Review on the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)
Department of Public Health Nutrition, Primeasia University, Bangladesh
Coronaviruses which are enveloped RNA viruses infect human causing acute and chronic diseases also cause severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and common cold. The aim of this review is to concentrate on ginger which has many benefits to human, as the traditional medicine for the prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. In spite of spreading of COVID-19 all over the world, the incidence of the disease among Sudanese people still very low, most probably for their daily habit in using ginger as the traditional herbal drink in their life style. I believe that Ginger is the most effective traditional medicine for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 for its properties in improving immune system and fighting corona viruses, more studies should be conducted to prove this thought.
Keywords: coronaviruses, covid-19, ginger, prophylaxis, treatment
Coronaviruses which are enveloped single stranded RNA viruses infect human causing acute and chronic diseases, also cause severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) [1, 2] and common cold and may be about 15 – 30 % of common colds are caused by coronavirus [3, 5]. COVID-19 appeared at the end of 2019, in Wuhan, China [6, 8], it spreads quickly to other areas of China and overseas. World Health Organization (WHO) therefore announced the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Jan. 31st 2020 and eventually classified it as a pandemic on March 11th 2020 (9). By way of definition, a symptomatic COVID19 case is a case that has developed signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 virus infection. Symptomatic transmission refers to transmission from a person while they are experiencing symptoms. It is primarily transmitted from symptomatic people to others who are in close contact through respiratory droplets, by direct contact with infected persons, or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces . SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) can be confirmed in the laboratory by performing real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase-chain reaction (RT-PCR) , besides, Chest Computed tomography which is highly sensitive and important method for diagnosing COVID19 . Possible treatment for coronavirus is neutralizing antibodies against the spike (S) protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 , even the RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp, also named nsp12) is the central component of corona viral replication/transcription machinery and appears to be a primary target for the antiviral drug, remdesivir , but no pharmaceutical treatment available . Prevention is done by the impacts of quarantine, cases and contacts isolation, washing hands, using face masks, health education about other protection methods .
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is a plant which used as a spice, food, flavouring agent, and medicine . Ginger is a standard drug and has broad range of medicinal activity . The World Health organization (WHO) considers ginger as anti-emetic, cholagogic and anti inflammatory properties . Ginger possesses multiple biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, respiratory protective, antinausea, and antiemetic activities . Besides, Ginger can help in the treatment of inflammatory chronic diseases through anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory and antioxidative mechanisms . A study was carried out using 6 weeks‘ ginger period by athletes could modulate inflammation and reduce circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels (plasma interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)) in these athletes, and possibly limiting the chance of infections and reducing the effects of these cytokines concentrations in inducing fatigue-like symptoms . There are considerations for anti-virulence-based strategies for COVID-19 treatments including blocking components of the innate immune system such as IL-6 and inflammasome activation . Ginger has been granted the GRAS status (―Generally Recognized as Safe‖) by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . In spite of spreading of COVID-19 affecting more than seventy countries all over the world , the incidence among Sudanese people is still very low; I believe that using ginger as the traditional herbal drink in their life style is the main reason.
Sudan is a huge country with very poor health and medical facilities particularly in diagnosing diseases such as pandemic COVID-19, so using protection methods is the best way to restrict and eradicate this pandemic coronaviruses infection and this is concordance with approach of Federal Ministry of Health of Sudan, for fighting COVID-19. Sudanese people drink tea and coffee with ginger as the local traditional habit also they drink juice of ginger for the same purpose. They drink ginger juice, either hot or warm for the treatment of common cold which may be caused commonly by coronaviruses [3-5]. From my observation that any one drink ginger juice daily cannot catch common cold, and as some cases of common cold are caused by coronavirus (3-5), so drinking ginger is considered one of the effective herbal medicine for protection from COVID-19, even when infection can be done with symptoms and signs, the disease will be very mild and recovery is occurred quickly. Ginger drink is used as follows: 12 grams of ginger (Zingiber Officinale) powder (one table spoon) dissolved in about 250 ml of warm water three times per day daily, established as the one of life style habits for prophylaxis and using double dose for the treatment, immediately used just after appearance of symptoms and signs of the disease. In my opinion ginger is amazing traditional medicine for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 for its properties in improving immune system increasing IgM levels which may lead improving humoral immunity and also against infections , and reduces circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels (plasma interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)) . Also through its anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory and antioxidative mechanisms .
I think it is very important to drink ginger juice for all people and all ages above two year old nowadays as a part of life style for protection of COVID-19 for its role in improvement of immune system which is needed for protection and treatment of this pandemic COVID 19 [21, 22]. Is the stimulation of the immune system caused by ginger reducing susceptibility to COVID-19? To prove this, a study should be carried out for the role of ginger in prophylaxis and treatment of coronaviruses infection as follows: three groups of people with different ages should be screened for COVID-19 by Real Time - Polymerase chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The first group should be negative of COVID-19, the second could be positive but there is no symptoms and signs of the disease, and the last group could be positive for the disease and all subjects have symptoms and signs of COVID 19. The first and second group can take ginger as the drink three times daily for 4 weeks (12 grams of ginger (Zingiber Officinale) powder (one table spoon)), and the last one should take double dose of ginger. All groups should be screened for COVID-19 by RT-PCR, after two weeks and then after two weeks later. So, I think in the absence of vaccine of COVID-19, if this study is conducted, then it can offer one hope towards victory over this disease.
Conflict of interest: None.
The author would like to thank Washim Akram, Student of Primeasia University Dhaka, Bangladesh.