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Old 03-17-2020, 08:35 AM
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Medicines to protect from Covid-19


While a vaccine won't be available for many months, there may be other remedies to bolster the immune system, or to protect from the severe symptoms of Covid-19. Let's discuss them here. Authorities may be reluctant to discuss "unproven" remedies, but we need have no such compunction!

Remdesivir appears to be a possible remedy for Covid-19, although it must be administered early in the disease's progress to be effective. It was originally designed to combat Ebola virus, so is already far along in the testing/approval cycle.

Anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir are being used with anecdotal success in China, Japan and Thailand, to combat Covid-19.

An over-the-counter remedy being touted in Thailand is Andrographis paniculata. It is a potent anti-viral and anti-inflammation remedy touted for a variety of medical conditions; it is believed to stimulate the immune system. It is known as King of Bitters (English), Mahatikta (Sanskrit), Kiryato (Gujarati), Mahatita (Hindi), Kalmegh (Bengali), or Fah Talai Jone (Thai). It has been widely recommended in Sweden for certain viral infections, usually in the form 'Kan jang' where the Andrographis is combined with eleuthero (Siberian ginseng).
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There is no research which confirms that the [Andrographis] plant can protect or relieve symptoms in humans from Wuhan virus, ...
But there is also no research confirming that the plant can not relieve symptoms of or protect from Wuhan virus!

Google produces hits for several studies of Andrographis, including this rather extensive pdf.

Our household has a largish stock of Andrographis paniculata. Ten capsules daily is recommended when suffering from cold virus; we just take one capsule a day hoping to bolster our immune systems. Next time we're in a city, we'll stop at a traditional Chinese drug store and hope they have Siberian ginseng.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:52 AM
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You can get both of these (Andrographis paniculata and Siberian ginseng) on eBay.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
...there may be other remedies to bolster the immune system, or to protect from the severe symptoms of Covid-19...
... appears to be a possible remedy for Covid-19...

Anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir are being used with anecdotal success in China, Japan and Thailand, to combat Covid-19.

An over-the-counter remedy being touted in Thailand is Andrographis paniculata. It is a potent anti-viral and anti-inflammation remedy touted for a variety of medical conditions; it is believed to stimulate the immune system...widely recommended in Sweden for certain viral infections...

Google produces hits for several studies of Andrographis.....traditional Chinese drug store and hope they have Siberian ginseng.
(all deletions, underlining and bolding mine)

A ringing endorsement, this is. Please turn in your scientific researcher badge at the door on your way out. You can exchange it for an Alex Jones badge.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:22 AM
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(all deletions, underlining and bolding mine)

A ringing endorsement, this is. Please turn in your scientific researcher badge at the door on your way out. You can exchange it for an Alex Jones badge.
Wow. I write "may be" instead of "is" ... and that makes me a quack?

Several interesting scholarly papers turned up when I Googled; I showed only one in my post. But you deleted that link to make room for an other underlined "appears to be."

But you got to do you, I guess.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:01 AM
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Septimus, you titled this thread "Medicines to protect from Covid-19," but none of your hopeful links do that with any certainty. If you will raise your eyes a little to the banner at the top of this page, you will see our motto, "Fighting Ignorance since 1973." Posting questionable, unproven and anecdotal links purporting to "protect" is not fighting ignorance, it is spreading it.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:25 AM
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There is no research which confirms that the [Andrographis] plant can protect or relieve symptoms in humans from Wuhan virus
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Originally Posted by septimus
But there is also no research confirming that the plant can not relieve symptoms of or protect from Wuhan virus!
I'm hoping this is a joke but fear it isn't. "Prove me wrong!" is a staple of woo, and utterly unscientific.
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Originally Posted by septimus
Our household has a largish stock of Andrographis paniculata. Ten capsules daily is recommended when suffering from cold virus; we just take one capsule a day hoping to bolster our immune systems.
Assuming Andrographis actually is an effective immune system booster* that may be exactly the wrong thing to do.

It's been observed that many COVID-19 deaths are associated with cytokine storm, where the immune system goes into overdrive and harms the host (for instance, causing adult respiratory distress syndrome). Children generally get mild infections, likely due to their less developed immune systems uncommonly generating cytokine storms.

So at best, taking unproven remedies for this virus is typically a waste of money and enriches quacks; at worst, it could cause serious harm.

*Andrographis is touted by various sources as a cure/preventative for a whole host of conditions - in addition to infections, it's supposed to prevent or treat cancer, counter snake bite venom etc. etc.
Maybe it'll one day be found to have some utility in medicine, but for now it qualifies under one of Jackmannii's Laws of Quackery: the more conditions a drug/supplement is promoted to treat/prevent, the less likely it is to be useful for any one of them.
**other note: stockpiling allegedly medicinal herbs (for instance, Siberian ginseng) is a good way to promote species extinction. Overuse of dubious products has caused ecologic harm in China and elsewhere.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 03-17-2020 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:38 AM
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It has been scientifically established that the corona virus cannot penetrate tinfoil.

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Old 03-17-2020, 11:17 AM
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Do we know for sure that making the immune system stronger is a good idea?

I thought we weren't sure if the cytokine storm was part of why the coronavirus kills. If so wouldn't boosting your immune system put you at higher risk of complications?
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:00 PM
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Septimus, you titled this thread "Medicines to protect from Covid-19," but none of your hopeful links do that with any certainty....
I should have added a "possible" to thread title. As you yourself noted, though absurdly drawing the upside-down inference, my post was carefully written to show the "remedies" as unproven potential remedies. I thought we could use a thread to discuss possible future remedies.

Remdesivir seemed promising but I now see that "elevated liver enzymes could nail remdesivir's coffin shut." Other anti-virals are being tried in China, Japan and Thailand. I wonder if the results there will have scientific utility. (I'm also curious about the cost of those anti-virals: Are they very expensive?)

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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
... It's been observed that many COVID-19 deaths are associated with cytokine storm, where the immune system goes into overdrive and harms the host (for instance, causing adult respiratory distress syndrome).
A useful response! Thank you. I have heard that long-term intake of Andrographis can cause liver problems, but have noticed no other contraindication. Can you help Google for it?

Quote:
**other note: stockpiling allegedly medicinal herbs (for instance, Siberian ginseng) is a good way to promote species extinction. Overuse of dubious products has caused ecologic harm in China and elsewhere.
Is Siberian ginseng endangered? Plants in demand are often cultivated.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Is Siberian ginseng endangered? Plants in demand are often cultivated.
"The world has 11 species of ginseng, which have historically been used by various cultures for their medicinal properties. Ginseng is touted as a cure for everything from low energy to erectile dysfunction. The plant is so popular throughout China that many Asian species are now extinct or severely endangered."

http://nationalgeographic.com.au/peo...-survival.aspx

Use of ''traditional remedies'' i.e. in Chinese medicine is threatening the survival of many plant and animal species. It's especially tragic seeing the lack of significant evidence for the usefulness of these remedies.
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:26 AM
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Mrs. Septimus is the family expert on traditional medicines; consulting with her I learn that I misunderstood her Andrographis prescription. (I don't know if the following is sensical medical advice.)

That remedy may or may not combat Covid-19 but that's not why she (and her sources) recommend it. There is evidence that Andrographis is effective at preventing or ameliorating common cold and flu. By maintaining good health despite exposure to cold or flu, the hope is that our bodies will be better equipped to face the coronavirus if/when it arrives. (I'm of an age where I want all the help I can get!)

(@ Jackmannii — Thanks for the cites!)
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:38 AM
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hydroxychloroquine which is used to treat malaria could help.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/healt...virus-n1162021
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:05 AM
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Seems to help to some extent for people who already have the virus:

Japanese flu drug 'clearly effective' in treating coronavirus, says China

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Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.

In addition, X-rays confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients who were treated with favipiravir, compared to 62% or those without the drug.

Otherwise, adequate selenium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D in the diet or from supplements help to boost the immune system. And I certainly wouldn't write off traditional herbal medicines.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:16 AM
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Turmeric (with active ingredient curcumin) has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts the immune system.


"Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin.

Quote:
Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an orange-yellow component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice often found in curry powder. Traditionally known for its an antiinflammatory effects, curcumin has been shown in the last two decades to be a potent immunomodulatory agent that can modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. Curcumin can also downregulate the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines including TNF, IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, and chemokines, most likely through inactivation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Interestingly, however, curcumin at low doses can also enhance antibody responses. This suggests that curcumin's reported beneficial effects in arthritis, allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cancer might be due in part to its ability to modulate the immune system. Together, these findings warrant further consideration of curcumin as a therapy for immune disorders.

A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin

Quote:
Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae family) and its polyphenolic compound curcumin have been subjected to a variety of antimicrobial investigations due to extensive traditional uses and low side effects. Antimicrobial activities for curcumin and rhizome extract of C. longa against different bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites have been reported. The promising results for antimicrobial activity of curcumin made it a good candidate to enhance the inhibitory effect of existing antimicrobial agents through synergism.

Anti-infective Properties of the Golden Spice Curcumin

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The search for novel anti-infectives is one of the most important challenges in natural product research, as diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi are influencing the human society all over the world. Natural compounds are a continuing source of novel anti-infectives. Accordingly, curcumin, has been used for centuries in Asian traditional medicine to treat various disorders. Numerous studies have shown that curcumin possesses a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological properties, acting, for example, as anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and anti-neoplastic, while no toxicity is associated with the compound. Recently, curcumin’s antiviral and antibacterial activity was investigated, and it was shown to act against various important human pathogens like the influenza virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV and strains of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas. Despite the potency, curcumin has not yet been approved as a therapeutic antiviral agent. This review summarizes the current knowledge and future perspectives of the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects of curcumin.

The active components of turmeric are soluble in oil, and traditionally in India, turmeric is said to be 'activated' by brief heating in oil before being used in foods or medicines.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
<snip>
Otherwise, adequate selenium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D in the diet or from supplements help to boost the immune system. And I certainly wouldn't write off traditional herbal medicines.
I would. Because I trust in science, not fantasy.

Immune system quackery.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:52 AM
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I would. Because I trust in science, not fantasy.

Immune system quackery.
So why don't you look at some of the research papers for the things I've mentioned? They are not controversial.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:59 AM
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So why don't you look at some of the research papers for the things I've mentioned? They are not controversial.
Why don't you read the links I posted? Herbal medicine is not tested the way evidence-based medicine is and "boost the immune system" is a favorite sales ploy when you can't prove they do anything really useful. There's little or no proof that these work, in spite of them being around for a long time. Why are you so willing to put your trust in hope and fantasy instead of science?

In the US, you can sell almost any snake oil you want as long as you call it a "supplement," or only hint that it might be effective. Why do you think manufacturers don't run legitimate tests? Because such drugs are unlikely to pass and the tests are too rigorous. Much better to pretend, rope in the gullible, and make some money.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
So why don't you look at some of the research papers for the things I've mentioned? They are not controversial.


DOI 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00975

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Curcumin has recently been classified as both a PAINS (pan-assay interference compounds) and an IMPS (invalid metabolic panaceas) candidate. The likely false activity of curcumin in vitro and in vivo has resulted in >120 clinical trials of curcuminoids against several diseases. No double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial of curcumin has been successful. This manuscript reviews the essential medicinal chemistry of curcumin and provides evidence that curcumin is an unstable, reactive, nonbioavailable compound and, therefore, a highly improbable lead.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:07 AM
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Why don't you read the links I posted?
I glanced at your links. They seem to be general warnings against grandiose claims for herbal medicines, which I agree with.

On the other hand, MANY modern medications are based on the active ingredients of herbal medicines, so it seems excessive to write them off.

The things I mentioned specifically - selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and turmeric - are uncontroversial.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 03-18-2020 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:12 AM
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Also, so that you get the terminology right the next time you're pretending to science, none of those is a "research paper". They're review articles. No experiments were conducted.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:17 AM
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Also, so that you get the terminology right the next time you're pretending to science, none of those is a "research paper". They're review articles. No experiments were conducted.


Where exactly did I say the papers I linked to were research papers? I suggested that Musicat look up some research papers.

Actually review papers are preferable, because they combine and compare the results of a number of research papers. Do you know the difference?
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:17 AM
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Here is China Daily's article about how pure bullshit traditional Chinese medicine is helping.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:20 AM
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Ugh I popped over to get an updated count of clinical trials on curcumin/diferuloylmethane/turmeric and it's over 200 now. Still no hits. I wonder how much of that is taxpayer-funded
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:21 AM
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Where exactly did I say the papers I linked to were research papers? I suggested that Musicat look up some research papers.

Actually review papers are preferable, because they combine and compare the results of a number of research papers. Do you know the difference?
So you weren't suggesting people read your links. I agree.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:33 AM
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Ugh I popped over to get an updated count of clinical trials on curcumin/diferuloylmethane/turmeric and it's over 200 now. Still no hits. I wonder how much of that is taxpayer-funded
I'm okay funding trials of the efficacy of traditional medicines. That's certainly a good place to look for new drugs. (Not the only good place, but one good place.) The fact the curcumin seems pretty harmless even rather large doses makes it seem a less likely candidate, honestly. But there are enough plausible claims for it that I'm glad it's been tested.

The stuff still tastes good.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:36 AM
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This lists a bunch of drugs being tested against covid-19

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/co...-2019-covid-19

look for "Investigational agents"
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:31 AM
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Use of ''traditional remedies'' i.e. in Chinese medicine is threatening the survival of many plant and animal species. It's especially tragic seeing the lack of significant evidence for the usefulness of these remedies.
Not only that, but pangolins are currently suspected to be the source of the spillover of SARS-CoV-2 to humans. That would mean "traditional Chinese medicine" is the cause of this pandemic. (Pangolins are primarily trafficked for use in "traditional Chinese medicine.")

Last edited by scr4; 03-18-2020 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:03 PM
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Presuming that Remdesivir is effective, this looks promising - up to the point where it vanishes from the web:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20302371
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22796203
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...14299917306787
https://www.pnas.org/content/69/12/3820.short

Ask yourself whether there's someone who could use it more than you, before you go buying.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
Turmeric (with active ingredient curcumin) has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts the immune system.

"Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin.

A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin

Anti-infective Properties of the Golden Spice Curcumin

The active components of turmeric are soluble in oil, and traditionally in India, turmeric is said to be 'activated' by brief heating in oil before being used in foods or medicines.
https://www.nature.com/news/deceptiv...emists-1.21269
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:15 PM
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Presuming that Remdesivir is effective, this looks promising - up to the point where it vanishes from the web:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20302371
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22796203
https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...14299917306787
https://www.pnas.org/content/69/12/3820.short

Ask yourself whether there's someone who could use it more than you, before you go buying.
If a drug like Remdesivir is found to be effective, I'm assuming/guessing that nations all over the world (India, Brazil, China, etc) with pharmaceutical infrastructure will overrule the patent and make large amounts of it cheaply since we're in an emergency situation.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:34 PM
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And for the love of god people, get covid treatments from doctor prescription, not PetSmart!
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:50 PM
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I wanna believe what I wanna believe! Yes, I wanna!

There's a lot of talky-talk in the news about ACE-2 Inhibitors maybe having some beneficial anti-coronavirus effect, and apparently this is under investigation too. (Google it yourself -- you'll find plenty.)

It's a common blood-pressure med. Common examples are losartan (Cozaar) and valsartan (Diovan). Being a long-time user already, I really wanna believe, yes I do!

I like M&M's too. I haven't actually seen any studies or urban legends on the beneficial anti-coronavirus effects of M&M's, so I guess I'll just have to fabricate my own urban legend right here on the spot: I heard (or maybe just dreamed) that M&M's have been shown to reduce viral loads in coronavirus patients! So hit the grocery stores and stock up while you still can! (Buy some Mars stock too if you still can.)

You read it here first!
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
Turmeric (with active ingredient curcumin) has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts the immune system.


"Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin.




A Review on Antibacterial, Antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin




Anti-infective Properties of the Golden Spice Curcumin




The active components of turmeric are soluble in oil, and traditionally in India, turmeric is said to be 'activated' by brief heating in oil before being used in foods or medicines.
OK, I actually DID read the reviews you linked to. But the articles themselves don't provide information on any of those "numerous studies" that were supposedly performed. One shouldn't be impressed by claims that are not substantiated. For instance, I could claim that numerous studies have shown that yak milk has antimicrobial properties, but unless I cite those studies, why would you believe me? (And please don't believe me. I just made that up.)

Yes, people in some countries have believed for centuries that turmeric has antimicrobial properties. Yet nobody in the long years since has been able to prove scientifically that it does. The allure of traditional medicine is that people from some romanticized ancient time believed something worked. Sometimes they really were onto something, like the indigenous peoples who found that a willow bark decoction relieved pain. This effect was verified by scientific experiments, and voilá, aspirin. When something can't be scientifically established, we should disregard it and move on.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post

...I like M&M's too. I haven't actually seen any studies or urban legends on the beneficial anti-coronavirus effects of M&M's, so I guess I'll just have to fabricate my own urban legend right here on the spot: I heard (or maybe just dreamed) that M&M's have been shown to reduce viral loads in coronavirus patients! So hit the grocery stores and stock up while you still can! ...
Only the green ones work. Pass it on.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:47 PM
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If a drug like Remdesivir is found to be effective, I'm assuming/guessing that nations all over the world (India, Brazil, China, etc) with pharmaceutical infrastructure will overrule the patent and make large amounts of it cheaply since we're in an emergency situation.
If you're dying in the next two weeks, a doctor pulled your respirator, and three months from now we'll have cheaply available remdesivir, I suspect that you'll be rather ambivalent about its efficacy.

If you're over 60 and there are some safe, OTC things that you can have at the ready, then it's reasonable to do so. At the worst, you have expensive pee.
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