A team of researchers from universities across Pakistan, Chile, Canada, and the United States, have recently carried out trials on honey and Nigella sativa (HNS) — annual flowering plant also known as Black Cumin — to explore their potential in treating coronavirus infection.
The researchers intended to investigate the potential as previous studies had shown that both components of HNS have proven anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulatory effects.
Their study was published on the preprint server medRxiv*.
For the study, the researchers performed a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial in 313 patients with Covid-19 of varying severity. Randomised patients received either a combination of 1 gm/kg/day of honey and 80 mg/kg/day of Nigella sativa or placebo for 13 days.
They observed viral clearance, alleviation of symptoms as some of the outcomes after the administration of HNS.
The researchers wrote: “The trial results show that the use of HNS in Covid-19 patients promotes viral clearance and reduces the severity of the disease.”
Fifty severe Covid-19 patients were given HNS, and 53 severe cases received placebo. Administration of HNS led to alleviation of symptoms by day three in moderate cases and day seven in severe cases.
The authors added: “Anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, cardio-protective and broncho-dilatory properties of HNS make it even more beneficial in diabetic, hypertensive, cardiac and asthmatic patients who have a higher Covid-19 associated mortality.”
According to the authors, HNS can be used as a safe and effective therapy in Covid-19 patients as it encourages faster recovery and survival. Thus, they concluded that HNS represents an affordable therapeutic option and can be used alone or in combination with other therapies to fight Covid-19.
They concluded: “A multinational study with a larger sample size is required to investigate potential variations in responses to the treatment in Covid-19 patients from different racial and ethnic origins.”