Research into the Use of Thai Medicinal Plant to Fight COVID-19

February 18, 2021
Thai researchers and scientists from several agencies have joined hands in carrying out research into the use of the medicinal plant Andrographis paniculata (Kariyat), popularly known in Thailand as fa thalai chon, to kill the COVID-19 virus.
According to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, the move is considered good news for traditional Thai medicine. Laboratory studies show that the Andrographis paniculata extract can block the entry of the virus into cells in the body.
It cannot be said now whether Andrographis paniculata can prevent COVID-19 infection, as more studies and tests are needed. But this plant has been shown to be effective in combating the pneumonia virus and the common cold.
Andrographis paniculata, native to India, is widely cultivated in Southeast Asia and China. In Thailand, formulations of the herb are an approved medicine for cold, coughs, and flu, and the herb is on the countrys National List of Essential Drugs.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of influenza, a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. Andrographis paniculata contains andrographolides and other compounds that have been found to stimulate the general immune system and inhibit inflammation and microbial activities in the body.
Previously, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine and other agencies conducted a clinical trial on the anti-coronavirus effect of the herbal medicine on 10 healthy volunteers. The clinical trial found Andrographis paniculata to have broad-spectrum antiviral activities. However, more tests will be carried out in many more people.
Apart from Andrographis paniculata, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine will continue to work with various agencies in research studies on the effectiveness of other Thai medicinal plants against COVID-19.

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