Over-the-Counter Plants Supplements Proved Effective Against COVID-19

St. John's wort extract shows potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

Two new researches found over-the-counter supplements originated in plants respond as antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.

Two over-the-counter supplements might be effective against COVID-19, new researches published this week found.

Quercetin and St. John’s wort extract are currently sold over-the-counter as supplements, and were the subjects of the new studies from North Carolina State University and Germany (respectively) found.

According to the research published in Virology journal, plant flavonoids include other flavonols like quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, contain antioxidants with antiviral activity, and have the potential to ‘disarm’ SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E enzymes, as it shows 48% sequence identity in these viruses.

The study found that all antioxidative flavonols and dihydroflavonols examined were found effective against the coronaviruses, and lead scientists to believe that these are worthy of further development as potential antivirals in the treatment of these diseases. 

Quercetin, as well as rutin, and isoquercetin are already widely used and known for being safe and nutritionally valuable. Furthermore, quercetin is easily absorbed after oral administration, inhibits lipid oxidation, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and possesses potent anti-inflammatory activity. However, it’s best to check more info on quercetin before starting to use it daily.

One of the other supplements found effective against COVID-19 is St. John’s wort extract, that showed potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants alpha, beta, delta, and omicron. Scientists from Germany identifiedĀ the flower (originally called Hypericum perforatum) as a potential antiviral agent, according to their study, published inĀ Pharmaceuticals journal.

A series of experiments were held with the flower extract to determine if it’s more effective before or after the infection of the virus, and was compared to antibodies after infection. It was observed that the pre-treatment of the virus with plant extract lead to a significant reduction in the expression of SARS-CoV-2.

Although pre-treatment of SARS-CoV-2 with the extract before the infection has resulted in the highest antiviral activity, both compounds have also shown potent virus-blocking activity in already-infected cells.