Beneficiation of Turmeric and Javanese Ginger as an Antiviral Against COVID-19

By Adi Permana

Editor -

BANDUNG, - Indonesia is a rich archipelago with an abundance of natural resources. From our past generations, it can be used as a natural medicine or other health purposes. Recently, herbal plants are widely used to prevent coronavirus disease or COVID-19. The common consumed herbs for prevention of COVID-19 are turmeric and javanese ginger ().

Prof. Daryono Hadi Tjahjono, Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Bandung Institute of Technology explained that turmeric (Curcuma longa L) contains natural metabolite compounds in the form of curcumin which are reported to have various therapeutic potentials such as antibiotics, antivirals, antioxidants, anticancer, and anti-Alzheimer's disease. "Curcumin (or its derivatives, i.e. curcuminoids) are also found in , ginger, and similar plants. In addition, there are dozens of other chemical compounds contained in these plants. Generally, we are using these plants in our daily basis and it can be used as a raw material for herbal medicine, " he explained. 

He added, since SARS epidemic happened in 2003, various pharmacological studies on curcumin have been conducted. Right now, researchers are focused on the effect of curcumin and its power to fend off COVID-19. He explained, the receptor that plays a role (SARS-CoV-2) is angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 forms as fixed matter (attached to cells) and soluble matter (not attached to cells). Research on curcumin compounds (as single or pure compounds) reported an ability to increase ACE2 on rats by animal testing, but there are no further studies about its direct relationship toward coronavirus disease (COVID-19). "In order to achieve the therapeutic requirements of curcumin, it is expected that many ACE2 are free as soluble matters so it will prevent the coronavirus sticking to our cells, which will directly prevent the infection," he said.

Prof. Daryono explained, empirically, the combined content of chemical compounds from these plants are useful as an immunomodulator to maintain body endurance. The pharmacological effects of chemical compounds (multi compound) in these plants can be different from the pharmacological effects of single compound.

Related with COVID-19, the beneficiation of these plants either in single compound or multi compound as an immunomodulator can increase our k and it’s safe for our bodies. "Recently, we are doing further research. As researchers, we should work together with pharmaceutical industries and our government to develop our herbs as an antiviral against COVID-19, " he explained. 

Translator: Billy Akbar Prabowo