Neem bark extract may help in the treatment and also reducing the spread of COVID-19, a team of international researchers found.
Neem is known for its pesticidal, insecticidal, and medicinal properties and it has been use for thousands of years.
Products made from Neem bark extract has helped treat malaria, stomach and intestinal ulcers, skin diseases and many other diseases.
The study was led by a team from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata.
The study shows that components of neem bark may target a wide range of viral proteins, suggesting its potential as an antiviral agent against emerging variants of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
"The goal of this research is to develop a Neem-based medication that can reduce the risk of serious illness when someone is infected with coronaviruses," said study co-author Maria Nagel, research professor in the department of neurology and ophthalmology at the varsity's School of Medicine.
"We hope that scientists won't have to continuously develop new therapies every time a new SARS-CoV-2 variant emerges.
"Just like how we take penicillin for strep throat, we envision taking the Neem-based drug for COVID-19, allowing us to resume our normal lives without fear of hospitalisation and death," Nagel said.
This finding, according to the researchers, could help drive new antiviral therapy efforts to address the continuing epidemic while also showing promise in treating novel coronavirus strains.
The Story Mug, a Guwahati-based blogzine, believes in telling stories that matter.