Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Hopes around the Golden Spice “TURMERIC”: Fact sheet

Golden Spice Turmeric

Curcumin is the primary active compound in turmeric root, a traditional Indian medicine and cooking spice that has been valued for its healing properties for thousands of years in Ayurveda. Their medicinal and useful properties are mentioned in Indian Veda’s. Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric. The other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. The curcuminoids are polyphenols and are responsible for the yellow color of turmeric. Turmeric is one of the most extensively researched natural product of the modern age, with more than 3000 published research studies investigating its wide range of potential health benefits. A powerful antioxidant, curcumin is thought to support heart, brain, joint, and overall health by promoting healthy circulation and a healthy inflammatory response and by reducing oxidative stress. Accumulated evidence indicated curcumin plays an inhibitory role against infection of numerous viruses. These mechanisms involve either a direct interference of viral replication machinery or suppression of cellular signalling pathways essential for viral replication, such as PI3K/Akt, NF-κB.

Curcumin enhances immunity

“Immunity” is the body’s natural defence against disease-causing bacteria and virus. It is only due to the weak immunity that people are getting affected with the widespread coronavirus and other such pandemics. Many researchers have documented increased antibodies and immune boosting action when taken curcumin internally. Turmeric rhizome can be prepared in various ways and is reputed to alleviate asthma and coughs. Hot water extracts of the dried rhizome have been taken orally in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce inflammation. Turmeric is also regarded as a ‘rasayana’ herb, which is a branch of Ayurvedic medicine. Here turmeric is used to counteract ageing processes.

Scientists focus around Turmeric to fight against COVID-19

According to scientist from University of Zulia, Venezuela and their publication posted 06.04.2020 as preprint in Research Square (DOI 10.21203/rs.3.rs-21206/v1); used strategies docking and molecular dynamics to analyze phytochemical compounds against FDA-approved antimalarial drugs recommended for the treatment of COVID-19. The evaluation was performed with the docking scores MolDock Score and Rerank Score calculated by Molegro Molecular. Preliminary results suggested that piperine, capsaicin, and curcumin have the best docking scores and that they are capable of promoting structural changes in the viral protease (3CL-protease) by inducing folding of the enzyme. Curcumin and capsaicin bring the enzyme to a more compact conformational state compared to the native state, compared to two anti-malarial drugs, chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine. Scientist propose further studies and also mention the results are interesting because they can serve as a starting point for subsequent experimental.

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Dr. H N Shivaprasad

Dr. H N Shivaprasad

Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Expert in Natural Product industry with 16 years of experience in Research and Commercialization of Natural Products worldwide