Authors: Rahman MT

PMID: 32834942 doi: 10.1016/j.hermed.2020.100382


An effective vaccine to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 is yet to be approved. Further there is no drug that is specific to treat COVID-19. A number of antiviral drugs such as Ribavirin, Remdesivir, Lopinavir/ritonavir, Azithromycin and Doxycycline have been recommended or are being used to treat COVID-19 patients. In addition to these drugs, rationale and evidence have been presented to use chloroquine to treat COVID-19, arguably with certain precautions and criticism. In line with the proposed use of chloroquine, Nigella sativa (black seed) could be considered as a natural substitute that contains a number of bioactive components such as thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, and nigellimine. Further benefits to use N. sativa could be augmented by Zn supplement. Notably, Zn has been proven to improve innate and adaptive immunity in the course of any infection, be it by pathogenic virus or bacteria. The effectiveness of the Zn salt supplement could also be enhanced with N. sativa as its major bioactive component might work as ionophore to allow Zn2+ to enter pneumocytes – the target cell for SARSCoV-2. Given those benefits, this review paper describes how N. sativa in combination with Zn could be useful as a complement to COVID-19 treatment.

Keywords: Chloroquine, SARS-CoV-2, RNA dependent RNA polymerase, Thymoquinone, Zinc transporter, Pneumocytes

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