Fanila Shahzad, Diana Anderson, and Mojgan Najafzadeh
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pathogenic virus, scientists have been trying to find antiviral drugs that shoe apparent efficacy in viral inhibition of the disease. There have been natural substances such as herbs and mushrooms demonstrating anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that can used a potential effective treatment against COVID-19. The most promising natural substance candidate being the chaga mushroom or Inonotus obliquus (IO). Due to its parasitic mode of life, IO has been suggested to possess a powerful enzymatic system and a strong system of defense. One study on cats demonstrated the antiviral potential of IO with feline viruses such as feline calcivirus, feline herpesvirus; feline influenza virus, feline infectious peritonitis virus, and feline panleukopenia virus. Observed in all five viral subtypes, the hindering of RNA and DNA viruses. Found in a study on mice, the chaga mushroom suppressed the infectivity of pandemic influenza virus, and its effects were compared to Tamiflu, an antiviral drug that inhibits viral reproduction. Further investigation is required into wether or not the chaga mushroom is an effective treatment against COVID-19, as well as researching into characterizing its bioactive ingredients and understanding the underlying mechanisms. Overall, IO or the chaga mushrooms proves to be an excellent potential candidate for the treatment of the novel coronavirus.