Why Thailand Approved Hempedu Bumi to Treat Early-Stage Covid-19?
Recently, we are revealed to the news that Thailand approved the use of herbs Andrographis paniculate to treat early stage of Covid-19. The herbs treatment was offered to Covid-19 patients in age range between 18- 60 years’ old who voluntarily use it. As we know, early stage of this infectious disease has several symptoms such as high fever, dry cough, breathing difficulties and tiredness. Andropgraphis paniculate is a plant native in Sri Lanka and has been widely used in Asian countries. Known as Hempedu Bumi in Malaysia, we would like to share why this plant has been approved and has potential in treating and preventing Covid-19 by providing scientific evidences.
Andrographolide: A potential major bioactive compound of Hempedu Bumi.
Andrographolide, a diterpene lactone, is the major bioactive compound found in Hempedu Bumi, making up 4% of composition of the dried whole plant and 0.5%-6% of the leaf extract (Suhaini et al., 2020). This bioactive compound showed potential therapeutic effect in treating upper respiratory tract infections (Firdous et al., 2020). This compound might also contribute to the potential anti-inflammatory effect of Hempedu Bumi’s extract that commonly used as alternative treatment by folks in treating chest pains, influenza and tonsilitis (Ong et al., 2011).
How Andrographolide can potentially treat symptoms of early stage Covid-19?
If someone infected by Covid-19, in early stage they can be either asymptomatic or symptomatic. For those having the symptoms, they will start to have either high fever, loss of sense, dry cough, flue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Those symptoms are inflammatory-related created by the virus. Andrographolide exerts anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and potential metabolic effect by inhibiting several intracellular signaling pathway activated by pro-inflammatory agents (Burgos et al., 2021). Moreover, recent in silico study carried out by Enmozhi et al., (2020) revealed Andrographolide as potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 main protease, which makes it a promising compound to pursue further biochemical study in order to explore its potential against Covid-19.
Human Trials are underway to prove its Efficacy.
The efficacy of Andrographis Paniculate (Hempedu Bumi) against Covid-19 is yet unknown. However, trials are underway to test the herb’s potential. Thailand Traditional and Alternative Medicine Department said the trial has entered Phase 2 last September 2020, involving 60 volunteers. In preliminary study, patients were given Andrographis extract with concentration of 180mg/day 3 and 5 times. The results showed concentration of 3 times was found improvement, especially in coughing. No infection found after three weeks and the results of RT-PCR were negative. These great findings show significant prospective towards new alternative treatment against Covid-19.
Corresponding Author: E.N.A.A.R. (1/2/2021)
Asia Botanicals Sdn Bhd.
Burgos, R.A.; Alarcón, P.; Quiroga, J.; Manosalva, C.; Hancke, J. Andrographolide, an Anti-Inflammatory Multitarget Drug: All Roads Lead to Cellular Metabolism. Molecules 2021, 26, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010005
Jannathul Firdous, Norain Ab. Latif, Resni Mona, Rehanna Mansor, Noorzaid Muhamad. Andrographis paniculata and its Endophytes: A Review on their Pharmacological Activities. Research J. Pharm. and Tech 2020; 13(4): 2027-2030. doi: 10.5958/0974-360X.2020.00365.0
Mohd Suhaini A., Hawaji M.H., Che Man S.H., Baharulrazi N., Yunus N.A., 2020, Characterisation of Andrographolide in Andrographis Paniculata under Different Cultivation Conditions, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 78, 127-132 DOI:10.3303/CET2078022
National, (2020, Aug 26), Trials underway to test efficacy of Andrographis Paniculata extract for Covid-19, The Nation Thailand.
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Sukanth Kumar Enmozhi, Kavitha Raja, Irudhayasamy Sebastine & JerrineJoseph (2020): Andrographolide as a potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 main protease: an in silicoapproach, Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, DOI: 10.1080/07391102.2020.1760136