Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Virology, Ulm University Medical Center, Technische Universitaet Dresden, and CogniVerde GmbH revealed the effect of green tea, pomegranate, elderberry, and black chokeberry juices on preventing viral infection in cells. They used Vero E6 vells to test vaccinia virus, adenovirus type 5, influenza A virus, and SARS-CoV-2. The herbal substances were mixed with the viruses and incubated at room temperature. Infectivity was determined using tissue culture infectious dose 50 endpoint titration.
A 5-minute incubation with the herbal substances revealed that chokeberry decreased infectivity almost 3000 times. Infectivity decreased by about 10 times with green tea, pomegranate, and elderberry juice. Chokeberry juice inactivated about 97% of SARS-CoV-2 after 5 min, while pomegranate juice and green tea inactivated about 80% of the virus. Elderberry juice did not affect SARS-CoV-2. The naked adenovirus type 5 was resistant to all except chokeberry juice. The activity of herbal products could be because of their acidic pH or due to the presence of polyphenols such as tannins, catechins, and flavonoids which can affect viral proteins.
Polyphenols in the pomegranates seem to inhibit the flu virus by affecting the surface glycoproteins. Catechins in green tea affect both the ability of the virus to bind to the host cells and the virus particles. Computer simulations suggested that theaflavins might prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection by binding to ACE-2. The researchers suggest gargling and rinsing the mouth with juices and teas followed by swallowing could be an effective strategy for SARS-CoV-2.
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