The Role of In-vitro Cytotoxicity Assays to Confirm Non-toxicity Subsequent to the Detoxification Procedure of Mercuric Sulphide and Arsenic Trisulphide, Two Integral Metal Components Used in the Formulation of a Novel Herbo-mineral Antiviral Drug Targeted for COVID-19, ZingiVir-H


Herbo-mineral drugs are unique Ayurvedic metallic preparations that have been used in the treatment of various disorders by traditional medicinal practitioners for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. They have a number of advantages that have led to their widespread use in the treatment of various disorders by traditional medicinal practitioners. These benefits include improved stability, lower dosage, simplicity of storage, and long-term availability. The particles utilised in the herbometallic preparations have a diameter of about 10–15 nm. Bhasma is now considered Ayurvedic nanomedicine, and it allows for medication development using modern nanomedicine concepts. Ayurveda emphasises a method called Shodhana to address the negative effects caused by a single medicine or formulations containing the element (purification). Processing of the mineral drugs mentioned in Rasashastra (Indian Iatrochemistry) with traditionally prescribed traditional purification procedures consisting of medicinal herb juices/decoctions can help reduce poisonous effects and also potentiate their therapeutic value, according to various treatises. Pankajakasthuri recently developed ZingiVir-H, an Ayurvedic herbo-mineral medicine for the treatment of viral fevers, Bronchitis, and Acute Respiratory Tract Infections. Five powerful plants and two refined heavy metals were used to create this medication (Mercuric sulphide – HgS and Arsenic trisulphide – As2S3). The toxicity linked with the metals elements utilised in the medicine’s preparation was eliminated by several detoxifying methods detailed in Ayurveda’s century-old classical literatures. However, one criticism levelled with Ayurvedic metal-derived medications is that there isn’t enough empirical proof to back up their claims of non-toxicity following detoxification. Given the prevalent misperception, we plan to utilise the MTT test and ROS generation in the L6 rat myoblast cell line to examine the cellular toxicity of ZingiVir-H and its two heavy metal components (raw and at various levels of detoxification). When compared to their raw forms, purified HgS and As2S3 demonstrated much lower cellular toxicity in the MTT experiment. When compared to raw heavy metals in the MTT experiment, ZingiVir-H showed no harm. Purified HgS and As2S3, on the other hand, showed a considerable reduction in ROS production when compared to raw HgS and As2S3. Finally, ZingiVir-H and the medication without the metal components produced only 4.50.33% and 1.10.23% of ROS, respectively. The detoxification of HgS and As2S3 leads to a considerable reduction in toxicity and ROS generation, according to these findings. Furthermore, after the detoxification/purification of HgS and As2S3, quantitative examination by X-ray diffractometer clearly demonstrated that the percentage of arsenic, mercury, and sulphur was greatly reduced. It is feasible to reduce the toxic effects of hazardous medicinal plants and metals while increasing their therapeutic efficiency by adhering to scientifically confirmed traditional purifying processes. In addition, we performed an oral toxicity test on ZingiVir-H in wistar rats. Experimental animals treated with ZingiVir-H daily for a total of 28 days showed no evidence of toxicity, and histopathological examination of vital organs revealed normal architecture, indicating no morphological changes after ZingiVir-H treatment. These findings showed that ZingiVir-H did not have the ability to cause toxicity in the animals. Finally, the safety of ZingiVir-H pills for human use at a maximum dose of 1500 mg/kg/day has been proved scientifically. Then, in a pilot clinical trial, we demonstrated the preliminary evaluation of ZingiVir-efficacy H’s and safety in hospitalised individuals with viral infection. In this study, ZingiVir-H had a significant impact on viral infection management. The Liver Function Test (LFT) and Renal Function Test (RFT) parameters were within the indicated clinical range before and after therapy, indicating that the ZingiVir-H was hepato-renal safe in the trial participants. As a result of this research, it was determined that ZingiVir-H is highly effective and safe in the treatment of viral fever in people. Based on our findings, we believe that this study work will generate widespread attention in order to confirm the toxicity threshold of herbomineral medications and purified heavy metals using cytotoxicity testing according to Ayurvedic principles. Using scientific research such as in-vitro cytotoxicity testing, in-vivo animal toxicity experiments, and a pilot clinical trial, we can unambiguously declare that ZingiVir-H is harmless for human administration.

Author(S) Details

Shan Sasidharan
Department of Research and Development, Pankajakasthuri Herbal Research Foundation, Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical College Campus, Killy, Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Pin-695572, India.

J. Hareendran Nair
Department of Research and Development, Pankajakasthuri Herbal Research Foundation, Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical College Campus, Killy, Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Pin-695572, India.

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