Coronavirus myth cracked: Kalonji seeds do not have hydroxychloroquine and can’t inhibit COVID-19

COVID-19 has killed more than 88,000 people worldwide and 166 lives so far in India. Although much information about the virus is publicly available, myths and misinformation still seem to be making their rounds. The latest myth on social media platforms is that Kalonji seeds contain 100% hydroxychloroquine and are useful in preventing COVID-19. The message describes the right amount of kalonji seeds to be consumed – 7g – with honey and warm water before breakfast.

Nigella sativa does not contain hydroxychloroquine, but so far there is no substantial evidence that hydroxychloroquine helps in antiviral activity in humans.

So far we know about both Nigella sativa and hydroxychloroquine

Kalonji seeds are used as a flavoring agent in cuisine and are known for many health-building properties. Kalonji seeds are used as a flavoring agent in cooking and are known for many health-building properties.  The oil extracted from these seeds is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and compounds such as thymol, nigellicidin, nigellidine, diethioquinone, thymoquinone (TQ) and thymohydroquinone (THQ). Studies have shown that Nigella seeds can relieve nasal congestion, sneezing, and congestion in patients with seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies occur when a person’s body has an allergic reaction to dust, pollen, and other pets.

A study in Algeria suggested that nigelidin and alpha-hedarin compounds may be effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, this is just one laboratory study and many other studies, including clinical trials, need to be sure that these compounds and Nigella seeds are effective against COVID-19. The study is still in the preprint phase.

Hydroxychloroquine

For all the candidates for COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine has been getting a lot of attention from the world recently. Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug, which has been studied for its antiviral effects for some time. According to the Lancet study, lab laboratory studies have shown to be effective against many viruses. These include coronavirus and influenza virus.

However, scientists have so far been unable to replicate the results in humans. There are not enough animal studies to show that this drug is an active anti-viral agent. Earlier, some reports from China and a small study from France showed that hydroxychloroquine was most effective against COVID-19. More recently, another small study in France found no evidence of hydroxychloroquine being competent in patients with severe COVID-19.

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