.

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