Covid 19: What about phytotherapy?

The Covid-19 world emergency is leading to an increase of the botanicals’ demand. However, at present, there are no scientific evidences proving the direct activity of botanicals, vitamins and, in general, of food supplements, against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, it is strictly necessary to give proper information when advising products with unproven uses. This monograph is a state-of-the-art overview about the relationship between nutraceuticals and the alteration of some physiological conditions, to sustain psycho-physical health and to boost resiliency.

*Our body always tries to respond to infections; however, sometimes the body could overreact. It is well known that when SARS -CoV-2 enters the lungs, it triggers an immune response, but, in some patients, excessive levels of cytokines are released, resulting in a hyperinflammation, that may eventually kill the patient. Cytokine storm is a common complication of many respiratory diseases, with infectious-origin or not. Healthy people already using food supplements for boosting the immune system could continue doing it; however, it is unknown what happens in case of acute infection and cytokine storm. It is important to highlight that ongoing clinical trials are not using immunostimulant therapies.

 

Botanical extracts to sustain psycho-physical health

Plants and botanical extracts are extensively known for their long traditional uses on many physiological pathways. They are used in healthy subjects to maintain their overall health and to prevent the developing of some risk factors; the functional claims of the following plants are retrieved by Annex I of the Italian Decree DM 10 August 2018 and are supported by literature data.

BLACK ELDER: it has expectorant and diaphoretic properties. It is traditionally known for the relief of common cold symptom.

DERMOGRANATE®: many studies suggest the following functional properties: vasculo-protective, reduction of oxidative stress and platelet aggregation, influence on endothelial cell function, regulation of blood pressure (attenuates hypertension and atherosclerosis in humans), regulation of lipid metabolism in metabolic disorder-associated diseases and type 2 diabetes, anti-inflammatory (reducing the cytokine storm). Moreover, ellagic acid has mitochondria protective activity.

GINSENG: it has tonic-adaptogen activity since it is used for the relief of mental stress. It is recommended in case of physical and mental fatigue. It is a good antioxidant.

HAWTHORN: its traditional use is strongly related to the enhancement of cardiovascular system functioning. In particular, it has cardio-tonic, coronary dilator, antiarrhythmic properties and regulates the blood pressure. Its flavonoids have antioxidant activity. It is also considered a nervine herb, positively acting on stress, anxiety, insomnia and mild depression.

LAVANDER: it is another important nervine herb, recommended for the relief of mild symptoms of mental stress and anxiety (it has spasmolytic properties), and as sleep aid. It is also considered a good mood enhancer.

LEMON BALM: it belongs to nervine herbs and is widely known as an antispasmodic, mild sedative, anxiolytic and nootropic plant.  It is recommended for insomnia of nervous origin, for memory improvement and for the relief of mild symptoms of mental stress, and as mood enhancer. It has also antioxidant and antiviral activity.

OMEOLIPID®: it is a blend of three plants with many physiological properties: OMEOlipid acts on the metabolism of lipids (cholesterol) and carbohydrates (it is hypolipidemic, anti-cholesterolemic, hypoglycemic). It regulates the blood pressure; it is a good antioxidant and improves liver functions.

PASSION FLOWER: it is considered a nervine herb; it is traditionally used for the relief of mild symptoms of mental stress, mental fatigue and as a sleep aid in insomnia.

PURPLE CONEFLOWER: it is used for the relief of common cold and flu symptoms, thanks to its activity on immune system and anti-inflammatory properties.

THYMOX-EPO® was proved to have anti-inflammatory and expectorant activities in respiratory epithelial cells. It is used in productive cough associated with cold and bronchitis. It is balsamic, antiseptic for the throat and the respiratory system. It has also strong antioxidant activity.

 

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Italian Decree DM 10 August 2018, EMA monographs and assessment reports, ESCOP monographs.
  • Campanini E. (2006) Dizionario di fitoterapia e piante medicinali II Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 1-635
  • Capasso F., Grandolini G., Izzo A.A., Fitoterapia, Springer-Verlag Italia; 2006.
  • Gruenwald J. PDR for herbal medicine, 4th Ed. Thomson, 2006.
  • Abascal K, Yarnell E. Nervine Herbs for Treating Anxiety. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Dec 2004.309-315.
  • Guo YR, Cao QD, Hong ZS, Tan YY, Chen SD, Jin HJ, Tan KS, Wang DY, Yan Y. The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak – an update on the status. Mil Med Res. 2020 Mar 13;7(1):11.
  • Gralinski LE, Menachery VD. Return of the Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV. Viruses. 2020 Jan 24;12(2). pii: E135.

To read more articles specific for each plant and application please contact us.

Close modal
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
Signup Newsletter