Exploring Plant Isolates for Blocking COV 2 Fusion and Replication

Viruses come from nature.  We have a lot (up to 8%) of viral DNA in our DNA.  We’d be different without this, though how we don’t yet know.  Though some of these viral genes are over-expressed in patients with certain diseases, some may be necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

One of the rules of nature in our universe is balance – sun and moon, dark and light, yin and yang.  As herbalists know, a poisonous plant often has it’s antidote growing close by.

So, what in nature can we find as an antidote for this viral infection?  There is research, and many substances have been screened.  Most of this research was done on SARS, with which SARS CoV 2 appears to share the docking and infective mechanisms.  

Here’s what I have found.

Viruses are small sequences of code – in this case RNA – and coronaviruses have code for more than 12 proteins.  These proteins enable the virus to enter our human cells, and to trigger our cellular machinery to replicate itself.

Now pay attention here, at least to the highlighted names, because these are the places researchers are looking for drugs or substances to interfere, to interrupt the infection process. 

Among these proteins, the most well-studied are papain-like protease (PLpro), 3C-like protease (3CLpro), spike (S) protein, and RdRp.

Coronavirus PLpro not only processes functional proteins but also dampens our anti-viral response –  it hijacks an enzyme (ubiquitin) that interferes with the infected cell signaling for help (by sending out the immune signals interferon factor 3 and NF-κB), resulting in immune suppression. 

The S protein is the spike that binds to the ACE2 receptor, allowing the virus to dock onto our cells and initiate infection.   RdRp synthesizes a template to be used to make more viral genomic RNA.

So let’s start with the best – if we could stop the S protein from binding, we would stop the infection from happening in that cell.  Here’s a list of substances that have been shown through research to do just this – block the S protein in SARS CoV from binding to the ACE2 receptor:

  • Emodin (Da huang) – an isolate of rhubarb
  • Baicalin (Huang qin) – an isolate of Chinese skullcap
  • Luteolin (flavonoid) – celery, chamomile tea, radicchio, green peppers, chicory, artichoke  parsley, peppermint, sage, thyme, kohlrabi
  • glycyrrhizin (licorice root)


Inhibiting 3CLPro would inhibit viral replication:

  • Chinese rhubarb (Da huang)
  • Houttuynia cordata (Yu xing cao)
  • beta-sitosterol from Isatis (Ban lan gen)
  • Quercetin (flavonoid) –  cilantro, elderberry, apples, onions, capers, black and green tea, red leaf lettuce, grapes
  • glycyrrhizin (licorice root/gan cao)


Quercetin (and egcg from green tea) helps zinc get into the cell, thereby directly inhibiting RdRp in coronaviruses.  Zinc is a known anti-viral

Glycyrrhizin interferes with all stages of viral infection, and is in fact in clinical trial (in combination with vitamin C) for treatment of COVID 19.  


And if we stopped RdRp we’d stop viral RNA replication by stopping the template:

  • Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom)
  • Coriolus vernacolo (turkey tail mushroom)
  • Moonseed (menisperomum)
  • Lonicera japonica (Jin yin hua)
  • glycyrrhizin (licorice root/gan cao)
  • zinc

Zinc is not inclined to enter the cell by itself, which is why simply taking zinc is not a treatment.  As mentioned above, quercetin and egcg from green tea help get the zinc where we need it to go.  In addition, the Chinese herb Hei Ma Yi is a very rich source of zinc. 

And as a bonus if we interfered with the helices protein we’d interfere with the unpacking of the viruses genes:

  • Scutellarian (Chinese skullcap/Huang Qin)
  • Myricetin (flavonoid) – cranberries, chard


The activity of  saikosponon B2 (and B4, from Chai Hu/Radix Bupleuri) was higher when it was present before the virus entered, but still worked in early stages of infection. 


So.  Here is the medicine-through-food morning anti-COVID 19 shake:

  • 3 stalks celery
  • 6 leaves parsley
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 apple
  • 2 leaves red leaf lettuce
  • 6 grapes
  • 3 cranberries
  • 1 leaf chard
  • elderberry juice


And lastly is direct endosomal pH regulation:  quinine.

The drug chloroquine – which is a form of quinine – has been effective as a treatment for COVID 19 in some cases.  This is likely due to the endosomal pH requirement – the vesicle used in viral infection has to be at a specific pH in order for the virus to begin replication.  Quinine effectively changes (raises) this pH, and therefore the virus cannot continue its replication.  Quinine is from cinchona bark, and there is a tonic water called El Guapo that is made properly from the bark – so if you want to unwind favor gin and tonics for viral protection.


Chinese herbal formulas containing the Chinese herbs targeting coronavirus explored here are available from my website, drlaurakelly.com/supplies

An immune tonic recipe with the listed mushrooms and glycyrrhizin root is in my immunity post, here.

I use all of these components daily, plus a few others you will find in the immunity post.


Foods alone likely will not stop you from becoming infected with COVID 19.  But using multiple approaches such as the three here – food, herbs and mushrooms – will interfere with the viruses’ attempt to infect you.   Apply enough of these interferences and in my opinion you will likely lessen the level of virus in your system, as well as infection time.   With an invader like this every little bit helps.

Be well.







Calcium supplements may damage the heart, says Johns Hopkins, but not calcium in food


Taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective says a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins.

This research is correlative, using medical records of nearly 3000 people over a ten year period – not direct cause and effect, but it clearly shows a relationship.

“When it comes to using vitamin and mineral supplements, particularly calcium supplements being taken for bone health, many Americans think that more is always better,” says Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., associate director of preventive cardiology and associate professor of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “But our study adds to the body of evidence that excess calcium in the form of supplements may harm the heart and vascular system.”

We are happy to have our work confirmed by such a prestigious institution.





How the Pomegranate Heals You

pomegranate board.JPG


As we age our cellular powerhouses start to malfunction.  This breakdown is central to a theory on aging, the mitochondrial theory of aging.  If we could figure out how to keep our mitochondria not only intact but keep their numbers high, we may not age.

Recent work has shown that a substance provided by the pomegranate and also found in nuts and berries – urolithin A – helps the mitochondria keep house, to such a degree that rats and mice in age decline were able to exercise again.

However this star molecule does not come directly from the pomegranate.  It is a product of intestinal flora, when substances from the pomegranate are transformed by gut microbes.

Unfortunately microbial diversity is in severe decline in the West, and not everyone has the specific microbes to transform the mighty pomegranate into an age-defying  superfood.

So research is underway to deliver urolithin A directly to patients, circumventing the need for the right intestinal bacteria.  “By helping the body to renew itself, urolithin A could well succeed where so many pharmaceutical products, most of which have tried to increase muscle mass, have failed. The nutritional approach opens up territory that traditional pharma has never explored. It’s a true shift in the scientific paradigm.”

We couldn’t agree more, and it’s about time we came back around to real healing.