Researchers have successfully identified key antiviral and bioactive anti-inflammatorial compounds in a traditional Chinese medicine therapy widely used to treat COVID-19. The findings are expected to shed light on the way TCM works against the virus, and to help promote global acceptance of TCM.
Researchers discovered six compounds with notable antiviral effects and five components with obvious anti-inflammatory effects in a decoction known as Huashi Paidu, according to a study written by researchers from Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and other institutions.
Four of the compounds exhibited both antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects, according to the article, which was published on Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer reviewed journal.
The decoction, which is made of raw ephedra, almond, raw rhubarb, licorice and a number of medicinal herbs, has shown effectiveness in easing COVID-19 symptoms. It is one of six TCM therapies recommended by top Chinese health authorities to treat the virus.
Xu Haiyu, a researcher from Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences' Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, told Xinhua News Agency that the synergistic effect of multicomponents and multitargets might be the reason TCM therapies like Huashi Baidu are effective in relieving COVID-19 symptoms.
He added that the findings provide a template for explaining the way TCM works and support future research into the development of TCM drugs.