Neem Tree Extract May Prevent Spread, Help To Treat COVID-19: Study

Neem is an indigenous tree known for its several health-benefiting properties.

Shubhangi Shah
Written by: Shubhangi ShahUpdated at: Mar 02, 2022 10:52 IST
Neem Tree Extract May Prevent Spread, Help To Treat COVID-19: Study

Over two years since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 is still spreading. Several vaccines have been developed and administered across the world. It has slowed and reduced the impact of the viral disease but hasn’t stopped it altogether. Research is ongoing on the possible prevention and treatment of this disease. As per a recent study done at an institute in Kolkata along with one in the US found that the extract of the Neem tree might help in treating and preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

Use Of Neem For COVID-19: All About The Study

The extract of the neem tree’s bark may help in treating COVID-19, the study found. It may also help in preventing the spread of this viral disease, it further founded. The research was done by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata. It was co-authored by Maria Nagel, a professor at the USA’s University of Colorado School of Medicine. Here is what it found:

Neem can be effective against COVID

(Photo Credit: Clean Air Gardening)

  • Neem is India’s indigenous tree used for thousands of years for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties, the researchers noted.
  • In the past, the bark of this tree has shown to be effective against malaria, skin diseases, and ulcers, they said.
  • For the study, the researchers at the Kolkata-based university tested the neem bark extract in animal models. They found that the tree’s antiviral properties hold true against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Through computer modeling, they predicted that the neem bark extract might bind to the virus’ spike protein, preventing its entry and spread in the host cell. The spike protein is the part of the coronavirus that the contagion uses to enter the human cell.
  • Meanwhile, professor Nagel said that the research aims to develop a “neem-based medication” to reduce the risk of serious illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
  • It also takes into account the future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nagel commented that the aim was such that the researchers would not have to develop new cures with the appearance of new variants.
  • For the research, Nagel’s team tested the extract of the neem bark in COVID-infected human lung cells. The extract was found to be effective in preventing COVID, as well as the replication and spread of the virus after infection.
  • The next step, Nagel said, would be to identify the portions of the Neem bark that have antiviral properties. Based on that, a Neem-based drug might be thought about against COVID-19.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers around the world are working to develop a possible cure for this viral disease. Many vaccines have been developed. However, the development of newer variants is a cause of concern as it renders the present vaccines somewhat less effective. Hence, a drug that is designed against the present infection and any newer variants the virus might mutate to would be very helpful. The Neem-based drug, if developed and effective, might prove to be crucial in reining in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: Bathing With Neem Leaves Water Can Give You These Amazing Benefits

Photo Credit: Unsplash, 1mg