Herbal Therapies - What we learned from SARS (the first coronavirus outbreak)

If you read my last post about all the nasty ways the Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2 enters the body and wreaks havoc, this is the follow-up where we talk about some positive things. If you haven't read it and want some background, you can find it HERE.



Naturopathic doctors are uniquely equipped to prevent respiratory infections. There are ways to increase defensins, so that any virus landing on the skin or mouth are killed on contact. We have herbal formulations that reduce inflammation, normalize the immune response, combat viruses, and block viral uptake... all naturally. For those who don't believe that herbs are powerful enough, they'll be waiting, possibly forever, for the Western medical system to offer them anything that does these things. We are incredibly fortunate to have our highly skilled hospital nurses and doctors. They're likely going to be too busy triaging cases to worry about prevention. This is where Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, and Herbalists come in.




First off, we know how the virus enters the body, and it happens to be the same route that SARS did back in 2002. Some good research came out of that outbreak regarding Chinese herbal therapy. There are multiple compounds found in different herbs that block the virus from attaching to the host cell via the ACE-2 receptor.


Please note: This is for informational purposes only. Do not start taking these herbs and formulas without proper supervision. There are a few herbs on this list with significant side effects if taken improperly.




Chinese herbs in Covid-19

The SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 virus enters the body via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-2 receptor, which exists mainly in lung tissue.


Huang Qin - Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi

  • Compound: Baicalin

  • – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic (programmed cell death). Baicilin binds strongly to the ACE-2 and may inhibit Covid-19 entry into the cell.


Deng Zhan Hua

  • Compound: Scutellarin

  • Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, relaxes blood vessels, anti-coagulant. Suspected to block ACE, but no studies have been done on its affinity for ACE-2


Aurantia (Bitter Orange), Cirti Reticulatae Pericarpium (Chen Pi)

  • Compound: Hesperetin.

  • This compound was studied back in 2005 and was found to inhibit protease activity in the SARS-coronavirus. This means that it blocked the viruses entry into the host cell, thus blocking infection. Hesperitin has not been directly studied for Covid-19, but preliminary studies show Hesoeritin’s protective effects on ACE-2.


Soybean (Dan Dou Chi)

  • Compound: Nicotinamine

  • Nicotinamine is a potent inhibitor of ACE2, and actually has a compound named “soybean ACE2 inhibitor”


Licorice/Gan cao

  • Compound: Glycyrrhizin

  • This compound appears to directly inhibit viral penetration in vitro (in a petri dish). It also had an anti-viral effect on SARS and binds to the ACE-2 receptor, making this compound potentially effective in preventing or limiting infection.

  • Note: Licorice in sufficient doses can increase blood pressure and should be avoided by those with hypertension, unless under the supervision of a trained physician.


Rhubarb Root (Yao Yong Da Huang), Polygoni Multiflori Radix (He Shou Wu), Polygoni Multiflori Caulis (Shou-wu Teng).

  • Compound: Emodin

  • Emodin significantly blocked the SARS coronavirus (2007) spike protein from attaching to the ACE-2 receptor in a dose dependent fashion.


Sini Tang –

  • Common Chinese formula

  • Ameliorates sepsis-induces acute lung injury via ACE-2 regulation and the MAPK pathway. MAPK is the most frequently mutated signaling pathway in human cancer, and is involved with cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and death.

  • Note: contains aconite, which is toxic. Use only with supervision.



https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202001.0358/v1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16730806

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00134-020-05985-9

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijhy/2012/307315/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332219308200

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