Published: 02nd July 2020
Tea, Haritaki extracts may act as potential therapeutic options against COVID-19: IIT Delhi study
The research team led by institute professor Ashok Kumar Patel said that medical plants can provide a cost-effective therapeutic option to curb the severity of the viral disease in humans
Extracts from tea and Haritaki, commonly known as Harad, have the potential to act as therapeutic options against COVID-19 infection, a new study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has found.
The study also suggested the possibility of 'Gallotannin' (tannic acid) 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 research team led by institute professor Ashok Kumar Patel, said that medical plants can provide a cost-effective therapeutic option to curb the severity of the viral disease in humans, with minimal toxicity.
The team from IIT's Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS) screened about 51 medicinal plants on 3CLProprotease (3-chymotrypsin-like protease) of the virus, which is necessary for processing the viral polyproteins and therefore emerged as an interesting premise for the development of drugs targeting 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," said S K Khare, Dean, Research and Development, IIT Delhi.
"The study carried has revealed the effect of tea in inhibiting the coronavirus protease, which will have significant implications once substantiated in vivo," Khare said.
For understanding the detailed molecular level mechanism, the researchers investigated various bioactive constituents of Tea and Haritaki and concluded that Gallotannin is majorly involved in inhibiting the 3CLPro viral protease.
"The findings suggest the possibility of Gallotannin to emerge as a potential therapeutic candidate against SARS-CoV-2 in future.
However, larger randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trials would be further needed," said Patel.