Herbal culinary seasonings could be used against COVID-19, scientists believe

Medicinal properties of Nigella sativa (nutmeg flower) herb, which is commonly used in culinary as a seasoning, against COVID-19 have not been fully proven. For the time being, one can only speak about the first stage of the research, virologist, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Netesov, and Moscow State University Professor, Doctor of Biological Sciences Alexei Agranovsky believe.

"The activity of many drugs has been shown on cell cultures, but only few of them can reach real application in medicine. The emerging information about new ingredients comes as information about the first stage of the research. There is a very long way to go from the first stage of the research to the stage when the work on the drug is finished," Sergei Netesov told ura.ru publication.

For the time being, there is no cure for COVID-19, but reports about new substances against the coronavirus infection appear almost every month.

Alexey Agranovsky, professor at the Moscow State University, also said that he was skeptical about the discovery of new herbal properties.

"Earlier, there were reports about possible medicinal properties of wormwood, chaga and other plants against COVID-19. (…) If a herbal substance really helps, one should conduct tests and publish an article in an authoritative journal before saying anything else," the scientist said.

It was earlier reported that the flowering plant Nigella sativa (nutmeg flower or garden fennelflower), which is native to North Africa and West Asia, could be used in the future to create a medicine against COVID-19. Scientists discovered that thymoquinone, the active ingredient in N. sativa, can bind to S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and prevent the virus from deteriorating lung tissue.