New progress of studies on Lianhua Qingwen’s mechanism to fight against SARS-CoV-2

Patent TCM Products

During the efforts to prevent and control the epidemic, “3 medicines and 3 prescriptions” are selected from traditional Chinese medicine in China, including the representative medicine “Lianhua Qingwen”, produced by Yiling pharmaceutical, which has been widely used during public epidemic prevention. In addition, with the increasing popularity of the drug, scientists have carried out a series of basic and clinical studies, proving its effectiveness with data evidence.

Up to 85 effective components against SARS-CoV-2

Professor Wu Caisheng at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University and Chai Yifeng’s team at the Naval Medical University bring good news on the study of Lianhua Qingwen Capsules’ pharmacological components and mechanism in prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the result of which “Identifying potential anti-COVID-19 pharmacological components of traditional Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen capsule based on human exposure and ACE2 biochromatography screening” has been published in the journal of Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica with an impact factor of 7.097, becoming the powerful evidence of Lianhua Qingwen’s role in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Based on HRMS and intelligent untargeted data mining technology, this study comprehensively analyzes the components of Lianhua Qingwen Capsules in plasma and urine after repeated administration. The trial results show that 85 related components are successfully identified in the human body after repeated administration, including amygdalin, prunasin, glycyrrhizin, phillyrin A, phillyrin I, rhein and aloe emodin, all of which have binding affinity with ACE2. Attention may be paid to the fact that the compounds show good affinity for ACE2 and can effectively bind to the contact surface of ACE2 and spike protein complexes. These ACE2-binding components may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 by effectively affecting the binding between ACE2 and spike protein, serving as the experimental basis for Lianhua Qingwen Capsule’s effective prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

The study achievements clarify the pharmacological components and action mechanisms of Lianhua Qingwen Capsules, and explain how the medicine works and what components make it so powerful in the human body, which is an extension of the experimental research and clinical evidence of Lianhua Qingwen in the treatment of COVID-19.

Up to 55 useful effect targets against SARS-CoV-2

Another study by Wang Lin et al. from the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been published in the journal of Chinese Medicinal Materials. In this study, TCMSP and TCMID databases as well as related literature are used to screen out the active ingredients and targets of Lianhua Qingwen. The results show that a total of 378 active components, 282 potential targets, and 55 common targets with 2019-nCOV are obtained upon selection and 22 key compounds are found, mainly including quercetin, aloe emodin and wogonin, among which the quercetin boasts the highest activity degree and the largest number of targets. Quercetin has such pharmacological effects as anti-inflammation, antiviral action and immunomodulation. It is also the main component of Forsythiae Fructus and Lonicerae Japonicae Flos.

During the pandemic, Lianhua Qingwen has been widely used in the mobile cabin hospitals in Wuhan, China, including Huoshenshan Hospital and Leishenshan Hospital.

Since entering the market in 2003, Lianhua Qingwen has been recommended in more than 20 national-level protocols in China, including those for fighting influenza A virus, influenza B virus, bird flu and COVID-19. For more than 10 years, it has been recommended for treatment against the major public health events caused by infectious viruses. During the special period of epidemic prevention and control, worsened by the early winter, people tend to be vulnerable to the joint attack of cold, flu and COVID-19. Once fever, cough or other symptoms are found, people should take medicine as directed and guard their health and that of their families at all times.