The plant that might stop Covid-19
The Department of Thai Traditional Medicine and Government Pharmaceutical Organisation will sign a memorandum of understanding next Tuesday (February 25) on research into the medicinal plant Andrographis paniculate with an eye to developing a drug that can inhibit or kill the Covid-19 virus.
Dr Pramote Satienrat, deputy director-general of the Traditional Medicine Department, said on Friday (February 21) that interest in the plant – also known as cleat and green chireta – was keen 10 years ago amid the SARs pandemic.
“We already have the genetic code of the new virus and we know it’s different from that of SARs, but Andrographis paniculata has been shown to be effective in combating the pneumonia virus and the common cold.”
Pramote said researchers will recruit 10 healthy volunteers, feed them a plant extract and test their blood after five days.
If the results are encouraging, a serum will be developed and tested against both the SARS and CoV-2 viruses.
Pramote believes an announcement can be expected within a month.