Researchers studying whether garlic essential oil could prevent COVID-19 infection
The Center for Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing at Mohali and the Regional Center for Biotechnology in Faridabad are jointly researching the possibility of using natural garlic essential oils to inhibit the coronavirus's amino acids and the ACE2 protein—a receptor that serves as the entry point for coronaviruses into the human body. Similar studies are underway in the UK and China as well. Here's more.
Garlic has traditionally been prescribed as medication for various illnesses
In Indian cuisine, garlic is commonly used as a flavoring condiment. Traditionally, garlic is also prescribed in various forms as medication to counter common colds and influenza. This is because its essential oil is known to exhibit strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. The garlic essential oil also works well as an antioxidant and has anti-cancer properties.
The research is characterizing garlic essential oil, studying qualitative composition
According to a senior official from the department of biotechnology under which the two aforementioned institutes operate, the research is centered around "qualitative compositional analysis" and the oil's biological activity in vitro (outside the organism, possibly humans) and in vivo (inside the organism). The official added that characterization of garlic's essential oil included studying its components, refractive index, viscosity, and density.
Studies also investigating garlic essential oil's end-use for managing COVID-19
In collaboration with the Regional Center for Biotechnology, studies related to the oil's end-use, educational use, and consumption for the management of COVID-19 disease are also underway. A scientist at the Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing, Sucheta Khubber, pointed out that the organosulfur and flavonoid compounds in garlic are primarily responsible for the condiment's immune-boosting nature.
Most organosulfurs in garlic essential oil interact with coronavirus proteins
LiveMint reported that Khubber recommends a daily intake of garlic and its derivatives. This could serve as a therapy alongside primary treatment for illnesses and may decrease the side effects and toxicity of the primary treating drugs. The collaborative study also found that 17 organosulfur compounds, that account for 99.4% of garlic essential oil, interact strongly with the amino acids of the ACE2 protein.
Garlic essential oil's antiviral properties could be useful
Khubber reportedly said that the aforementioned organosulfur compounds also resist the main protease called PDB6LU7 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. In summary, the study suggests garlic essential oil's antiviral nature could contribute to preventing the invasion of coronaviruses into human bodies.