June 13, 2020, 01.38 PM

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has been conducting clinical trials of herbal medicines to cure COVID-19 patients.

The clinical trials took place at the Wisma Athletes Emergency Hospital for COVID-19 Patients in Kemayoran on June 8.

Two herbal medicines are used: Cordyceps militaris and a combination of herbs. The LIPI research team have done the clinical trials on 90 COVID-19 patients in three groups.

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A LIPI researcher Masteria Yunovilsa Putra said that the clinical trials on the COVID-19 patients use the herbal products from native plants of Indonesia and later patients are recommended to consume the products three times a day.

Masteria hoped that the clinical trials will be completed in two months.

He said that Cordyceps militaris is a type of fungus. “It is usually used to increase the immune system and respiratory tract,” Masteria told Kompas.com on Friday (June 12).

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Meanwhile, he further added, the herbal medicine contains immunomodulatory substances that can affect the immune system. It has a suppressing effect, or also called immunosuppressants, and has an effect on increasing immune responses, or known as an immunostimulant, or causes the tissue to become unresponsive to an antigen, or tolerogenic.

“This herbal medicine can increase the immune system of the COVID-19 patients, so hopefully the healing process can be faster,” he said.

He said that Cordyceps has already been cultivated in Indonesia. "Since we have it in Indonesia, so there should be no more problems on its production,” he said.

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To inhibit the novel coronavirus

Another researcher from LIPI’s Biology Research Center Iwan Saskiawan said several publications explained that some fungus from the Basidiomycota group, one of them is Cordyceps, can slow down the coronavirus.

However, it does not specifically mention about SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.

Unlike macro fungus that some of them are under the Basidiomycota group, he said, Cordyceps fungus belongs to Ascomycota class. The main difference between the two groups of fungi in the shape of the organs to produce spores.

He said Cordyceps is an entomopathogenic fungus that acts as a parasite of insects. This can be found in Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand or temperate regions with high humidity and tropical forests.

He went on to say that Cordyceps is a stem-shaped, soft, with a length of about five centimeters and a diameter of about five millimeters with a mixed of red and orange color.

Aphrodisiac fungus used in China for centuries

Cordyceps is used as a tonic that can function as aphrodisiacs to improve low sex drive, to cure respiratory-related diseases such as bronchitis,
asthma, and TBC.

“For the treatment or prevention of Covid-19, cordycepin may function as an enzyme inhibitor that slows down the formation of RNA in a virus so that it can prevent the virus from replicating inside its cells,” he told Kompas.com on Friday (June 12). (Writer: Nur Fitriatus Shalihah | Editor: Sari Hardiyanto )

Source: https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/06/13/080500065/mengenal-cordyceps-militaris-obat-herbal-lipi-yang-diujikan-pada-pasien.

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