IM 1

Astragalus has important therapeutic applications in regulating the body’s immune system and possessing antiviral properties.

Astragalus membranaceus 

Astragalus membranaceus has a variety of pharmacological effects, such as antiviral

activity, regulating the body’s immune function etc. Astragalus membranaceus regulates the secretion of mucous of respiratory tract and enhances the immune function of respiratory system [1]. Astragalus membranaceus not only increases the number of multinucleated white blood cells and blood white blood cells, promotes cellular immunity and humoral immunity, but also serves as immune-enhancing agent and plays a bidirectional regulating role. Astragalus membranaceus reduced the level of inflammatory transmitters, induced interferon resistance to viruses, and played a role of broad-spectrum antiviral [2]. 

Recent studies have shown that multiple organ injuries caused by COVID-19 may be related to inflammatory storms and accumulation of oxidative stress-free radicals in the body. Astragalus membranaceus inhibited the activation of the MAPK/NF-kB signaling pathway, down-regulated the levels of IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and other inflammatory factors and chemokines, and reduced the inflammatory response. Astragaloside IV activated the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, up-regulated the level of superoxide dismutase (SOD), strengthened the scavenging of free radicals, and protected the body [3].

Conclusion: Astragalus has important therapeutic applications in regulating the body’s immune system and possessing antiviral properties.


1. Immune regulation effects of Astragali Radix. Chin Arch Trad Chin Med 35, 2017, 699-702.

2. Pharmacological effect and clinical application of Astragalus. J Clin Med Lit 4, 2017, 3115-3116.

3. Mechanism of Chinese medicine in the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia based on the literature. J Trad Chin Med. 2020.


Ganoderma lucidum

Mushrooms in Maintaining Ace/Ace2 Balance. Because the impaired ACE/ACE2 ratio has been linked with the COVID-19 pathomechanism, treatment strategies targeting this ratio have received immense attention [1]. ACE inhibitory proteins have been isolated from different edible and medicinal mushrooms, of which the most notable are Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa, Agrocybe species, Auricularia auricula-judae, Hericium erinaceus, Hypsizygus marmoreus, Pleurotus cystidiosus, P. eryngii, P. flabellatus, P. florida, P. sajor-caju, Schizophyllum commune, Tricholoma giganteum, and Volvariella volvaceae [2,3].

In addition, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors (remdesivir and favilavir) have been applied as a COVID-19 treatment in different countries [4]. Different protease inhibitors have been isolated from edible and medicinal mushrooms such as G. lucidum, G. colossum, G. sinense, Lignosus rhinoceros, A. polytricha, Russula paludosa, Cordyceps militaris, and Agaricus bisporus. Compared to others, Ganoderma species seem promising in protease inhibition–based antiviral therapeutic approaches. Up to the present day, biocomponents derived from Ganoderma (ganocompounds) have been found effective in thwarting HIV-1 protease, which corroborates utilization of ganocompounds against SARS-CoV-2 [5]. 

G. lucidum has a great significant role in reducing the COVID-19 malicious effect on the studied hematological parameters. G. lucidum can be used to help in the treatment of COVID-19 infections [6]. G. lucidum polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory properties through boosting the action of antigen-presenting cells, mononuclear phagocyte system, along with humoral and cellular immunity. Triterpenoids from G. lucidum produce antiviral effects through inhibiting various enzymes like neuraminidase, HIV-protease, DENV2 NS2B-NS3 protease and HSV multiplication [7].

Conclusion: Mushrooms and Astragalus possess multiple therapeutic applications that can be used in the treatment strategies for COVID-19.


1. ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), COVID-19, and ACE inhibitor and Ang II (angiotensin II) receptor blocker use during the pandemic: The pediatric perspective. Hypertension. 2020;76(1):16–22.

2. Ansor NM, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Anti-angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) proteins from mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013;13:256.

3. Evaluation of selected culinary-medicinal mushrooms for antioxidant and ACE inhibitory activities. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:464238.

4. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Res. 2020;30(3):269–71.

5. Rationalization of Mushroom-Based Preventive and Therapeutic Approaches to COVID-19: Review. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 23(5):1 – 11 (2021) DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2021038285

6. The Role of Ganoderma lucidum Uptake on Some Hematological and Immunological Response in Patients with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Sys Rev Pharm 2020;11(8):537-541

7. Ganoderma lucidum: A potential source to surmount viral infections through β-glucans immunomodulatory and triterpenoids antiviral properties. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 187, 30 September 2021, Pages 769-779