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Artemisia annua for COVID-19

Artemisia annua has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Agrawal et al., Artemisia Extracts and Artemisinin-Based Antimalarials for COVID-19 Management: Could These Be Effective Antivirals for COVID-19 Treatment?, Molecules, doi:10.3390/molecules27123828
As the world desperately searches for ways to treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a growing number of people are turning to herbal remedies. The Artemisia species, such as A. annua and A. afra, in particular, exhibit positive effects against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and COVID-19 related symptoms. A. annua is a source of artemisinin, which is active against malaria, and also exhibits potential for other diseases. This has increased interest in artemisinin’s potential for drug repurposing. Artemisinin-based combination therapies, so-called ACTs, have already been recognized as first-line treatments against malaria. Artemisia extract, as well as ACTs, have demonstrated inhibition of SARS-CoV-2. Artemisinin and its derivatives have also shown anti-inflammatory effects, including inhibition of interleukin-6 (IL-6) that plays a key role in the development of severe COVID-19. There is now sufficient evidence in the literature to suggest the effectiveness of Artemisia, its constituents and/or artemisinin derivatives, to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 infection by inhibiting its invasion, and replication, as well as reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, and mitigating lung damage.
Badraoui et al., Antiviral Effects of Artemisinin and Its Derivatives against SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease: Computational Evidences and Interactions with ACE2 Allelic Variants, Pharmaceuticals, doi:10.3390/ph15020129
Fighting against the emergent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains a big challenge at the front of the world communities. Recent research has outlined the potential of various medicinal herbs to counteract the infection. This study aimed to evaluate the interaction of artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone extracted from the Artemisia genus, and its derivatives with the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. To assess their potential use against COVID-19, the interactions of the main active principle of Artemisia with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (Mpro) was investigated through in silico probing. Our results showed that artemesinin and its derivatives manifested good oral absorption and bioavailability scores (0.55). They potently bound to the Mpro site of action—specifically, to its Cys145 residue. The selected compounds established two to three conventional hydrogen bonds with binding affinities ranging between −5.2 and −8.1 kcal/mol. Furthermore, artemisinin interactions with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) were dependent on the ACE2 allelic variants. The best score was recorded with rs961360700. A molecular dynamic simulation showed sufficient stability of the artemisinin–Mpro complex on the trajectory of 100 ns simulation frame. These binding interactions, together with drug-likeness and pharmacokinetic findings, confirmed that artemisinin might inhibit Mpro activity and explain the ethnopharmacological use of the herb and its possible antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection inducing COVID-19. Nevertheless, it interacted differently with the various ACE2 allelic variants reported to bind with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Tang et al., Network pharmacology-based predictions of active components and pharmacological mechanisms of Artemisia annua L. for the treatment of the novel Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, doi:10.1186/s12906-022-03523-2
Abstract Background Novel Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is closely associated with cytokines storms. The Chinese medicinal herb Artemisia annua L. (A. annua) has been traditionally used to control many inflammatory diseases, such as malaria and rheumatoid arthritis. We performed network analysis and employed molecular docking and network analysis to elucidate active components or targets and the underlying mechanisms of A. annua for the treatment of COVID-19. Methods Active components of A. annua were identified through the TCMSP database according to their oral bioavailability (OB) and drug-likeness (DL). Moreover, target genes associated with COVID-19 were mined from GeneCards, OMIM, and TTD. A compound-target (C-T) network was constructed to predict the relationship of active components with the targets. A Compound-disease-target (C-D-T) network has been built to reveal the direct therapeutic target for COVID-19. Molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation studies (MD), and MM-GBSA binding free energy calculations were used to the closest molecules and targets between A. annua and COVID-19. Results In our network, GO, and KEGG analysis indicated that A. annua acted in response to COVID-19 by regulating inflammatory response, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. The molecular docking results manifested excellent results to verify the binding capacity between the hub components and hub targets in COVID-19. MD and MM-GBSA data showed quercetin to be the more effective candidate against the virus by target MAPK1, and kaempferol to be the other more effective candidate against the virus by target TP53. We identified A. annua’s potentially active compounds and targets associated with them that act against COVID-19. Conclusions These findings suggest that A. annua may prevent and inhibit the inflammatory processes related to COVID-19.
Moura et al., Converging Paths: A Comprehensive Review of the Synergistic Approach between Complementary Medicines and Western Medicine in Addressing COVID-19 in 2020, BioMed, doi:10.3390/biomed3020025
The rapid spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic. Although specific vaccines are available and natural drugs are being researched, supportive care and specific treatments to alleviate symptoms and improve patient quality of life remain critical. Chinese medicine (CM) has been employed in China due to the similarities between the epidemiology, genomics, and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. Moreover, the integration of other traditional oriental medical systems into the broader framework of integrative medicine can offer a powerful approach to managing the disease. Additionally, it has been reported that integrated medicine has better effects and does not increase adverse drug reactions in the context of COVID-19. This article examines preventive measures, potential infection mechanisms, and immune responses in Western medicine (WM), as well as the pathophysiology based on principles of complementary medicine (CM). The convergence between WM and CM approaches, such as the importance of maintaining a strong immune system and promoting preventive care measures, is also addressed. Current treatment options, traditional therapies, and classical prescriptions based on empirical knowledge are also explored, with individual patient circumstances taken into account. An analysis of the potential benefits and challenges associated with the integration of complementary and Western medicine (WM) in the treatment of COVID-19 can provide valuable guidance, enrichment, and empowerment for future research endeavors.
Oliver et al., Different drug approaches to COVID-19 treatment worldwide: an update of new drugs and drugs repositioning to fight against the novel coronavirus, Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines and Immunotherapy, doi:10.1177/25151355221144845
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the second half of 2022, there are about 606 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 6,500,000 deaths around the world. A pandemic was declared by the WHO in March 2020 when the new coronavirus spread around the world. The short time between the first cases in Wuhan and the declaration of a pandemic initiated the search for ways to stop the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or to attempt to cure the disease COVID-19. More than ever, research groups are developing vaccines, drugs, and immunobiological compounds, and they are even trying to repurpose drugs in an increasing number of clinical trials. There are great expectations regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness for the prevention of COVID-19. However, producing sufficient doses of vaccines for the entire population and SARS-CoV-2 variants are challenges for pharmaceutical industries. On the contrary, efforts have been made to create different vaccines with different approaches so that they can be used by the entire population. Here, we summarize about 8162 clinical trials, showing a greater number of drug clinical trials in Europe and the United States and less clinical trials in low-income countries. Promising results about the use of new drugs and drug repositioning, monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and mesenchymal stem cells to control viral infection/replication or the hyper-inflammatory response to the new coronavirus bring hope to treat the disease.
Srivastava et al., A Brief Review on Medicinal Plants-At-Arms against COVID-19, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1155/2023/7598307
COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 has impacted human livelihood globally. Strenuous efforts have been employed for its control and prevention; however, with recent reports on mutated strains with much higher infectivity, transmissibility, and ability to evade immunity developed from previous SARS-CoV-2 infections, prevention alternatives must be prepared beforehand in case. We have perused over 128 recent works (found on Google Scholar, PubMed, and ScienceDirect as of February 2023) on medicinal plants and their compounds for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and eventually reviewed 102 of them. The clinical application and the curative effect were reported high in China and in India. Accordingly, this review highlights the unprecedented opportunities offered by medicinal plants and their compounds, candidates as the therapeutic agent, against COVID-19 by acting as viral protein inhibitors and immunomodulator in (32 clinical trials and hundreds of in silico experiments) conjecture with modern science. Moreover, the associated foreseeable challenges for their viral outbreak management were discussed in comparison to synthetic drugs.
England et al., Plants as Biofactories for Therapeutic Proteins and Antiviral Compounds to Combat COVID-19, Life, doi:10.3390/life13030617
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had a profound impact on the world’s health and economy. Although the end of the pandemic may come in 2023, it is generally believed that the virus will not be completely eradicated. Most likely, the disease will become an endemicity. The rapid development of vaccines of different types (mRNA, subunit protein, inactivated virus, etc.) and some other antiviral drugs (Remdesivir, Olumiant, Paxlovid, etc.) has provided effectiveness in reducing COVID-19’s impact worldwide. However, the circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus has been constantly mutating with the emergence of multiple variants, which makes control of COVID-19 difficult. There is still a pressing need for developing more effective antiviral drugs to fight against the disease. Plants have provided a promising production platform for both bioactive chemical compounds (small molecules) and recombinant therapeutics (big molecules). Plants naturally produce a diverse range of bioactive compounds as secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, terpenoids/terpenes and polyphenols, which are a rich source of countless antiviral compounds. Plants can also be genetically engineered to produce valuable recombinant therapeutics. This molecular farming in plants has an unprecedented opportunity for developing vaccines, antibodies, and other biologics for pandemic diseases because of its potential advantages, such as low cost, safety, and high production volume. This review summarizes the latest advancements in plant-derived drugs used to combat COVID-19 and discusses the prospects and challenges of the plant-based production platform for antiviral agents.
Atoum et al., Paving New Roads Using Allium sativum as a Repurposed Drug and Analyzing its Antiviral Action Using Artificial Intelligence Technology, Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, doi:10.5812/ijpr-131577
Context: The whole universe is facing a coronavirus catastrophe, and prompt treatment for the health crisis is primarily significant. The primary way to improve health conditions in this battle is to boost our immunity and alter our diet patterns. A common bulb veggie used to flavor cuisine is garlic. Compounds in the plant that are physiologically active are present, contributing to its pharmacological characteristics. Among several food items with nutritional value and immunity improvement, garlic stood predominant and more resourceful natural antibiotic with a broad spectrum of antiviral potency against diverse viruses. However, earlier reports have depicted its efficacy in the treatment of a variety of viral illnesses. Nonetheless, there is no information on its antiviral activities and underlying molecular mechanisms. Objectives: The bioactive compounds in garlic include organosulfur (allicin and alliin) and flavonoid (quercetin) compounds. These compounds have shown immunomodulatory effects and inhibited attachment of coronavirus to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and the Mpro of SARS-CoV-2. Further, we have discussed the contradictory impacts of garlic used as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus. Method: The GC/MS analysis revealed 18 active chemicals, including 17 organosulfur compounds in garlic. Using the molecular docking technique, we report for the first time the inhibitory effect of the under-consideration compounds on the host receptor ACE2 protein in the human body, providing a crucial foundation for understanding individual compound coronavirus resistance on the main protease protein of SARS-CoV-2. Allyl disulfide and allyl trisulfide, which make up the majority of the compounds in garlic, exhibit the most potent activity. Results: Conventional medicine has proven its efficiency from ancient times. Currently, our article's prime spotlight was on the activity of Allium sativum on the relegation of viral load and further highlighted artificial intelligence technology to study the attachment of the allicin compound to the SARS-CoV-2 receptor to reveal its efficacy. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered interest among researchers to conduct future research on molecular docking with clinical trials before releasing salutary remedies against the deadly malady.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. Vaccines and treatments are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment, vaccine, or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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