The #COVID-19 pandemic has challenged biomedical scientists to develop effective therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of acute #viral diseases. Due to a lack of evidence into the safety and efficacy of herbal preparations their potential to aid in prevention and treatment has been underestimated. This is especially significant when the reality is that synthetic antiviral and immunotropic drugs generally have a higher risk of adverse effects than most herbal preparations. Published by the Molecular Diversity Preservation International (#MDPI) journal is a review of The Role of Adaptogens in Prophylaxis and Treatment of Viral Respiratory Infections.
#Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that can help the body fight #stressors of all kinds, physical, chemical, or biological. It is thought that they can alter hormone production and physiological responses to stress to allow the body to function as it should. Clinical studies into Andrographis paniculata, Eleutherococcus senticosus (#Siberian #ginseng), Glycyrrhiza spp. (#liquorice), Panax spp. (#Asian #ginseng), #Rhodiola rosea, #Schisandra chinensis (#five-flavour berry), and #Withania somnifera (#ashwaganda) have shown their value in preventing and treating viral infections at all stages of the #inflammation progression. Adaptogens are also able to aid recovery by modulating innate and adaptive immunity, anti-inflammatory activity, detoxification, repair of oxidative stress-induced damage in compromised cells, and direct antiviral effects of inhibiting viral docking or replication.
After analysing many randomised control trials into the above seven adaptogens the authors of the review have concluded that they do offer a potentially important role at all stages of viral infection. The adaptogens are “exerting multitarget effects on the neuroendocrine-immune system by triggering adaptive stress responses” and “have a place in prevention, infection, escalating inflammation and recovery”. They show a strong capacity to repair oxidative stress-induced injuries in compromised cells and tissues, counteracting secondary disease and comorbidities. Importantly for COVID-19 patients they offer hope for improved recovery by decreasing the acute stage and increasing mental performance during convalescence, vastly improving quality of life.