A team of US researchers are conducting studies to understand whether botanical therapies like medicinal mushrooms and Chinese herbs provide therapeutic benefit in treating acute Covid-19 cases.
According to principal investigator Gordon Saxe, director of research at the Center for Integrative Health in University of California-San Diego, mushrooms were chosen because of their long history of use and recent evidence of immune-enhancing and antiviral effects.
MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for Covid-19) is a multi-centre study led by UC San Diego's School of Medicine and UC-Los Angeles, in collaboration with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.
In a preclinical study published in 2019, mushroom agarikon was found to inhibit viruses, including influenza (H1N1), influenza A (H5N1) and herpes. Saxe said he believes medicinal mushrooms inhibit the viruses' replication, a theory he plans to test against SARS-CoV-2 in a Phase II trial.
"Mushrooms have the advantage that they co-evolved with us. So bacteria, viruses and other fungi prey on mushrooms just like they prey on humans. And mushrooms have developed exquisite defenses against those pests, and we believe they can confer those to us when we eat them," Saxe said.
MACH-19's third ongoing trial measures whether the same medicinal mushrooms, given in capsules at the time of initial Covid vaccination, can increase antibodies and other measures of immune response.
A fourth trial, yet to be launched, will look at whether medicinal mushrooms could provide a similar lift to Covid-19 booster shots as an adjuvant, a substance which enhances immune response.
"Vaccines lead to the production of antibodies that can destroy the virus in the blood," Saxe said.
"Mushrooms may not only increase the number of these antibodies, but also enhance T-cell immunity against virally infected cells. Further, because mushrooms bind to receptors on human immune cells, they can modulate our immunity -- boosting it in some ways and calming it down in others. And this property of mushrooms may also reduce vaccine-related side effects.
Natural therapeutics have been used for centuries to treat infectious diseases, according to Saxe, who noted that herbs helped Chinese doctors manage 300 recorded epidemics, while the Greek pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides prescribed agarikon to treat pulmonary infections 2,300 years ago.
The three trials, under MACH-19 of which two are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, are currently recruiting for between 66 and 80 patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are quarantined at home with mild to moderate symptoms.AInitial safety data from the trials are expected by the end of this year, with efficacy data ready within a year.
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Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) here have sequenced the genome of giloy a plant with medicinal properties, which shot to fame during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Giloy or guduchi is a climber with heart-shaped leaves, has major applications in pharmaceuticals and ayurvedic formulations to treat various health conditions and was used widely during the pandemic to boost immunity.Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) is the first species ever sequenced from the Menispermaceae plant family, which comprises more than 400 species having therapeutic values, the institute said in a statement on Monday.
The availability of Giloy genome will also help in bridging the missing link between its genomic and medicinal properties. The new study will also provide leads for exploring the genomic basis of its medicinal properties, the team said.
The team performed a deep transcriptome sequencing of leaf tissue of the plant. The draft genome assembly had a size of 1.01 gigabase pairs and contained 19,474 coding gene sequences. The research is published in the preprint server bioRxiv.
"Giloy is considered as an important multipurpose medicinal plant in ayurvedic science. This plant came into the limelight due to its immunomodulatory and antiviral activity after the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been used in various health conditions due to its immune-modulatory, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-cancer properties, among others," said Shruti Mahajan, doctoral student at IISER Bhopal, in the statement.
Previous studies have shown that a compound from Giloy was reported to target the two proteases of SARS-CoV-2 virus namely Mpro and Spike proteases, and another compound was predicted to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and also disrupts viral spike protein and host ACE-2 interaction. Treatment with giloy extract modulates the various pathways of the immune system for improved immunity.
These multiple medicinal properties are because of the presence of its secondary metabolites. Despite these medicinal properties, the unavailability of its genome sequence was a constraint in studying the genomic basis of the medicinal properties. Thus, the genome sequence of Giloy could be a breakthrough as the potential therapeutic agent for diseases like Covid in the future, the researchers said.
Moreover, the usage of giloy is also recommended under ayurveda practice by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in prophylactic care as well as therapeutic applications for all symptomatic or asymptomatic patients infected with Covid-19. It is also used in fever and diabetes.
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आयुष मंत्रालय के अधीन राष्ट्रीय औषधीय पादप बोर्ड (नेशनल मेडीसिनल प्लांट्स बोर्ड-एनएमपीबी) ने आजादी के अमृत महोत्सव के क्रम में देशभर में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती को प्रोत्साहन देने के लिये एक राष्ट्रीय अभियान की शुरूआत की है। इस कदम से किसानों की आय में बढ़ोतरी होगी और हरित भारत का सपना पूरा होगा। अभियान के तहत, देशभर में अगले एक वर्ष में 75 हजार हेक्टेयर रकबे में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती की जायेगी। कार्यक्रम की शुरूआत उत्तर प्रदेश के सहारनपुर और महाराष्ट्र के पुणे से की गई है। यह ‘आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ के अंतर्गत आयुष मंत्रालय द्वारा आयोजित कार्यक्रमों की श्रृंखला का दूसरा कार्यक्रम है।
पुणे में औषधीय पौधे किसानों को बांटे गये। जो लोग पहले से जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती कर रहे हैं, उन्हें सम्मानित किया गया। अहमदनगर जिले के पारनेर से विधायक नीलेश लंके, केंद्रीय यूनानी चिकित्सा अनुसंधान परिषद (सीसीआरयूएम) के महानिदेशक डॉ. आसिम अली ख़ान और एनएमपीबी के उप मुख्य कार्यकारी अधिकारी डॉ. चंद्रशेखर सांवल ने भिन्न-भिन्न स्थानों से कार्यक्रमों की अगुवाई की।
डॉ. सांवल ने कहा, “इस प्रयास से देश में औषधीय पौधों की आपूर्ति में और तेजी आयेगी।” इस अवसर पर 75 किसानों को कुल मिलाकर 7500 औषधीय पौधे वितरित किये गये। इसके अलावा 75 हजार पौधे वितरित करने का लक्ष्य भी तय किया गया।
सहारनपुर में उत्तर प्रदेश के आयुष राज्य मंत्री (स्वतंत्र प्रभार) डॉ. धर्म सिंह सैनी, एनएमपीबी के अनुसंधान अधिकारी श्री सुनील दत्त और आयुष मंत्रालय के अधिकारियों ने सम्बंधित कार्यक्रम में हिस्सा लिया। उत्तर प्रदेश के आयुष राज्य मंत्री (स्वतंत्र प्रभार) डॉ. धर्म सिंह सैनी ने जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती करने वाले किसानों को सम्मानित किया। आसपास के कई जिलों से आये 150 किसानों को औषधीय पौधे निशुल्क वितरित किये गये। पौधों की पांच प्रजातियां वितरित की गईं, जिनमें पारिजात, बेल, नीम, अश्वगंधा और जामुन के पौधे शामिल थे। किसानों को जामुन के 750 पौधे अलग से निशुल्क बांटे गये।
केंद्रीय आयुष मंत्री श्री सर्बानन्द सोनोवाल ने कहा कि औषधीय पौधों के सिलसिले में देश की अपार क्षमता है और 75,000 हेक्टेयर रकबे में जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती से देश में दवाओं की उपलब्धता सुनिश्चित होगी। इस कदम से जड़ी-बूटियों की खेती किसानों की आय का बड़ा स्रोत बनेगी। दवाओं की उपलब्धता के मामले में देश भी आत्मनिर्भर होगा। उल्लेखनीय है कि पिछले डेढ़ वर्षों में न सिर्फ भारत में, बल्कि पूरी दुनिया में औषधीय पौधों की मांग में बड़े पैमाने पर बढ़ोतरी देखने में आई है। यही कारण है कि अमेरिका में अश्वगंधा तीसरा सबसे ज्यादा बिकने वाला उत्पाद बन गया है।
इसके अलावा ‘आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ कार्यक्रमों के तहत वाई-ब्रेक एप्प की शुरूआत, रोगों का उपचार करने वाली आयुष दवाओं का वितरण, ‘आयुष आपके द्वार’ तथा स्कूलों-कॉलेजों के छात्रों के लिये व्याख्यानमालाओं का आयोजन शामिल है। वाई-ब्रेक एप्प पर वेबीनार और व्याख्यानमाला का आयोजन पांच सितंबर को किया जायेगा।
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The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH has launched a national campaign to promote the cultivation of medicinal plants in the country as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. This will help in increasing the income of farmers and realize the dream of Green India. Under this campaign, cultivation of medicinal plants will be done on 75,000 hectares of land in the next one year across the country. The program has been started from Saharanpur in UP and Pune in Maharashtra. This program is second in the series of programs being organized by the Ministry of Ayush under the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.
In Pune medicinal plants were distributed to the farmers. Those who were already cultivating medicinal plants were felicitated. Nilesh Lanke, MLA from Parner in Ahmednagar district, Dr. Asim Ali Khan, DG, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), and Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sanwal, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NMPB, led the events from different locations.
Dr. Sanwal said that “this effort will give more impetus to the supply of medicinal plants in the country”. A total of 7500 medicinal plants were distributed to 75 farmers on this occasion. A target has been set to distribute 75 thousand saplings.
In Saharanpur, Minister of State for Ayush, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Dharam Singh Saini along with Research Officer of National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Sunil Dutt, and officials of Ministry of Ayush also participated. The farmers cultivating medicinal plants were felicitated by Dharam Singh Saini, Minister of State for AYUSH, UP. Medicinal plants were distributed free of cost to 150 farmers who came from many nearby districts. These included mainly 5 species of plants - Night-flowering Jasmine (Parijat), Golden Apple (Bel), Margosa Tree (Neem), Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha) and Indian Blackberry (Jamun). 750 Jamun saplings were separately distributed free of cost to the farmers.
Union AYUSH Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the country has immense potential in the field of medicinal plants and cultivation of medicinal plants on 75000 hectares of land will ensure availability of medicines in the country and it will be a big source of income for the farmers. This will make the country self-reliant in the field of medicines. Significantly, in the last 1.5 years, the market of medicinal plants has increased in a big way not only in India but all over the world. This is the reason that Ashwagandha has been the third best-selling product in America.
Further programs being held under 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' include launch of Y Break App, distribution of Prophylactic Ayush Drugs, 'Ayush Aapke Dwar' and lecture series for school and college students. The lecture series and webinar on Y Break app are to be organized on 5th September.
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Atmakuru (Andhra Pradesh), July 23 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy on Friday inaugurated an oxygen plant funded by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood at Atmakuru in Nellore district.The plant has been built at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore in Atmakuru, which also happens to be the Assembly constituency of Reddy.On behalf of the people of Atmakuru, the minister invited Sood to visit the constituency. Incidentally, the popular actor has agreed to visit Atmakuru in the next two months."Instead of building the plant in an urban area which has all the facilities, Sood built the oxygen plant in a rural set up, which shows his wholeheartedness," Reddy said.Meanwhile, Nagalakshmi, a specially-abled woman, came forward to donate Rs 25,000 each to the Sonu Sood Foundation and the Andhra Pradesh CM Relief Fund. Reddy felicitated her for her philanthropy. --IANSsth/arm
Lucknow, June 20 (IANS) The Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh is reaching new heights in medicinal farming, with the Yogi Adityanath government promoting cultivation of medicinal plants in a big way.Nurseries are being established in villages while plantation of herbs is on in full swing in different parts of the state.Farmers belonging to Bundelkhand are switching over to cultivation of medicinal plants, both, for monetary gains as well as for its health benefits.According to the government spokesperson, the farmers are showing keen interest in growing basil, aloe vera, ashwagandha, brahmi, satavar, vach, artemisia, kaunch, kalmegh and sarpagandha.The UP government has also been encouraging farmers to diversify crops for cultivation in order to enhance their incomes.The National Medicinal Plants Mission scheme of the Department of Horticulture and Food Processing has played vital role in popularizing cultivation of medicinal plants in UP in the recent past.Though the scheme has been operational since 2009-10, it had failed to benefit farmers during the previous governments.The Yogi Adityanath government has involved State AYUSH Society in providing benefits to the farmers engaged in medicinal farming.In order to increase the interest of the farmers in medicinal farming, the government also announced a grant per hectare for farmers. As a result, the number of farmers to take up medicinal farming directly and indirectly has increased significantly during the present regime as compared to the previous governments.The government spokesperson said that more than 15,000 farmers have so far benefited from this initiative of the state government while cultivation of medicinal plants has expanded to 9,705 hectares in the state.The demand for medicinal crops has also increased substantially amid the Covid pandemic.Dr V.B. Dwivedi, nodal officer of State AYUSH Mission and joint director of Horticulture and Food Processing Department, said that the department is making every effort to promote medicinal farming as per the intention of the government.He said that along with Bundelkhand, farmers of Devi Patan division as well as Lucknow and Meerut circles have also started cultivating medicinal plants.He added that the herbal products of Mirzapur and Jalaun farmers are making their mark in foreign countries as well.Meanwhile, a large number of farmers have taken to Satwari cultivation in Gorakhpur.The scheme has helped farmers become self-reliant by doubling their income, and is also helping them stay healthy.--IANS amita/skp/