Artemisia annua interferes with replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro

RESEARCHERS in the United States have shown that extracts of an aromatic herb called Artemisia annua inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) – the agent responsible for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Also known as “Sweet wormwood,” Artemisia annua (A. annua) is an herb from Asia that produces the antimalarial agent artemisinin.

Now, researchers at Columbia University in New York, the University of Washington, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated that hot-water leaf A. annua extracts based on artemisinin, total flavonoids, or dry leaf mass show antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2.

“This is the first report of anti-SARS-CoV-2 efficacy of hot water extracts of a wide variety of cultivars of A. annua sourced from four continents,” says Pamela Weathers and colleagues.

“Further studies will determine in vivo efficacy to assess whether A. annua might provide a cost-effective therapeutic to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

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