Development of a tonic drink from herbs and spices to support the treatment of COVID-19
Nangholya, Esther Logose
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COVID-19 is a disease that originated from Wuhan city in china in 2019 hence its nature of naming. It has since spread throughout the world and declared a global pandemic by WHO on 11th march 2020. COVID-19 is a viral disease caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV with a very high transmission rate leading to many infections within a short time. Drugs such as diclofenac, Ivermectin etc. that induce anti-inflammatory effects within the body have been used to treat this infection. Vaccination as a means of combating the wide spread of the disease has been adopted by many countries with vaccines such as AstraZeneca, sinovac being administered. However, the public acceptance and adherence to vaccination exercise has not been as expected due to the traditional beliefs. Locals have used and continue to use traditional medicine to treat and cure diseases and infection despite lack of proper scientific information on its efficiency and effectiveness. This was an experimental research aimed at increasing the knowledge base on different medicinal plants and their effectiveness in use against COVID-19. Different medicinal plants and plant parts used to treat COVID-19 were identified within communities and collected for testing in the lab for their phytochemical content and their therapeutic effects that is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities in vitro. Different methods were used for analysis that is determining percentage protein denaturation inhibition using phosphate buffer solution and egg albumin (anti-inflammatory activity), DPPH antioxidant assay (antioxidant activity), Folin Ciocalteau assay (total phenolics) and Aluminium chloride method (flavonoid content). Medicinal plants and plant parts exhibiting higher anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties were selected and comprised the ingredients used to develop the covid-19 treatment formulation. The varied compositions of the formulations were generated using Design expert. Each formulation was prepared and analyzed for phytochemical content and activity and the data analyzed to establish a formulation exhibiting optimal phytochemical activity. The processing conditions including temperature and time were optimized to ensure good nutrient retention. Results obtained were analyzed using Microsoft excel and they were presented as mean± standard deviation (SD) The statistical analysis and optimization of the results was done using SPSS and design expert software. Correlation coefficients(r) were calculated using Microsoft Excel 2013. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and response surface analysis were used to determine the statistical significance of the model. The adequacy of the model was predicted through the ANOVA (P < 0.05) and regression analysis (R2). There was a relatively high positive correlation between antioxidant activity and the total phenolics of 0.655 and a very low correlation of antioxidant activity and flavonoids of 0.2430. This means that total phenolics are more responsible for the antioxidant activity of phytochemicals in whole than their individual activity. It also revealed that phytochemicals have minimal influence on anti-inflammatory activity with very low correlation of 0.281 with total phenolics and 0.120 with flavonoid content. The sensory properties of the herbal formulation enhanced with fruit juices at different levels. Sensory evaluation was carried out and sample code HBS (Hibiscus mix) obtained the highest acceptability with a mean ±SD of 7.93±1.10b and was selected to enhance the sensory properties.