Are These Potent Inhibitors of Coronavirus in Your Kitchen Garden?
Main image: Structural anatomy of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) showing how the virus targets lung cells .
Our present and future climate is changing. Combined with the effects of pollution & a rising population – respiratory diseases such as the bird flu & coronavirus may become a seasonal occurrence (like the flu & common cold). While it is too early for studies to confirm these predictions, the European Respiratory Society is concerned , as viral respiratory tract infections are presently one of the most common illnesses (with six new viruses in recent years ).
THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
A virus is a constantly evolving & cooperating ‘team’ which exists through host infection. The members of each virus ‘team’ are known as virion (i.e. a single virus particle) & are made of RNA or DNA. They replicate, by hi-jacking the reproductive process of a living cell .
The coronavirus is a family of RNA-viruses which infect vertebrates of Kingdom Animalia (including the human species), through the respiratory system . Symptoms of infection are similar to the flu and can include fever, cough & shortness of breath (although no symptoms are also possible) .
On 26th February, 2020 Dr.Lisa Maragakis from John Hopkins Medicine provides the following comparison (numbers & dates are approximate) :
Coronavirus: 18,322 people (3 months).
Flu: 1 billion people (each year).
Coronavirus: 2,770 deaths (3 months).
Flu: 291,000 – 646,000 deaths (each year).
Classification & origin:
The ‘International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses’ has identified the coronavirus disease COVID-19 to be caused by the virus: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Species: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronavirus (-CoV).
Coronaviridae is a large family of 11 viruses which causes a range of illnesses, including the common cold. Originally found in bats, the current outbreak (which is a new strain), COVID-19 is transmitted through several animal hosts including cats & racoon dogs (particularly via the meat trade in China) .
COVID-19 is sister to SARS-CoV-1 (avian influenza virus or the bird flu) which was transmitted from civet cats causing an outbreak in 2002/2003. Another significant member of this family is the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which was transmitted from dromedary camels to humans in 2012 , , , .
“Why now?” concerns question the viruses’ move from the original host species to humans. Possible drivers include a reduction in animal hosts (due to the current mass extinction event), pollution and climate change (which stress the respiratory system & reduces immune system functions).
How immunity is generated:
Coronavirus is not lethal for 100% of patients – thus, it is possible to generate immunity. But how? To answer this, we need to know a little about how the immune system (& immunity) works.
In 1960, Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (an Australian virologist) & Sir Peter Brian Medawar (a British biologist & author) won The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance” . In layman’s terms, they found an inhibitor which prevents the influenza (flu) virus from being able to infect the respiratory system.
In 1978, the inhibitor was isolated as the mannose-binding lectin (MBL) protein – a key component of the immune system. It’s mechanism of action is via the lectin pathway, which initiates pattern-recognition (identification) at the cell-molecule interface . When a virus (unwanted molecule) is identified, it is inactivated by breaking apart it’s encapsulating glycoproteins. This is how immunity to viruses develops, including – AIDS , Ebola  & SARS  (including coronavirus, COVID-19).
Unfortunately, not everyone develops immunity and genetic disposition  causes 5-30 people in every 100 to be deficient . To manage the deficiency, or simply boost the immune system in times of stress, MBL needs to come from an outside source.
Life-giving proteins enter the body from an outside source daily, through food. And when plant lectins are ingested without heating above 38°C, they enter the cardiovascular system unchanged (with their bioactivity intact) . This is fortunate, because it is into this system the liver secretes MBL in those who produce it naturally . Once in the blood, this vital protein undergoes distribution throughout the rest of the body thus, defending against infection.
ANTIVIRAL PLANTS HELP GENERATE IMMUNITY
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is found in most plants . This is because plants also use it to defend against pathogen attack . Edible plants which contain significant amounts of lectins – enough to inhibit the proliferation of COVID-19 and other viruses  include:
Plants or pharmaceuticals – which is the better option?
One option, is to consume edible plants which contain potent inhibitors to coronavirus while other treatments are being made available. Here is a short summary of work being done to produce such agents.
Biomedical Central (BMC) Medicine reports that medicines will take one year or more to develop treatment for COVID 19 & that those which involve the mannose-binding lectin (MBL) include remdesivir & ribavirin, with related treatments being lopinavir/ritonavir. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339557471_QA_The_novel_coronavirus_outbreak_causing_COVID-19
Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology Journal have reported that a seaweed containing lectins exhibits broad-spectrum antiviral activity against coronavirus & HIV. They have devised an efficient, scalable and cost-effective manufacturing process for the adoption of this as a drug in human antiviral therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6066545/
The Journal of Infectious Diseases reports that in a study of 569 patients with coronavirus, results suggest that MBL contributes to the first-line host defense against SARS-CoV and that MBL deficiency is a susceptibility factor for infection.
And Antiviral Research Journal reports that in a study of the antiviral activity of plant lectins, the strongest anti-coronavirus activity was found predominantly among the mannose-binding lectins. Intervention was early in the replication cycle (most probably viral attachment) & at the end of the infectious virus cycle. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6399009_Plant_lectins_are_potent_inhibitors_of_coronaviruses_by_interfering_with_two_targets_in_the_viral_replication_cycle
Will your doctor tell you about plants which generate immunity to coronavirus?
Even though the majority of medicines are derived from natural products , business models and institutional corruption within the health industry  prevent information about plant nutrition from being publicly distributed . These problems are systemic and experts are calling for an industry overhaul . In the meantime, pandemics grow more frequent every year.
Protect yourself, protect your people.
Permaculture teaches us to take responsibility for our own lives & to share what we learn with others in our community. It is up to us to move this knowledge throughout our community. Please share to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.
* EARTH CARE * PEOPLE CARE * FAIR SHARE *
Dedicated to my parents.
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