Natural products could represent a viable source of therapeutic agents that could be used for the treatment of the Covid-19.

A team of KNUST scientists researching into treatments for Covid-19 say they’ve found great promise in a plant commonly found at Kwahu in the Eastern region.

Cryptolepis sanguinolenta locally known as Nibima, is a plant traditionally used by indigenes of Akwapim and Kwahu mountainous areas in Ghana for the treatment of malaria.

The results of the research were contained in the journal, BioMed Research International.

The major substance found in the roots known as cryptolepine has been known to possess a wealth of therapeutic effects.

The plant has been reported to improve normal blood Sugar Support, cardiovascular health, and mental clarity among others.

In their study, 13 substances known as alkaloids from Cryptolepis sanguinolenta were evaluated for their ability to hinder SARS CoV-2 using computer simulation.

All 13 alkaloids were found to impede the virus’ survival.

“The binding affinity of the alkaloids to the viral proteins as well as the interactions that mediate the binding were determined using molecular docking and the stability of the binding event was evaluated with molecular dynamics simulations.

“The alkaloids showed an inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 main protease and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in silico,” Dr. Lawrence Borquaye, a lead researcher explained.

They however indicated four of the active agents stood out.

“Cryptomisrine, cryptospirolepine, cryptoquindoline and biscryptolepine possessed the best binding affinities,” he said.

Again, the substances were found to be less toxic compared to a standard antiviral agent, lopinavir used for treating covid-19 patients.

“Substances from Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, therefore, represent a promising class of compounds that could serve as lead compounds in the search for a drug for the treatment of Covid-19,” Dr Borquaye is optimistic.