|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 303-304
COVID-19 and herbal medicine? Challenge in hand
Hassan Hussein Musa1, Taha Hussein Musa2, Idriss Hussein Musa3
1 Biomedical Research Institute, Darfur College; Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
2 Biomedical Research Institute, Darfur College, Khartoum, Sudan; Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
3 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Darfur College, Nyala, Sudan
|Date of Submission||20-Jun-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||02-Jul-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||16-Sep-2020|
Hassan Hussein Musa
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Khartoum, Khartoum
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Musa HH, Musa TH, Musa IH. COVID-19 and herbal medicine? Challenge in hand. Med J Babylon 2020;17:303-4
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infected millions of peoples. It caused death for hundreds of thousands, and it is representing a global public health challenge to identify effective drugs for prevention and treatment. Although SARS-CoV-2 virology provides a significant number of potential drug targets, currently, there are no proven effective therapies for this virus. The clinical trials launched to investigate possible cures for COVID-19 highlight the need and capability to produce high-quality evidence even in the middle of a pandemic. This needs not only time to be achieved but also is highly costly for people in developing countries.
The medicinal plant has a long history in disease control and public health management; many communities are believed that can give remarkable outcome, and combat many diseases, including COVID-19. Medicinal plants are prescribed widely, even when their biologically active compounds are unknown because of their safety, effectiveness, and availability. In this Letter, we think that there is an urgent need for alternative novel drugs. Analysis of the ethyl acetate fraction of Acacia nilotica pods revealed its high contents of both hydrolysable and condensed tannins. A. nilotica has been used for the treatment of various diseases, such as diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoid, abdominal aches, toothaches, sore throat, colds, bronchitis, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, antioxidant activities, and anticancer activities  [Figure 1]. A. nilotica revealed significant activity against the chloroquine-sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum, three bacterial ( Escherichia More Details coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella More Details typhi), two fungal strain (Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger), and hepatitis C virus  and inhibited HIV-1-induced cytopathogenicity. A study in Sudan showed that EtOAc fraction of A. nilotica was significantly inhibited the growth rate of Leishmania donovani and Leishmania major promastigote with IC50 of 40 and 10 μg/ml, respectively. EtOAc fraction caused substantially higher levels of interleukin (IL)-6 coupled with lowering tumor necrosis factor-alpha and IL-β levels in the infected macrophages of both Leishmania species.
In Sudan, A. nilotica was conventionally used to treat patients with a respiratory infection. Further, many families are always kept at home for any emergency respiratory infection. In recent COVID-19 pandemic, some recovered patients quarantined at home were used A. nilotica and this raised question that A. nilotica might help save severely ill patients. Up to date, 8416 COVID-19 cases were reported in Sudan, with 513 deaths and 3204 recovered cases. Therefore, we urge scientists to work further in A. nilotica to prove its treatment efficiency as a drug, which might be a significant health challenge in hand, especially for the poor communities in the developing countries.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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