Friday, February 05, 2021

Fighting against the second wave of COVID-19: Can honeybee products help protect against the pandemic?


Conclusions and recommendations


Bee products and bee venom are well known of their nutritional and medicinal values, they have been employed since ages for different therapeutic purposes. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the promising effects of different bee products against the emerging pandemic COVID-19, bee products possess unique criteria and harbor a magic cocktail of phytomedicines that help to protect, to fight, and to alleviate COVID-19 infection.

Honey has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) as a first line treatment for cough due to upper respiratory tract infection, which is the main well identified COVID-19 symptom (W├Âlfel et al., 2020), on the other hand variable concentrations of Manuka honey surprisingly found to modulate the release of cytokines, chemokines and matrix-degrading enzymes that regulate inflammatory and immune responses (Minden-Birkenmaieret al., 2019), currently drugs that quiet cytokine storms and soften the hyperinflammation are greatly considered to protect from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) the major cause of death due to serious COVID-19 infection (Mehta et al., 2020a). Therefore, we recommend honey as a potential compatible antiseptic prophylaxis to help protect against the virus. Honey might safely disinfect the throat and trap virus particles, beside a major advantage that it has no side effects and of great nutritional value. Furthermore, research into the active ingredients that impart antiviral potency to honey and greater understanding of how those chemicals cause their effects on viruses might help direct development of effective antiviral drugs with potentially fewer side effects. We may even consider diluted solution of natural honey as a home-made antiseptic for hands, skin and mucous membranes or as a mouth gargle since honey is completely safe and widely used as sweetener in several pharmaceutical preparations.

Propolis contains a concentrated dosage of therapeutic flavonoids and phenolic compounds that interfere with maturation and replication machinery of the virus in one hand and mitigate the exaggerated inflammatory response of COVID-19 on the other hand. Propolis belongs to the safest ecological therapies, investigational studies and confirmed anti-corona effects of chemical ingredients of propolis highlight the necessity for further investigations covering the prophylactic effect of propolis in high‐risk groups, especially individuals in close contact with COVID-19 patients, and validating the anti-corona effects of propolis.

As a powerful immune modulator, bee venom should be taken in consideration, it enhance the differentiation of T regulatory immune cells, it works like a protective vaccine that puts the immune system in a standby state to interfere with the virus. Finally, we reconsider bee product in general as a treasure trove to fight COVID-19.

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