Keep Moving Forward… 08.09.10

Dried Tangerine Peel and Covid-19

With Covid-19 Rampaging all over the world its reassuring to see scientists looking into what natural products and medicines might be able to help with protecting against infection. The following article, in Chinese, details current research and outcomes that are considering. A translation of the full article appears below. Whilst a tad sketchy, is does give the gist of this research.

[Translation via Google Translate]

Chinese and American scientists are carrying out joint research: reasonable consumption of orange peel may prevent new coronavirus

The new crown virus has swept the world, and medical researchers all over the world are shouldering the mission of prevention and treatment of new crown pneumonia. This is a work that requires all researchers to work together to overcome all difficulties. It is necessary to share the research results in a timely manner. Provide mutual help as much as possible, discuss and exchange opinions in a timely manner.

At present, discussions about the use of orange peels for the prevention and treatment of new coronavirus are underway between Chinese and American scientists.

Medicinal and food sources, authentic herbs-Xinhui orange peel

Previously, Professor Li Hua of Tongji Pharmaceutical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Professor Chen Lixia of School of Infinite Innovation of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University published an article in the English version of “Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences” “Analysis of therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and discovery of potential drugs bycomputational methods” “The computer virtual screening method found that hesperidin may bind to the new coronavirus S protein receptor binding domain (RBD) to disrupt the interaction between RBD and ACE2 (new coronavirus human receptor). This is the researcher’s drug in ZINC. The only compound screened from the database and data of traditional Chinese medicines and natural products can be targeted at the binding interface of S protein and ACE. In addition, hesperidin and virus 3C-like protease also have very good binding affinity [1].

Low-energy binding conformation of hesperidin to the new crown virus S protein RBD [1]

Citrus peel is rich in hesperidin, including traditional Chinese medicine orange peel and Guang Chen peel (ie Xinhui orange peel), Chinese medicines rich in hesperidin also have orange red and orange. Chenpi and Huatanghong are one of the main medicinal materials in the traditional Chinese medicine compound recommended by the Chinese Medicine section of the “New Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Program (Trial Version 7)” [2].

Dr. Jeff Gruneich of the University of Pennsylvania is very interested in the research on hesperidin by Professor Li Hua, etc. Therefore, the research on the potential targets of hesperidin for coronavirus targeting, effectiveness, safety, bioavailability, dosage, etc. A large amount of literature research has been conducted, and the results of the research have been shared by e-mail with scientists from various countries including Professor Li Hua, hoping to conduct in-depth discussions and get some suggestions.

Dr. Jeff Gruneich said that hesperetin is the main metabolite of flavanone hesperidin. Hesperetin can inhibit the cleavage activity of SARS coronavirus 3C-like protease in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 is 8.3 μM) [3]. Two other molecular docking studies have also shown that hesperidin has very high binding affinity with 3C-like protease [4,5], S protein RBD and ACE2 [4].

Through research literature, Dr. Jeff Gruneich found that some peels of citrus fruits contain 1-2g hesperidin [6]. Suppose an adult male weighs about 100kg or less, and water accounts for about 60% of the body weight, so it is 60L water. To achieve a hesperetin concentration of 8.3uM in 60L, 498 uM is required. Assuming that the conversion rate of hesperidin to hesperidin in the intestine is 100%, 304 mg hesperidin is required. Taking oranges in citrus fruits as an example, the peel of each orange contains about 1.4g of hesperidin, which is enough to bring the concentration to 8.3uM. Grinding one or two oranges (with peels) into a juice every day with a blender will provide enough hesperetin to suppress COVID-19 and also help to suppress other downstream pathological changes caused by immune reactions and other reasons. This is very easy for ordinary people to do, fast and cheap without any adverse reactions, can be widely used immediately and observe the effect in time.

Professor Li Hua believes that Dr. Jeff Gruneich’s idea is logical. Orange peel is basically non-toxic, and orange peel is actually a very common food and Chinese medicine in China. The orange peel soaked with sugar is very delicious and has a good effect on COVID-19. It has potential good effects and is worth trying. In addition, eating kumquat with peel as the main edible part is also a good choice.

At the same time, Professor Ma Zhaocheng of Huazhong Agricultural University also stated that orange peel is involved in the prescription guidelines for traditional Chinese medicine used in the treatment of COVID-19, which has a clinical role in relieving cough.

Dr. JeffGruneich believes that vegetables such as broccoli and onions also contain flavonoid compounds similar to hesperetin, such as quercetin, and they can also suppress viruses. These inexpensive vegetables are easy to supply to the number of possible infections in the next few weeks Millions of people eat. Dr. Jeff Gruneich also said that he will further promote the clinical research of hesperidin against the new coronavirus.

This discussion between Chinese and American scientists is very meaningful. Traditional Chinese medicine has played a very important role in the fight against the new crown epidemic. As a representative of Chinese medicine, tangerine peel has attracted the attention of American scientific researchers and will be promoted to more people. This has played a positive role in spreading traditional Chinese medicine to the whole world.


Take home points: Citrus Fruit peel contains Hesperidin which converts to Hesperitin in the intestine. Hespertin may bind with COVID-19 3C-like Protease, based on computer modelling. Effective human dose is 8.3uM/L of body fluid by weight. The average adult male should drink daily, a whole juiced orange including the peel, (or equivalent weight of tangerine or kumquat) to protect against COVID-19 exposure. Additionally Broccoli and Onions which contain Quercetin may have a similar action and effect to Hesperitin.

Action Steps: Juice some Citrus daily. Steam, or Stirfry, some broccoli and onions for lunch or dinner, or just juice them as well.

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