Trials test mushrooms and herbs as anti–COVID-19 agents
In the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, integrative medicine specialists Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, MPH, and Andrew Shubov, MD, watched in frustration as desperate patients infected with the novel coronavirus tried one ineffective remedy after another. “People were taking increasingly toxic drugs, and nothing was working,” Shubov said in an interview. [This is an extract from:]
Medical News & Perspectives November 3, 2021 by Anita Slomski
Missing from those early hit-or-miss therapeutics, however, were traditional medicines such as Chinese herbs and medicinal mushrooms. The omission was glaring to Saxe, an epidemiologist and executive director of the Krupp Center for Integrative Research at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), whose research focuses on using food as medicine. Shubov, director of Inpatient Integrative Medicine, Center for East-West Medicine, at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), also found it a stark oversight.
So in April 2020, they applied to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to conduct 2 randomized phase 1 trials. The double-blind, placebo-controlled studies would evaluate the safety and feasibility of treating mild to moderate COVID-19 with either medicinal mushrooms, which have a long history as natural therapeutics for pulmonary disease, or a Chinese herb formulation that’s widely used there as a COVID-19 remedy.
Article Information JAMA. 2021;326(20):1997-1999. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.19388