Susha Cheriyedath, M.Sc
A recent in vitro study by researchers from Germany examined aqueous licorice root extract for its neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2. In the investigation, the primary active ingredient in the root, glycyrrhizin, was revealed, and identified the underlying mechanism of viral neutralization. Cytotoxicity was confirmed at 4 different time points. The licorice root extract demonstrated neutralizing effects even at subtonic concentrations which are lower than the typical consuming dilution. Antiviral activity of glycyrrhizic acid against SARS-CoV-2 was studied in-silico. Researchers concluded that glycyrrhizin neutralizes the virus by a mechanism that is different from inhibition of the human transmembrane serine protease. It was also found that glycyrrhizin effectively neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by inhibiting the viral main protease Mpro. These findings indicate that glycryyhizin as a promising antiviral compound for the treatment of COVID-19.