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    Chulalongkorn University develops a herbal nasal and throat spray to prevent COVID-19 infection

    Chulalongkorn University‘s Department of Pharmaceutical Science, in collaboration with leading an Austrian institute, came up with a special intensive longan extract formula (P80) for throat and nasal spray that can reduce the number of viruses that attach to the mucous membranes that may enter the body. Helps safely prevent all kinds of viral infections including the COVID-19 virus, with no side effects.

    Prof. Dr. Pornanong Aramwit, who developed this herbal nasal and throat spray from longan extract with a special treatment to prevent COVID-19 infection enumerated the reasons for her interest in using longan extract to develop such herbal formulas.  Since longan is an edible fruit, it is very safe.  And traditional medicine textbooks state that longan does have the capacity to kill the virus. Therefore, we pinpointed the study on longan extract and it was found to reduce viral adhesion and is effective against almost all types of viruses that we tested, including flu and herpes viruses.

    For the research process, Prof. Dr. Pornanong explained that it started with choosing longan extract that has high active ingredients of polyphenols, derived by low-temperature process under high pressure, and filtered several times until a concentrated extract was obtained.

    It was then formulated for nasal and throat spray at optimum viscosity and surface tension so that when sprayed into the nasal cavity and throat, it won’t cause irritation. More importantly, the spray particles must be just right and able to reach the targeted spots.

    For example, nasal spray droplets should be enough to coat the nasal cavity but not too small that they enter the lungs, while throat spray should reach the Larynx without sticking to the lips, tongue, or teeth.  Once satisfied, the sprays are put on a clinical trial to test their effectiveness in real patients.

    Prof. Dr. Pornanong added that only a small amount of longan extract is needed, and can be used for both throat and nasal passages twice a day, morning and evening. The extract works immediately by physically preventing the virus from adhering to the epithelium, and bioactive blocking the inflammatory chemical mediators.

    People who travel to high-risk areas such as crowded places, can use the nasal or throat spray before entering the areas and then wear a mask.

    “We have been doing this research for about a year and a half even before the COVID-19 outbreak, by testing with other viruses.  When COVID-19 came about, we started testing with it.  Currently, we are in the clinical trial process on 62 volunteers, in collaboration with Vibharam Chaiprakarn Hospital.  The product is expected to be in the market in the next three months”, Prof. Dr. Pornanong concluded.

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