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A Study suggests Ashwagandha with essential Phytoestrogen compounds can help manage COVID symptoms

A debriefed molecular docking study has shown that Withania Somnifera which is your Ashwagandha prevents novel corona virus from binding and entry into host cells along with reduction of TMPRSS2 in certain cells.

After 62.7 million total cases, 40.1 million recovered cases, 1.46 million reported deaths and hundreds of clinical trials to find potential vaccine for prevention of COVID-19. However, Some experts indicate that even when the prophylactic drugs that are availableand effective but they pose some fringy side-effects that might engulfs a huge part of population. A study published by the Frontiers in Pharmacology, reviewed by Dr.Ruchi Tiwari from DUVASU, Department of veterinary sciences, Andy Wai Kan Yeung and Gabriel Tao shows how many of natural herbal products possess tolerable toxicity but are considered prophylactic agents that are proven effective in preventing then previous SARS-CoV-2-infection. Some of these herbs are also anti-stress agents for respiratory problems.


The researchers found some of the following drug targets and natural products that could act on them:

The study indicates that phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogens) including daidzin, formononetin, and genistein) can bind with HSPA5 instead of proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and keep SARS-CoV-2 from binding to the host cell. Flax seed contains the highest total phytoestrogen content followed by soy bean and tofu. Isoflavones are found in high concentration in soy bean and soy bean products (e.g., tofu), whereas lignans are mainly found in flax seed.The content varies in different foods with some foods having a stronger effect than others.

Transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2): This is a host enzyme that plays an important role in viral entry into healthy cells. Inhibiting this enzyme from functioning will aid in preventing the virus from binding to ACE2 and hence preventing viral entry into host cells. Molecular docking studies have shown that Withania somnifera (also known as ashwagandha) can do just that along with reducing the expression of TMPRSS2 in certain cells.

Papain like protease (PL pro) of SARS-CoV-2: PL pro is an enzyme that breaks down some SARS-CoV-2 polyproteins, which help in replication and survival of the virus. It has been indicated that certain compounds present in ginger and galangal can strongly bind with PL pro and may inhibit its function. Ojasveda's papaya leaf giloy ras is rich in Papain content.

RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp): This is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of viral RNA once SARS-CoV-2 is inside the host cell. Studies have shown that compounds like quercetin (found in grapes, broccoli and cherries) and Gallic acid (present in mango, tea, wine, and strawberry) can suppress the activity of this enzyme.

It is important to note that all these compounds are still in the initial stages of research and more studies are needed to confirm the findings and assess dosage and tolerability in various age groups.The study suggested that several commercially available herbal medications are already being used as prophylactic agents against respiratory distress occurring due to flu and common cold.Several studies have shown the efficacy of flavoring-rich herbs against viruses in human lung cell lines. In a study done in China, herbs including licorice root, Pinellia rhizome, and bitter apricot seed were indicated to be the most frequently prescribed for COVID-19 . The study also suggested that these medications were able to slow down the progression of the disease, reduce hospitalization time, and help alleviate fever, cough and other symptoms associated with the disease.

For more information, read our article on AYUSH ministry advice for self-care duringCOVID-19 crisis.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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