The COVID-19 pandemic is still happening around the world. Although many kinds of COVID-19 vaccines have been established, most of them are not effective against the virus variants. A study by China Medical University in Taiwan pointed that an alkaloid, peimine, which is extracted from Fritillary plants, has a preventive effect from some virus variants, and has the potential to be developed as a drug or health food. This research was published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry in July 2022.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many vaccines have been introduced to the market. The research team pointed out that Among them, the mRNA vaccine has a preventive effect of up to 95 percent on coronavirus. However, many studies have shown that the effectiveness is lacking toward certain virus variants.
The research team experiments proved that peimine (Zhebei A in Chinese) can block the binding of the virus’ spike protein to the human cell receptor ACE-2. Thereby, preventing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from invading the cells. Peimine is also effective against many variant viruses and is non-toxic to cells even at relatively high concentrations.
Peimine, therefore, is a relatively safe new drug. The study also discovered that in addition to Fritillaria Thunbergii, a variety of Fritillary plants can also protect against Covid infections.
Fritillary plants are common in traditional Chinese medicine. Varieties include Sichuan Fritillaria, Fritillaria Thunbergii, Fritillary, Fritillaria Unibracteata, and others. Their functions include clearing heat, resolving phlegm, and relieving cough. Medical research has shown that peimine also has an anti-cancer effect.