The coronavirus is plaguing mankind at the moment, and governments are trying to hold the casualties at bay. On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. That makes it the first virus to be labeled as such since 2009—when H1N1 (the swine flu) wreaked havoc on our planet. Back in 2010, the WHO’s statistics had the confirmed cases of deaths from the swine flue at 18,449, but later reports claim the toll was tenfold.
Right now, the confirmed cases of death from the coronavirus on a global scale are pushing 30,000. So it’s probably going to get a lot worse before it’s all over. And at the moment, there are no scientifically-known treatments that have been developed yet. But some countries state they’re close to a breakthrough vaccination.
Scientists have worked at incredible speeds, despite the governmental blunders that took place. One reason for the momentum moving toward a vaccination was the Chinese government’s ability to sequence the genetic material (genome) of SARS-CoV-2—the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Another reason for the quick response to having a vaccination within arm’s reach is because we already had research to pull from during the past couple of epidemics of coronavirus. China had suffered from severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) back in the early 2000s. And back in 2012, Saudi Arabia was plagued at the hands of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers). And SARS-CoV-2 evolved from the virus that caused Sars, so its genetic material is almost identical.
How the Coronavirus Works
The term corona is Latin for “crown.” And the coronavirus is dubbed so because of the crown-like spikes on its surface. Anyone who comes in contact with the virus can potentially become infected if they’re not careful. At that point, it invades the body and hijacks your cells as hosts. From there, it incubates to create more viral cells to infect other healthy cells.
If the disease progresses, it triggers an imbalance in the body’s immune response and causes too much inflammation in the lungs. That inflammation leads to pneumonia and is a more serious condition. In these cases, hospitalization may occur. According to reports from China, 14% of the people infected hit this stage. And it’s estimated 6% become critically ill.
Dr. Thamrin Usman Speaks About Coronavirus Prevention and Kratom Compounds
Dr. Thamrin Usman is a professor of chemistry at Tanjungpura University in Indonesia. He was giving a seminar to the populace to abate their fears of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Usman told them not to worry because of the biodiversity of tropical plants that are native to the region. He continued to tell them some of those plants have compounds that can strengthen the immune system and ward off the coronavirus.
He listed a few herbal remedies that could be utilized. But he also mentioned chloroquine, a drug that researchers are looking at to combat the coronavirus. The importance of the drug at the lecture was that chloroquine is synthesized from a tree that’s native to their region: the cinchona tree.
He also stated the chloroquine molecule shared similarities with molecules from another plant in the region: the kratom plant. He pointed out the similar atomic structures between the two compounds.
Kratom Compounds Versus the Chloroquine Molecule
What Dr. Usman referenced was that certain compounds in kratom have either two or three carbons bonded to the nitrogen of some of its alkaloids, which makes the atomic structures of the compounds found in kratom similar to chloroquine: an endosomal acidification fusion inhibitor.
And the reason he brought it up was because the drug chloroquine is getting a lot of press right now. The drug is in the news because when it was used in an experiment performed in vitro, chloroquine blocked infection of a clinical isolate of SARS-Cov-2. According to the study, chloroquine spikes the pH in host-cell lysosomes, which inhibits the virus from acidifying them. And that means the virus cannot gain entry into host cells by fusing with its cellular membrane.
And it seems to be something other physicians have noticed. For example, Korean doctors, who have experience battling the disease, list chloroquine as part of their treatment plan for battling the coronavirus. However, the hydroxylated version of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, was found to be a more potent drug for inhibiting SARS-CoV-19.
So Can Kratom Ward Off the Coronavirus?
There are no scientific experiments to prove kratom has alkaloids that can stop the coronavirus. While there are molecules that are similar in their atomic structure to chloroquine, as Dr. Usman was announcing, this does not mean kratom’s molecules would behave in a similar fashion in an experiment with the coronavirus.
You see, chloroquine is a synthetic drug. It’s created in a lab by chemists. It’s not a molecule found in nature. However, it is a synthetic form of quinine, an alkaloid found in the bark of cinchona trees. And cinchona belongs to the Rubiaceae family, which kratom also belongs to, so it’s no surprise kratom has molecules inside the leaf that are similar in structure to chloroquine.
But if any molecule was to behave similarly to the chloroquine compound, it would be the alkaloid that chloroquine is derived from, which is quinine—found inside the bark of a tree also native to Indonesia.
But that doesn’t mean kratom is useless. There are other compounds found in kratom that are advantageous for remaining healthy. Kratom contains the flavonoid epicatechin, which has antiviral properties. It also contains three compounds that are known to be immunostimulants (they stimulate the activity of your immune system): isomitraphylline, isopteropodine, and isorhynchophylline.
So it’s still beneficial for you to take kratom. Keep drinking it and eating healthy foods. Your immune system is your best weapon against viruses, along with practicing social distancing. So take advantage of both strategies.