honeysuckle helps cure COVID

In our backyard, there is a beautiful old tree that, it turns out, could help cure COVID.

Despite a population of over 1.4 billion people, China has, comparatively, had remarkably few cases and deaths from COVID. There may be many reasons for this, but traditional Chinese medicine has been an important one.

Several studies have shown that adding Chinese herbal medicine to conventional western medicine improves COVID outcomes. A meta-analysis of seven controlled studies found that adding Chinese herbs to conventional western medicine significantly improved effectiveness, fever, cough, mucous, sore throat and fatigue (J Clin Med. 2020 May 23;9(5):1583). A comprehensive literature search that included 18 controlled studies with 2,275 people found that Chinese herbal medicine had advantages over conventional western medicine, including lung improvement, fever, cough, fatigue, inflammation and, most importantly, length of hospital stay and cure rate (Pharmacol Res. 2020 Oct;160:105056. The most commonly used herbs included licorice, Chinese skullcap, pinellia, forsythia and bitter apricot seed.

Another commonly used herb in China for COVID is honeysuckle. Commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle is antiviral, immune modulating and anti-inflammatory.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of nine controlled studies of honeysuckle, which included 1,286 people, found that adding honeysuckle to conventional therapy is more effective than conventional therapy alone for cure rate. When honeysuckle was added to conventional therapy significantly fewer people progressed to severe disease. Adding honeysuckle significantly improved lung condition, inflammation and cough.

Adding honeysuckle was also safe: it did not increase adverse events.


Front Pharmacol. 2021; 12: 708636

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