Thailand was hit hard with the Delta variant surge, and vaccination experienced a slow start as the manufacturer granted the license to produce the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine had no real experience in vaccine production.
Herbal Drug for the Treatment of SARS Cov-2
Now reports indicate that a cheap, herbal medicine might just be working to treat SARS-Cov-2, the virus behind COVID-19. Just a couple months ago, Thailand’s national cabinet actually approved green chiretta for use in people with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 infections following a successful study in the prison system here. Most of the nation’s jails now use the herbal remedy with a remarkable track record to the study—90.02% that took the drug got better.
These are better results than Molnupiravir, ivermectin, favipiravir, and remdesivir (the latter in a hospital setting). While the drug isn’t a silver bullet nor cure, it may be just what the doctor ordered to treat the 90% of COVID-19 cases that are simply asymptomatic or mild in nature.
While the data must still be substantiated, this could be game-changing, bombshell information.
An Answer to Crisis?
Often packed, overcrowded jails were infection-rich environments for the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.
Green Chirreta, Latin name Andrographis paniculata (syn. Justicia paniculata), is a plant of the family Acanthaceae native to India and Sri Lanka. Other common names are andrographis, justicia, chirreta, carmantine, mahalita, king of bitters, Indian echinacea, Chuanxinlian.
Previous studies have found that andrographis may have benefits for other viral infections. A 2004 study that involved 133 children with the common cold compared a preparation of echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, Asteraceae) in combination with standard conventional medical treatment, a preparation containing andrographis in combination with standard treatment, and standard treatment only. All three groups experienced improvements in upper respiratory symptoms, but the children who received the preparation containing andrographis recovered from symptoms significantly faster than children in the two other groups.
A 2017 systematic review that included 33 randomized, controlled trials (N = 7,175) suggested that andrographis may have benefits for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). Andrographis improved cough and sore throat compared to placebo and significantly improved overall symptoms of ARTIs compared to placebo and other herbal treatments. The meta-analysis of 12 clinical studies comparing andrographis to usual care (conventional treatment with analgesics, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antivirals, corticosteroids, or steroids) indicated a statistically significant reduction in the duration of sore throat and sick leave, but not cough. No major adverse events (AEs) were reported, while minor AEs were mostly gastrointestinal. However, the overall methodological quality of included studies was rated “poor.”
Andrographis is the main ingredient of the multi-herb formula Nilavembu Kudineer, which is used in Siddha medicine of India and also includes nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus, Cyperaceae), threadstem carpetweed (Mollugo cerviana, Molluginaceae), black pepper (Piper nigrum, Piperaceae), Indian sandalwood (Santalum album, Santalaceae), snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina, Cucurbitaceae), vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides, Poaceae), and ginger (Zingiber officinale, Zingiberaceae). Traditionally, these plants have been used to treat arthralgia (joint pain), arthritis, fever, gastric ulcers, general debility, inflammation, and jaundice. In a 2018 study, an ethanolic extract of Nilavembu Kudineer provided protection against dengue virus (a flavivirus) and chikungunya virus (an alphavirus) during active infection and helped prevent viral infection in cell cultures that were pre-treated with the formula.
In a 2018 study, arthritic rats were given andrographolide combined with the conventional drug methotrexate, which can be hepatotoxic. Another group of rats received methotrexate only and another group received andrographolide only. Andrographolide improved the anti-arthritic effect of methotrexate. The combined therapy additively reduced inflammatory symptoms in the rats and significantly alleviated hepatocellular injury induced by methotrexate, according to the authors.
In a 2019 study, pre-treatment with andrographolide sulfonate (AS), a water-soluble form of andrographolide, significantly attenuated lung injury and infiltration of inflammatory cells in mice infected with the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, which is a major cause of respiratory infections. Mice treated with AS alone died after six days of infection, while a control group that received only the antibiotic imipenem had a survival rate of 33.3% after 15 days of infection. However, AS combined with imipenem resulted in 100% survival after 15 days of infection. This suggests that AS could synergistically improve the efficacy of imipenem.