By: Saqib Ali Ateel
Nigella Sativa oil and Anthemis Hyalina flowers have been showing miraculous medicinal benefits for millenniums. When the development of some antiviral drugs or vaccines against COVID-19 has become a challenge, traditional herbal medicines are appealing. Chinese experiment with traditional medicine is improving the confidence of the people on some natural herbs and foods.
Some herbs are not only improving our immune systems but also showing inhibiting characteristics against COVID-19. Best of all, they have no severe side effects, so they are the best bet when almost every other drug is on trial.
These facts have led Taibah University from Saudi Arabia to launch TaibUVID to treat COVID-19. This herbal medicine contains both Nigella sativa oil and Anthemis Hyalina mixed with natural honey.
Nigella Sativa oil is extracted from black seeds, which is a popular spice in South/West Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean countries for centuries. It has various names depending upon the area like Kalonji, Kala Jeera, Black Cumin, Black Seeds, Black Caraway, etc.
The first trace of Nigella Sativa seeds was found in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who had died in 1324 BC. Egyptians believed in a life hereafter, and kings used to bury their armors, swords, horses, slaves, and foods and herbs to live a happy life hereafter.
Not only that, Cleopatra, is reported to use Nigella Sativa oil in 1300 B.C. The Greek record shows that Dioscoredes used Nigella Sativa seeds in the Ist century to treat various diseases, especially those related to respiratory congestion, intestinal parasites, and toothaches.
The prophets of monotheism have also talked about Nigella Savita. Bible mentions it in Isaiah 28:25-27 as:
“When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to use Nigella Sativa seeds with honey. He is said to praise Nigella Sativa seeds in these words:
“This black seed is healing for every disease, except Death” (Sunan Ibn Majah 3449)”
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) has rated Nigella Sativa seeds high as an energy booster and stimulant. Some other Muslim prominent physicians had been using it for a digestive disorder.
These people might not know anything about viruses. Still, they knew that Nigella Sativa seeds or oil contain a lot of medicinal properties that they used for centuries.
In an early study on five groups of Turkeys, it was discovered that the groups that were given Nigella Sativa seeds had much better immunity levels to fight the influenza virus than those whose diet didn’t include these seeds. Similarly, when the Turkeys infected were fed with Nigella Sativa seeds, they got rid of the infection quickly than those infected groups who were not given black seeds.
“Furthermore, nigella sativa seeds enhance splenocyte proliferation and interferon expression, decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines, viral proteins (integrase, protease), and RNA polymerase II, which play central roles in viral replication and thus minimizing harmful effects of viral pathogens.”
A new study has proved the medicinal benefits of nigella sativa oil and seeds against COVID-19 too. Salim Bouchentouf confirms:
"We identify new probable inhibitors of COVID-19 by molecules from Nigella sativa... Nigellidine and α- Hederin appeared to have the best potential to act as COVID-19 treatment."
Anthemis Hyalina is also called Chamomile Plant. It is a daisy-like flower having different leaves and belongs to the Anthemis species. It is native to Pakistan, India, Europe, Western Asia, and the United States. In ancient Egypt, the chamomile was used to cure malaria. Some papers are documenting the positive impacts of Anthemis Hyaline on COVID patients.
One prominent study states: (*)
“Chamomile was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and to decrease wound healing time. Antimicrobial activity of different species in the genus of anthemis has been documented. Twenty-four various components were characterized in Ah extract. The major components were carvacrol (38.4 %) and a-pinene (30.9 %). The results suggest that the treatment of cells with Nigella Stiva and Anthemis Hyalina or Cs extracts before infection with CoV decreases the replication of the virus.
Another study proves:
“Anthemis hyalina, Nigella sativa, and Citrus sinensis extracts decreased the replication of virus when HeLa‐CEACAM1a (HeLa‐epithelial carcinoembryonic antigen‐related cell adhesion molecule 1a) cell was infected with MHV‐A59 (mouse hepatitis virus–A59) CoV, with A. hyalina being the most active among the three plants tested.”
Salah Mohamed El Sayed and others from Taibah University
have gone a step forward. They have prepared a herbal treatment of COVID-19 with Nigella Sativa oil, anthemis Hyalina, and honey. The report published in “American Journal of Public Health Research” states preparation of herbal medicine for COCID-19 as:
“TaibUVID stands for Taibah University anti-COVID-19 treatment as a novel evidence-based approach (using natural products) for treating COVID-19 patients. A single TaibUVID dose includes one large spoonful of nigella sativa oil (or 2 gram nigella sativa seeds) mixed with 1 gram of ground anthemis Hyalina and one large spoonful of natural honey. This mixture is to be chewed in the mouth and swallowed orally for both COVID-19 contacts and patients.”
They are not alone in preparing herbal medicine for COVID-19 with Nigella Sativa oil. Ulasli, Mustafa & Gurses have tried extracts of Nigella sativa, Anthemis Hyalina, and Citrus sinensis on the replication of coronavirus and the expression of TRP genes family. Interestingly, Anthemis Hyalina has proved the best defense against COVID-19. A combination of both herbs, as in TaibUVID, is showing even more promising results.
* Ulasli, Mustafa & Gurses, Serdar & Bayraktar, Recep & Yumrutas, Onder & Oztuzcu, Serdar & Igci, Mehri & Igci, Yusuf Ziya & Çakmak, Ecir & Arslan, Ahmet. (2014). The effects of Nigella sativa (Ns), Anthemis hyalina (Ah), and Citrus sinensis (Cs) extracts on the replication of coronavirus and the expression of TRP genes family. Molecular biology reports. 41. 10.1007/s11033-014-3019-7.
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