Sulaiman C T, Deepak M, Ramesh P R, Mahesh K, Anandan E M, Indira Balachandran

Abstract

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the global health concern since December 2019. It has become a big challenge for the researchers to find a solution for this newly evolved pandemic. In Ayurveda point of view, COVID-19 is a Janapadodhwamsa vikara (epidemic disease), a situation where the environment – air, water, land and seasons – is vitiated, causing a simultaneous manifestation of a disease among large populations. The aim of this study is to identify the active compounds of selected Ayurveda medicines recommended for COVID-19.

Methods: Chemical profiling of selected Ayurveda medicines such as Indukantham Kwatham (IK), Vilvadi Gulika (VG) and Mukkamukkatuvadi Gulika (MMG) were carried out by High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic (HPTLC) analysis.

Results: The selected preparations are traditionally recommended for the management of various kinds of fever including the infectious ones and to enhance the immunity. HPTLC analysis of the same showed the presence of many active molecules like Umbelliferone, Scopoletin, Caffeic acid, Ferulic acid, Gallic acid, Piperin, Curcumin, Berberine and Palmatine.

Conclusion: The study provided valuable scientific data regarding the active ingredients of the selected medicines with proven therapeutic potentials like anti-viral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities and it will be beneficial to acquire immunity against Coronavirus-2 attack.

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Background

COVID-19 has emerged as the most dangerous global pandemic threat since its outbreak during December 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of August 12th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 19 million confirmed cases and 7.3 lakhs deaths worldwide and it has spread to 216 countries, areas or territories [1]. Now, it is a big challenge for the researchers and health professionals to find out a solution for this deadly viral infection. COVID-19 is a viral infection that has been known to have the fastest frequency of replication in its positive strand resulting in the quick formation of new progeny viral cells inside the host cells. It has also been reported that SARS-CoV-2 has a high rate of mutagenesis and deviations in structure, which has formed a barrier for therapeutic procedures [2,3]. In Ayurveda point of view, COVID-19 is a Janapadodhwamsa vikara (epidemic disease), a situation where the environment – air, water, land and seasons – is vitiated, causing a simultaneous manifestation of a disease among large populations [4].

Medicinal plants have been used as a treatment and preventive strategy for several infectious diseases since ancient times. The advantage of using these herbs in viral respiratory infections is to build immune stimulating and inflammation modulating effects to prevent the severe life threatening conditions. Holistic approach of Ayurveda focuses on prevention of diseases through lifestyle modification, dietary management, prophylactic interventions for improving the immunity and managing the symptoms using herbal preparations. Medicinal plants have been reported to have antiviral activity and many species such as Aegle marmelosAndrographis paniculataAcacia niloticaOcimum tenuiflorumPiper nigrumSolanum nigrumTerminalia chebula etc. have been scientifically proved for their anti-viral properties [5-7]. Ayurveda medicines were recommended by Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India to enhance the immunity and to prevent the severe conditions of Cov-2 infection. Detailed guidelines have been published by the AYUSH ministry regarding the management of Covid-19. About 80% of COVID-19 cases are with mild symptoms requiring only primary medical care, 15% require urgent medical attention at secondary health care services and remaining 5% are life-threatening cases requiring an intensive care and hence require a transfer to tertiary health care units equipped with ICU. Ayurveda medicines are advised to patients with mild symptoms and those under surveillance which addresses the therapeutic province within an integrative model of care [8]. The present study was focused on identification of active ingredients of certain Ayurveda medicines such as Indukantham Kwatham (IK), Vilvadi Gulika (VG) and Mukkamukkatuvadi Gulika (MMG) in which the ingredient plants have been reported to possess immunomodulatory and anti-viral properties.

Indukantam kwatham is a Polyherbal tablet prepared out of specific parts of different medicinal plants such as   Holoptelea integrifoliaCedrus deodaraGmelina arboreaAegle marmelosStereospermum colaisOroxylum indicumPremna corymbosaDesmodium gangeticumPseudarthria viscidaSolanum anguivi ,Solanum virginianumTribulus terrestrisPiper longumPiper mullesuaPlumbago zeylanica and Zingiber officinale. It is generally used for the treatment of intermittent fever and fatigue and to enhance the resistance power [9]. Vilwadi Gulika is prepared using different parts of the various medicinal plants such as Aegle marmelosOcimum tenuiiflorumPongamia pinnataVeleriana jatamansiCedrus deodaraTerminalia chebulaPhyllanthus emblicaTerminalia bellirica, Zingiber officinalePiper nigrumPiper longumCurcuma longa and Berberis aristata. The ingredient plants of Mukkamukkatuvadi Gulika are Terminalia chebulaPhyllanthus emblicaTerminalia belliricaZingiber officinalePiper nigrumPiper longumCuminum cyminumNigella sativaAcorus calamusSwertia chirataCinnamomum camphoraMyristica fragransAloe veraSyzygium aromaticum,  Allium sativumPiper cubeba,  Saussurea  costus, Cinnamomum verumFerula assa-foetidaTrchyspermum roxburghianum and Vitex negundo [9].

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