JAKARTA, 9 April 2020:
Indonesian research teams today said they found potential compounds in local agricultural products that can fight the novel coronavirus.
Dr Ari Fahrial Syam, an internist at the University of Indonesia, said hesperidin, myricetin, luteolin and casuarinin – all of which can be found in the local tropical fruit red guava – had the potential to be used in treating Covid-19.
“The results of our bioinformatics research showed that compounds contained in guava could prevent, or at least reduce, the impact of the infection.”
Guava is a fruit that grows easily in the archipelago and can be consumed as it is or in the form of processed juice.
Research teams from the University of Indonesia and Bogor Institute of Agriculture are currently seeking support from pharmaceutical firms to mass-produce a guava-based drug.
“The teams need to conduct clinical trials on animals and humans so the drug can be consumed by the wider community,” said Dr Ari.
Irmanida Batubara from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture said hesperidin could protect the body from microbes and viruses.
Apart from guava, Batubara said hesperidin compounds could also be found in orange peels.
“Not only orange [peels], lime, lemon and other citrus varieties also contain hesperidin. People can make their own juice while staying at home by adding the clean-washed peels, though the hesperidin will make it taste a bit bitter, or drink the infused water.”