The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in the revised protocol is likely to replace hydroxychloroquine (HCQ); with anti-HIV drugs to improve immunity and possibly reduce viral replication. To elaborate, the chemicals in Kangra tea could also be effective in boosting immunity; as they can block coronavirus activity better than anti-HIV drugs, said Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT). Dr Kumar also discussed the benefits of Kangra tea for society and industry; medicinal properties of tea for human health and the technologies developed and transferred by IHBT for combating COVID-19 disease.
IHBT, a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has also produced and supplied the alcohol-based hand sanitizer; containing tea extract and natural aromatic oils through its technology partners. The Institute has developed herbal soap with tea extract, natural saponins and without SLES (sodium Laureth Sulphate), SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate) and mineral oil. This soap provides anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, cleansing and moisturizing benefits. Two companies based in Himachal Pradesh are producing the said soap.
M/s Baijnath pharmaceuticals are producing Tea catechins, and Ready to Serve Teas and Tea wines which could be game-changer for Kangra tea. Catechins are natural antioxidants; they help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. On this occasion, Tea vinegar technology stands transferred to a company based in Dharmshala. Tea vinegar has anti-obesity properties. Also, Herbal Green and Black Teas blended with AYUSH-recommended herbs were launched. These products could be very useful for boosting immunity against COVID-19, say IHBT scientists.