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Well-known vegetable oil that promises to heal COVID naturally

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Scientists appear to be pinning their hopes on treating COVID-19 with eugenol, an aromatic oil extracted from cloves and a type of southeastern basil known as “Holy basil” (Ocimum tenuiflorum), as it was found to be effective in treating animal disease, according to the results of a recently published study in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

It is noted that eugenol is widely used as a flavoring for food and tea, while as a vegetable oil it is used topically for the treatment of toothache and more rarely for oral administration for the treatment of gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders.

“Eugenol binds to the spike protein of coronavirus, preventing it from attaching to healthy cells and entering them,” said the authors of the study. 

“This new intervention has been effective in reducing fever and inflammation in the lungs, and has improved heart function and locomotor functions, in our mouse models.”

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has a long history of medicinal use and is thought to help fight viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases by boosting immunity.

“Due to its healing power, it is often referred to as an ‘elixir of life,’” the authors added. “Therefore, we screened different components of tulsi leaf.”

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, enters and infects human cells through binding to an enzyme called ACE2. One possible treatment for SARS-CoV-2 would be a chemical that binds to SARS-CoV-2 but not ACE2, because ACE2 is a helpful protein.

To begin, they used an AlphaScreen-based test, a method for studying biomolecular interactions, to screen various medicines found in tulsi leaf that prevent SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 from binding with ACE2. Then they did an in silico analysis, which is a computer simulation technique for determining a protein’s properties and structures.

Using a protein-to-protein interaction tool, they discovered that eugenol connected with the residue of the spike S1 protein, not ACE2. They used the thermal shift experiment, which involves combining eugenol with either spike S1 protein or ACE2 to determine the melting temperature of a protein. They also looked at whether eugenol may stop the pseudo-SARS-2 virus from infecting human cells.

Mice were administered the SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 intranasally and were given an oral therapy of eugenol for 10 days starting on day 5 when they developed a fever. SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 inebriated one set of mice, but they were not given eugenol. Fever, the amount of proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and serum, cardiac functions using non-invasive ECG, and locomotor movements with EthoVision XT video tracking software were all used to analyze the effect.

“In doing this research, we found that eugenol, but not other major components of holy basil (for example ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and beta-caryophylline), prevented the binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 to the enzyme ACE2 and blocked the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into healthy cells,” the authors said. “Interestingly, we found that eugenol binds with SARS-CoV-2 spike S1, but not ACE2, a healthy and beneficial protein.”

Steroids, which have been used to alleviate inflammation in COVID-19 patients, also weaken the immune system, according to the study authors.

“This could be a new way to prevent the virus from invading healthy cells with the added benefit of decreasing inflammation without the use of anti-inflammatories such as steroids,” they concluded.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11481-021-10028-1

Image Credit: Getty

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