Essential Oils from Greek Herbs could Protect Against COVID-19

Researchers in Greece have demonstrated the antiviral effects of Cretan aromatic plant oils on SARS-CoV-2. The combination of essential oils (called CAPeo )from Mediterranean thyme (Thymbra capitata L. Cav.), Greek sage (Salvia fruticosa Mill.), and Cretan dittany (Origanum dictamnus L.), exhibited remarkable antiviral activity against SARC-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells. The researchers had already proven that CAPeo was effective at reducing the severity and duration of upper respiratory tract viral infections in humans.

The study found that CAPeo exerted significant antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells at concentrations similar to those the researchers previously reported. CAPeo reduced viral release into the culture medium by more than 80%. This effect (albeit around 35% smaller) persisted when CAPeo concentrations were reduced to 1% of the suggested dose for humans. Interestingly, a prophylactic effect was also observed when Vero E6 cells were incubated with different concentrations of CAPeo 2 hours before infection. The study was conducted in 17 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms. The administration of 1 mL per day of 1.5% CAPeo in olive oil significantly improved general and local symptoms among the participants by the end of the study.

The study also found that significant general symptoms of COVID-19 – namely headache, fatigue, fever –entirely resolved. In contrast, previous studies found that headache and fatigue (but no fever) persisted at 14 days and beyond, says the team. Furthermore, the majority of both general and local symptoms had almost completely resolved by the end of the first week.

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