• Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat COVID-19? - Chromatography Investigates

Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat COVID-19? - Chromatography Investigates

Feb 11 2021

The ideas and system of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been around for over 23 centuries. Its practitioners have come across all kinds of ailments that they have attempted to heal or prevent by restoring balance in the body’s yin yang. But can it help in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19? Can the world’s oldest system of medicine help with the latest pandemic to really cause harm across the globe?

A paper published in the journal Phytotherapy Research has examined the therapeutic effect of Yinqiao powder on Covid-19 and investigated what active ingredients could be in the powder that might help reduce the impact of Covid-19. In the paper - Exploring the treatment of COVID19 with Yinqiao powder based on network pharmacology – the team report how liquid chromatography is again helping in the fight against Covid-19.

Yinqiao and Covid-19

Ever since SAR-CoV-2 and Covid-19 entered our vocabulary in January 2020, researchers have been searching for a cure. There have been some strange treatments and potentially dangerous treatments postulated as cures and therapeutic aids, and many different medicinal treatment and immunity boosting supplements to treat the disease. And experts in TCM have also been involved in the search for a cure and treatment for Covid-19.

Experts in TCM from several universities in China investigated the role of various TCM formulations and compounds in treating Covid-19 using data mining analysis. One of the most promising results found that Yinqiao powder was the basic formulation for the Weifen syndrome of COVID19. The WeiFen Syndrome is the early stage of an infectious disease in TCM which has separate names for different stages of a disease. But what is Yinqiao powder?

Chromatography teases out the ingredients

Yinqiao powder is used in many different TCM formulations and is used to treat respiratory illnesses, lung injuries and to improve the immune response to viruses. It is a brown pill and has a bitter slightly sweet taste. The researchers used liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify the main ingredients in Yinqiao. The use of LC-MS to analyse therapeutic compounds is discussed in the article, LC-MS Analysis of Therapeutic Oligonucleotide and Related Products. A comparison of TQ and Q-TOF Systems.

The team identified the active ingredients in Yinqiao as hesperetin, eriodictyol, luteolin, quercetin, and naringenin – these were the potentially effective active ingredients against COVID19. They also identified possible pathways that the Yinqiao could use to combat the disease and these included interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor.

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