Online Courses (English)
This just in:

State PCS

Daily Updates

Science & Technology

Ashwagandha and Anti-Covid-19 Drug

  • 19 May 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, researchers of IIT-Delhi in collaboration with Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have found that the ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha has “therapeutic and preventive value” against Covid-19 infection.

Key Points

  • The publication of the coronavirus genome and structure have triggered drug designing, devising and development using informatics and experimental tools across the world.
  • Researchers from IIT-Delhi and AIST have used Ashwagandha and propolis based compounds to target the main coronavirus’s enzyme, known as the Main protease or Mpro.
    • Mpro plays a key role in mediating viral replication.
    • Enzymes are biological molecules (typically proteins) that regulate the rate of virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place within living organisms. E.g digestion.
    • Replication is the process by which a DNA molecule is copied to produce two identical DNA molecules.
      • In replication whenever a cell divides, the two new daughter cells contain the same genetic information, or DNA, as the parent cell.
  • The researchers have found that Withanone (Wi-N), a natural compound derived from Ashwagandha and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE), an active ingredient of New Zealand propolis, have the potential to interact with and block the activity of Mpro.
  • Recently, the Indian government has also set up a task force to launch its clinical research studies on some Ayurvedic medicines that can be used to boost the immune system and control coronavirus.
  • The government has also launched the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ App.
  • The app intends to generate data on usage of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-rigpa and Homoeopathy) advocacies and measures among the population and its impact in prevention of Covid-19.


  • Ashwagandha (scientific name- Withania somnifera) is a medicinal herb. It is reputed as an immunity enhancer.
  • It is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it can help the body to manage stress.
  • Ashwagandha also boosts brain function and lowers blood sugar, and helps fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Ashwagandha has shown clinical success in treating both acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout your body.
    • An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body.


  • Propolis or bee glue is a resinous mixture (a sticky chemical compound) that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with gums gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.
  • Propolis is used against infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungus etc.
  • It is used for boosting the immune system and for treating gastrointestinal problems.

Source: IE

SMS Alerts

Please login or register to view note list


Please login or register to list article as bookmarked


Please login or register to make your note


Please login or register to list article as progressed


Please login or register to list article as bookmarked