A team of researchers at IIT-Delhi’s Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS) claimed that aqueous extracts from tea (black and green tea) as well as haritaki (commonly known as harad in Hindi) have the potential to act as a therapeutic option against the coronavirus infection.
The findings suggest the possibility of “gallotannin to emerge as a potential therapeutic candidate against SARS-CoV-2 in the future”. However, the authenticity of these plants as a potential drug will be proved after trials.
The institute said that medical plants can provide a cost-effective therapeutic option to curb the severity of the viral disease in humans, with minimal toxicity. IIT-Delhi claimed that the team of researchers screened about 51 medicinal plants on 3CL Pro protease (3-chymotrypsin-like protease) of the virus. The research found that the targeting of this protein may be able to halt the replication of the virus.
“Indian herbal and medicinal plants have a vast repository of bioactive components useful in combating many diseases. In this context, the beneficial effects of the tea in eliciting relief for COVID related conditions have been increasingly evidenced. The study carried out by Prof Patel and his group further revealed the effect of tea in inhibiting the nCoV protease, which will have significant implications once substantiated in vivo,” said Dr SK Khare, Dean, Research and Development and Professor, Chemistry, IIT-Delhi.
The research work was recently published in Phytotherapy Research. For understanding the detailed molecular level mechanism, the IIT-Delhi researchers investigated various bioactive constituents of tea and haritaki, and concluded that gallotannin (or tannic acid) is majorly involved in inhibitioning the 3CL Proviral protease.
The research team led by Prof Ashok Kumar Patel includes Saurabh Upadhyay, Praveen Kumar Tripathi both PhD students, and a post-doctorate scholar Siva Raghavendhar, research fellow Mohit Bharadwaj, and Dr. Manju Singh an ayurvedic physician at Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi.
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