IIT Delhi researchers say green tea, black tea, haritaki have anti-viral capabilities to fight coronavirus

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  • According to the researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, therapeutic medical plants may be a way to treat the disease as they destroy the protein structure of the virus.
  • The study says that the extracts from tea and haritaki have antiviral capabilities.
  • The study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, examined nearly 51 medical plants on 3CLPro protease of the virus.
Scientists worldwide are stepping up their efforts to develop cost-effective solutions that can curb coronavirus. According to the researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, therapeutic medical plants may be a way to treat the disease as they destroy the protein structure of the virus.


According to the study, the extracts from tea (black and green tea) and haritaki (Harad) have antiviral capabilities. However, the outcomes from the study of the medicinal plants will have to undergo clinical trials.

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“The experimental findings showed that aqueous extracts from Tea (Black and Green Tea, Scientific name- Camellia sinensis) as well as Haritaki (Terminalia chebula, which is commonly known as Harad in Hindi) have potential anti-viral activity via in-vitro inhibition of the proteolytic activity of the main protease of the virus 3CL pro showing potential therapeutic candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, which should be further validated in in-vivo models,” the study explained.

The Indian herbal plants contain bioactive components that can be used to curb several diseases. The study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, examined nearly 51 medical plants on 3CLPro protease of the virus.

This 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLPro protease) enzyme is responsible for the replication of coronavirus and is important for its life cycle. Several studies have shown that 3CLPro is a target for drug discovery for SARS-CoV.

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“The targeting of this protein may therefore be able to halt the replication of the virus,” the study says.

The researchers examined the molecular mechanism to see the impact of bioactive constituents of tea and haritaki. The study argues that Gallotannin, which is also known as Tannic acid, can restrict the 3CLPro viral protease — or halt the replication of the virus.

“The findings suggest the possibility of Gallotannin to emerge as a potential therapeutic candidate against SARS-CoV-2 in future. However, larger randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trials would be further needed,” said Prof Ashok Kumar Patel, KSBS, IIT Delhi.

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According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 604,641 people have been infected by coronavirus in India so far.

See also:

COVID-19 vaccine by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila gets DCGI nod for human clinical trials

Telangana Coronavirus cases rise to 18,570, 275 dead, 9,069 cured till July 2
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