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Three promising natural active ingredients identified – Heilpraxis



Three natural products with great potential as a medicine against COVID-19

Already relatively early in coronavirus pandemic various herbal active ingredients against COVID-19 were scientifically reviewed, but the main focus then was on the development of vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infections. However, effective therapeutic approaches are still urgently needed.

In a recent study, an international research team Christian Bezel of the University of Hamburg and Alke Meents from The German electron synchrotron DESY good three natural substances identified, which constitute promising drug candidates against COVID-19. The results of the corresponding study were published in the trade magazine “Communications Biology“published.

Infections are inevitable

The previous strategy in the fight against COVID-19 has mainly vaccines the objective of the measures, although the corona virus is constantly changing and vaccine protection against new variants may be weaker. It can therefore be assumed that many people will continue to be infected with SARS-CoV-2.

In search of an antiviral

The search for antiviral agentthat could be used to treat COVID-19 is therefore a high priority. One possible approach is to use active ingredients that central enzymes bind and block virus replication.

the Papain-like protease (PLpro) is one of these central enzymes. If blocked, no new virus particles can assemble in the affected cells. Additionally, PLpro blocks an immune system protein called ISG15, which weakens the cell’s self-defense, the study author explains. Vasundara Srinivasan of the University of Hamburg.

500 natural substances examined

“If we can block PLpro, we can also stimulate the cell’s immune response”like that Srinivasan further away. Hence the team “500 compounds from the Karachi Natural Compounds Library have been tested to bind to the novel coronavirus papain-like protease, one of the main targets of an antiviral drug.”

The researchers mixed PLpro with each of 500 natural substances in a solution so they have a chance to bind to the enzyme. Binding to the enzyme was then examined using special X-ray examinations.

The researchers created a three-dimensional model of the enzyme with atomic resolution and checked if and where a substance binds to the enzyme. Three phenols have been identified as promising active ingredients.

Three promising phenols identified

Hydroxyethylphenol (YRL), Hydroxybenzaldehyde (HBA) and Methyl dihydroxybenzoate (HE9) actually bound to the enzyme. And all three compounds are already used as active ingredients in existing drugs, so their safety seems assured.

According to the researchers, in laboratory tests that were also carried out, the three phenols slowed down the activity of PLpro in living cells. 50 to 70 percent. By which the YRL for the experiments of the henna Lawsonia alba was isolated, the HBA from copper foil Acalypha torta and HE9 from worry Tagetes patula.

Hydroxyethylphenol, for example, is also present in Red wine and olive oil and methyl dihydroxybenzoate as an antioxidant in green tea contain. “These compounds are naturally present in many foods”explains the head of the study Christian Bezel.

“Drinking green tea will not cure a corona infection! Just as it wouldn’t heal wounds or cancer. Whether and how a corona agent can be developed from these phenols is now being further investigated. »like that bezel. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • The German electron synchrotron DESY: promising natural products against the corona virus (published on 08/18/2022),
  • Vasundara Srinivasan, Hévila Brognaro, Christian Betzel, et al. : Antiviral activity of natural phenolic compounds in a complex at an allosteric site of the papain-like protease of SARS-CoV-2; in: Communications Biology (published 08/11/2022),

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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