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12 Nov, 2020 08:48

Surprising potential Covid-19 remedy: Russian scientists discover mushroom with anti-viral properties

Surprising potential Covid-19 remedy: Russian scientists discover mushroom with anti-viral properties

With the world’s scientists hunting for a Covid-19 drug, Siberia’s Vector Center has discovered antiviral properties in the Chaga mushroom, found on birch trees, suggesting the fungus may be capable of suppressing coronavirus.

According to the SCIENCE First Hand journal, researchers believe that drinking extracts of the fungus throughout the day could fight the growth of the deadly infection.

“Due to the pronounced protective effect and low toxicity of Chaga, we can talk about creating antiviral drugs using the mushroom as a base,” scientists say.

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Professor Tamara Teplyakova, from the Vector mycology laboratory, revealed that she tested the mushroom’s effectiveness on herself, her family, and colleagues who fell ill with Covid-19. After five to seven days, the symptoms of the disease disappeared.

Speaking to Moscow daily RBK, Teplyakova explained that the researchers next step was to test the mushroom on mice.

“To obtain a drug or dietary supplement based on Chaga, further research is undoubtedly necessary,” the publication says.

Found most commonly in Northern Europe, the Chaga mushroom is also known as Inonotus obliquus. In fact, the English word ‘Chaga’ comes from the Russian name for the fungus.

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The Vector Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, located near Novosibirsk, has been on Russia’s front line against Covid-19 since day one. Last month, President Vladimir Putin announced that the government had approved a Vector-made coronavirus vaccine, which is currently undergoing trials. The center is a world-class virology and biotechnology facility and has one of the planet’s most comprehensive collections of viruses, including Ebola, SARS, and smallpox.

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