Sage and perilla herbal teas could help to prevent or treat COVID-19

Sage and perilla herbal teas could help to prevent or treat COVID-19

Researchers in Germany have conducted a study demonstrating the potential antiviral effects of commonly consumed herbal teas on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The team – from the University of Duisburg-Essen – found that aqueous infusions of sage and perilla elicited potent antiviral activity against the virus in different human cell lines.

After just 30 minutes of treating the cells in both therapeutic and prophylactic regimens, significant antiviral activity was observed.

The researchers call for future clinical studies to investigate whether herbal teas based on perilla and sage might help to prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infection when combined with standard treatments.

“It will be very interesting to identify the compounds responsible for the antiviral activity of aqueous perilla and sage infusions,” they say. “Given the urgency, such inexpensive and broadly available substances might provide help during the pandemic – especially in low-income regions.”

A pre-print version of the paper is available on the bioRxiv* server, while the article undergoes peer review.

Aqueous plant infusions have been used for thousands of years

In traditional medicine, aqueous plant infusions have been used for thousands of years across various different cultures to prevent or treat respiratory infections.

Plant members of the Lamiaceae family such as sage (Salvia officinalis) and perilla (Perilla frutescens) are particularly popular herbs used in the preparation of teas.

During the current pandemic, many people have used herbal products – usually in the form of teas – to try to protect themselves.…

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