Artemisia annua has a recognized antiviral activity (anti HSV1, Poliovirus, RSV, hepatitis C anti-virus, type 2 dengue virus, hantavirus) and anti HIV in vitro thanks to the flavonoids, quercetin and dicaffeoylquinic acids it contains. These molecules have been shown to inhibit the enzymatic activity of MERS-CoV-3 CLPro (MERS-CoV-3 chymotrypsin-like protease), an enzyme also produced by SARS-CoV-2.
The antiviral action of Artemisia annua, which is achieved by stimulating adaptive immunity, regulating the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), IL-6, IL-10, TNF alpha and increasing the genesis of CD4, CD8 and interferon gamma, involves many minerals and biomolecules: the properties of flavonoids, polyphenols, triterpenes, sterols, saponins, polysaccharides, artemisinin and its derivatives, the concentration of zinc, gallium and selenium in the plant play a role in the immune, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response.
The plant is extremely rich in Vitamins A and E, of which one, when supplemented, is known to reduce morbidity and mortality in viral infections, HIV among others, and the other is a powerful antioxidant.
The combination of these biological medicines and the intake of Artemisia annua in totum that could improve exhausted adaptive immunity and modulate the runaway inflammatory response during COVID-19 infection, as this plant has already demonstrated in other serious viral and parasitic infections.
The Science of Ethno-Pharmacology is exploding. That plants and fungi produce antiviral molecules is well established, what is being shown that new technologies like molecular modelling represent fundamentally new tools that expand the potentials for human health beyond our current scope. The convergence of technologies like AI, and alpha fold have radically changed our understanding and capacity promote human thriving and longer life. The scope of change is as large as germ theory was in late 1800’s. Initially met with resistance, it for the first time allowed us to understand why simple interventions like hand washing could be so successful.
a fundamentally new tool that is expanding the potentials for human health beyond our current limited scope in much the same way as germ theory radically changed our understanding and capacity promote human thriving and longer life.