For almost two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has constituted a major challenge to human health, particularly due to the lack of efficient antivirals to be used against the virus during routine treatment interventions. Multiple treatment options have been investigated for their potential inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2. Natural products, such as plant extracts, may be a promising option, as they have shown an antiviral activity against other viruses in the past. Here, a quantified extract of Hypericum perforatum was tested and found to possess a potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. The antiviral potency of the extract could be attributed to the naphtodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin, in contrast to other tested ingredients of the plant material, which did not show any antiviral activity. Hypericum perforatum and its main active ingredient hypericin were also effective against different SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron). Concerning its mechanism of action, evidence was obtained that Hypericum perforatum and hypericin may hold a direct virus-blocking effect against SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. Taken together, the presented data clearly emphasize the promising antiviral activity of Hypericum perforatum and its active ingredients against SARS-CoV-2 infections. 

COVID-19 will probably accompany us in the years to come, too; therefore it would be very helpful to have a repurposed plant based effective drug for the prophylaxis and/or the therapy of which the tolerability has been proven over decades through the use as an antidepressant. This research project was initiated and financed by SCHOLZ DataBank Founder and Pharmacist Wolfgang Scholz; all experimental work was done in collaboration with pharmacists and virologists of the University in Muenster/Germany. Based on these findings the Clinical Research is continued to accomplish this Anti-Corona Drug Development. Learn more in the peer reviewed article published in the Journal "Pharmaceuticals".  View Full-Text