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Seeds of this little-known plant can stop COVID-19 from causing a lung infection

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A flowering plant indigenous to North Africa and Western Asia may one day be used to treat COVID-19 infection.

Nigella sativa seeds have been used as a traditional remedy for a variety of medical conditions, including inflammation and infections, for centuries. It could now be used to treat COVID-19, according to an Australian-first research review article.

“There is growing evidence from modeling studies that thymoquinone, an active ingredient of Nigella sativa, more commonly known as the fennel flower, can stick to the COVID- 19 virus spike protein and stop the virus from causing a lung infection,” said the lead author of the study.

“It may also block the ‘cytokine’ storm that affects seriously ill patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19.”

Thymoquinone has been studied extensively in labs, including animal studies. These studies have shown that thymoquinone can help to regulate our immune system by preventing the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals like interleukins.

As a result, thymoquinone could be used to treat allergic conditions like asthma and eczema, arthritis conditions like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and even multiple sclerosis.

The review paper delves into the mechanisms of action of Nigella sativa and thymoquinone, as well as how they could be used to treat COVID-19 infection in the future. Because of its poor natural gastrointestinal absorption, Nigella sativa has faced numerous obstacles in its development as a therapeutic agent.

“Advances in pharmacological development such as nanotechnology have seen the chance to overcome this barrier to enable for its use as an effective oral medication.

“Furthermore, the drug has recently been successfully given to patients as a nasal spray and topical paste,” said co-author of the study.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus have all been linked to Nigella sativa. Nigella sativa has also been found to help patients with allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, eczema, osteoarthritis, and childhood epilepsy as an anti-inflammatory treatment.

Nigella sativa has also been shown to kill bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, which can cause a variety of mild to severe infections if it enters the skin, and viruses such as influenza in a laboratory setting.

Image Credit: Getty

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