In the first week of February this year, I posted a lot of blogs on the dangers of the coronavirus. These appeared on my old, short-lived website at adrianellis.net. My first article on the coronavirus was written on the 27th January. It was entitled The Wuhan Coronavirus – will it be a new Spanish Flu? I think it’s an interesting piece of personal history, so I’ve re-posted it on this site, its text unaltered. Hopefully, it can show that many people in Europe, even ordinary people, did understand the dangers of the virus, all the way back in January.

Much of the information I posted in February/March is now common-knowledge but some of it is still contentious. Four topics seem to be particularly heated; the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine, the origins of the virus, the likelihood of a successful vaccine, and the importance of mask-wearing. My view is as follows; I would strongly recommend that people continue to wear masks, as their benefit is scientifically clear. I was shocked in March when the World Health Organisation and many media ‘experts’ discouraged the wearing of masks. I think the virus was created in a lab, based on clear genetic evidence, as I’ve explained in my article Covid-19 and Frankenstein. I don’t think a successful vaccine is possible, due to the simple fact that it’s a coronavirus; this is why no one has ever developed a vaccine for the common cold. This Guardian article, entitled Why can’t we cure the common cold?, explains the problem very well. There is scientific evidence that Hydroxychloroquine works when taken early, in safe dosage and as a preventative measure. Much of the media opinion, that Hydroxychloroquine is useless or dangerous, comes from a flawed Oxford study. In that study, the subjects were given it when already hospitalised with the disease. In addition, they were given dangerously high doses and without zinc, which aids the medicine’s action. The reason why Hydroxychloroquine has been demonised may be that it is out of patent. Remdesivir, by comparison, has been championed, even though there is precious little evidence that it does any good. Remdesivir is still patented. There is a huge amount of money at stake.

What we can do to help our bodies

The focus of this blog article is what we can do to reduce the harm of the disease, if we get it. We all know about washing hands and face-masks, but is there anything we can take to protect ourselves? One definite benefit is to take natural anti-virals. I know that the phrase ‘natural’ might ring alarm bells for some readers. To allay those concerns, I am going to approach this topic by first studying a scientific paper on this matter. The paper concerned is Anti-SARS coronavirus 3C-like protease effects of Isatis indigotica root and plant-derived phenolic compounds. You can read it here. This is its abstract, or condensed summary:

‘The 3C-like protease (3CLpro) of SARS-coronavirus mediates the proteolytic processing of replicase polypeptides 1a and 1ab into functional proteins, becoming an important target for the drug development. In this study, Isatis indigotica root extract, five major compounds of I. indigotica root, and seven plant-derived phenolic compounds were tested for anti-SARS-CoV 3CLpro effects using cell-free and cell-based cleavage assays. Cleavage assays with the 3CLpro demonstrated that IC50 values were in micromolar ranges for I. indigotica root extract, indigo, sinigrin, aloe emodin and hesperetin. Sinigrin (IC50: 217 microM) was more efficient in blocking the cleavage processing of the 3CLpro than indigo (IC50: 752 microM) and beta-sitosterol (IC50: 1210 microM) in the cell-based assay.’

Let’s be honest, that’s not very readable. I’ll try my best to summarise those sentences. The abstract is saying is that certain compounds can inhibit, as in block or slow down, SARS-coronaviruses’ attempts to replicate themselves in the body. The Wuhan coronavirus is a SARS-like coronavirus, which makes this paper very relevant. The compounds mentioned inhibit the virus’s spread within the body by targeting the 3C-like protease (3CLpro) part of the virus’s machinery. This is an important trick; medicines that protect against other coronavirus diseases also target 3CLpro. For example, cats get a disease known as feline infectious peritonitis; it is also a coronavirus. This scientific paper, entitled Efficacy of a 3C-like protease inhibitor in treating various forms of acquired feline infectious peritonitis, explains how the 3C-like protease inhibitor GC376 was used to treat cats with this disease. In other words, when the cats got a bad coronavirus, a medicine that targeted the 3CLpro mechanism helped them. I’m certainly not recommending anyone take GC376 – I’ve no idea what it is or its effect on humans – but it shows that the tactic of inhibiting the 3CLpro mechanism is worthwhile; it does slow down or defeat the infection.

If we return to the earlier article, it discusses the natural compounds the team tested. The authors use biological terms for these compounds but I’ll refer to the compounds with their common names. Here they are:

Woad – Isatis indigotica root extract: Woad is a flowering plant also known as the Asp of Jerusalem. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. This natural medicine site, Chrysalis Natural Medicine, talks at length about Woad’s beneficial effects. It says that, ‘Isatis root and leaf are bitter in taste and cold in action. They reduce fever and heat, cool the blood and throat, and reduce activity of virulent viruses and microbes.’ The site warns that Woad root extract is powerful and should be used carefully. They then add that, ‘a number of studies of acute viral respiratory tract infections and infections normally requiring antibiotic therapy have demonstrated the efficacy of a combination of echinacea root, white cedar leaf tips and wild indigo root, which contains similar compounds to isatis (Wustenberg et al., 1999).’ – Update: I bought some Woad capsules and tried it; it’s strong and I didn’t complete the course. It might work but I can’t personally recommend it. 

Sinigrin – found in broccoli, brussel sprouts and in high concentrations in black mustard seeds: This scientific paper, entitled Sinigrin and Its Therapeutic Benefits, reports that, ‘studies conducted on the pharmacological activities of sinigrin have revealed anti-cancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound healing properties and biofumigation.’ Webmd.com supports this view. It describes how black mustard seeds are ground into a paste and then pressed directly against the skin to treat pneumonia and inflammation of the lungs. This is known as a ‘mustard plaster’.

The Aloe cactus – Aloe Emodin:: The aloe plant, which is a cactus, has been famous for millennia for its medicinal properties. The Ancient Egyptians revered it. The juice of the plant is associated with longevity and a host of medicinal benefits.

Hesperitin – Orange peel bioflavonoid: Hesperitin is the main flavonoid in lemons and sweet oranges: Hesperitin is found in Hesperidin (note the ‘d’), a compound in orange peels. You can buy Hesperidin as part of a bioflavonoids supplement, for example here. Bioflavonoids have been known for a long time as having health benefits. They have even been used as a way to sell wine, as it contains grape flavonoids, but I think orange peels would be healthier. 😉

Echinacea – This isn’t mentioned in the science paper described earlier, but it is mentioned in this scientific paper, entitled Efficacy and Safety of a Fixed Combination Phytomedicine in the Treatment of the Common Cold (Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infection): Results of a Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled, Multicentre Study. It tested natural remedies to combat the common cold, which is another coronavirus or rhinovirus. The paper’s conclusion was:

‘This study shows that the herbal remedy is effective and safe. The therapeutic benefit consists of a rapid onset of improvement of cold symptoms. If patients with colds are able to start the application of the herbal remedy as soon as practical after the occurrence of the initial symptoms, the benefit would be expected to increase (e.g. self-medication).’

Indigo – Indigo is a herbaceous perennial plant native to eastern North America. I can’t find a supplement for this plant, but I’ll mention it for completeness sake. Be aware that it’s sold as a hair-colourant, so remember to read the label! 🙂

I don’t recommend that you hunt down all these ingredients and take them, but I do think it’s useful knowledge. I would certainly recommend Echinacea, Aloe Vera and broccoli. I would also recommend that everyone takes Vitamin D, Vitamin C and elderberry syrup, all of which are scientifically proven to have anti-viral and immune-boosting properties. The Vitamin D dosage is still a matter of argument in medical circles; I would recommend you take the maximum allowed dose. For Vitamin C, I would recommend a teaspoon per day of the powder. It’s bitter, so drink it with orange juice.

Summary

All the natural compounds mentioned in this article are proven in scientific studies to be a natural way to combat an acute viral respiratory tract infection. Several of them are already known in traditional medicine for their therapeutic effects. I don’t know how much you should take of them and for how long. This article is meant to be informative, so that people realise that they don’t have to passively suffer the Wuhan coronavirus if they get it; they can take measures to improve their chances of beating it. If I find other, supporting material on this subject, I’ll add it to this website. One more point; don’t let yourself get chilled, drink alcohol or eat unhealthy foods. All of these impair your immune-system’s function. It’s going to be a long Winter for many of us. Let’s help our bodies get through it intact.