Could a plant based medicine be the answer in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

As Trump promotes hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game changer” in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we ask ourselves whether the answer to an effective treatment against this virus rests with nature itself.

While you might look at a plant and simply see a stem, leaves, branches, and seeds, zoom in further to see thousands of molecules, compounds, and signalling pathways firing at once.  Molecular changes in plants constantly reflect changing conditions of development and adaptation.

Researchers and clinicians are currently looking at a compound called hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  What is this, and what does it have to do with plants?

Hydroxychloroquine is a synthetic derivative of a compound called quinine.  Quinine is a naturally occurring compound in plants. The origins of quinine have been traced to the tree bark of a genus of plants called Cinchona. Cinchona trees and shrubs and are native to South America.  Hybrid species have been cultivated in other parts of the world.

Another Possible Treatment

Sometime in the late 1990’s I was asked by the CEO and friend of a now dissolved Pharma company to develop a website for a new plant based product and patented process that he and his team had developed. The plant based product to which I refer, proved to inhibit the herpes simplex virus with further evidence to show that the product also inhibited virus replication in both DNA and RNA viruses, for example, respiratory syncytial virus amongst others.   The patented process was intended as a way to provide a safe medicament which will inhibit intracellular virus replication and inactivate extracellular viruses (Coronavirus is an extracellular virus).

Sadly, this project along with any potential for the medicament came to an abrupt end with the sudden passing of the CEO and driving force behind the project in 2012.  The situation we now find ourselves in and the absence of an effective treatment for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has encouraged me to write about it here in the hope that with the benefit of further research, any medicinal value can be discovered.

I make no claim as to the medicinal benefit of the plant based product referred to above in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) however, I do feel that it ought to be explored further.  I would therefore like to hear from anybody who can assist in the testing of the plant extract against the Coronavirus (COVUD-19).  I do have a small quantity of the plant extract available for immediate analysis.

I have been deliberately evasive in my reference to the plant extract for one very simple reason.  If this particular plant extract proves (however likely or unlikely that may be) to be of medicinal benefit against the Coronavirus (COVID-19),  it will need to be acquired and distributed by those who aren’t going to grossly inflate the price of the product.

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