It seems that a certain Old Testament text may contain hints that could help develop a cure for COVID-19, the Daily Express reports.
According to the newspaper, the text that attracted the attention of a “cabal of religious scholars” is a passage from the Book of Exodus which mentions Moses using a piece of wood shown to him by God to make bitter water sweet and thus fit for drinking.
A 16th century Torah scholar, Rabbi Moshe Alshich, suggested that the "wood”" in question was actually a plant called Artemisia Judaica, commonly known as wormwood.
And since a wormwood derivative called Artemisinin became a "superior antimalarial than quinine or its modern version, chloroquine", Artemisia annua plant extract, along with its artemisinin derivatives, are now being tested as possible anti-COVID-19 treatments.
The tests reportedly show that artemisinin displays antiviral activity when extracted with pure ethanol or distilled water, and combining the ethanol extract with coffee results in an even greater antiviral activity.
"I was surprised that Artemisia extracts worked much better as a derivative, and that adding coffee increased the anti-viral activity", said Professor Klaus Osterrieder, who conducted the viral tests at the Free University of Berlin.
The World Health Organization warns, however, that there is "no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be prevented or treated with products made from Artemisia-based plant material", the newspaper adds.