We all know turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is thus an important item in the Indian household. Researchers and scientists around the world are now studying to find out if turmeric is of any help in curing COVID-19.
A recent study found turmeric has to contain anti-viral properties, which makes it a ‘candidate’ in the fight to find a cure or antidote for the novel coronavirus.
However, a lot of research still needs to be done to prove its effectiveness beyond doubt.
According to the study published in Journal of General Virology, turmeric (curcumin) can prevent transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) — an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs — from infecting cells. At higher doses, the compound was also found to kill virus particles.
The research team found a higher concentration of turmeric to reduce number of virus particles in cell culture, reported by the Times of India. It can kill the virus by directly killing it before it infects the cell, and by altering the metabolism of the cell to prevent the virus from entering the body.
“Curcumin has a significant inhibitory effect on TGEV adsorption step and a certain direct inactivation effect, suggesting that curcumin has great potential in the prevention of TGEV infection,” said Dr Lilan Xie, lead author of the study and researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Bioengineering.
Turmeric has properties that can help prevent bacterial infection, inflammation and tumours. The researchers plan to continue their study by using an animal model to assess whether the inhibiting properties of turmeric can be of use in treating novel coronavirus.