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July 2021, Volume 71, Issue 7

Letter to the Editor

To kill two birds with one stone

Saara Ahmad  ( Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi )
Asra Khan  ( Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Prashant Tikmani  ( Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. )
Hamna Rafiq  ( Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. )



Madam, novel Corona virus 2019, its infectivity and pandemic around the world has earnestly garnered much panic, especially, with its new strain spreading across the UK and possibly its spread across borders. This has increased anxiety and stress levels to many folds mainly due to its robustness and resistance to treatment.1 The panic and paranoia of testing COVID-19 positive, restraining into isolation and being shunned by the society often lead to a vicious cycle of heightened stress, anxiety and depression levels in individuals that at times lead to the ugly consequences of COVID-19 rendering end stage in affected with admissions in the intensive care or even death upon arriving in hospitals.

China, the first ever country in world to announce COVID-19 infection, has successfully controlled and contained the infection.2 In China, the new cases are negligible and has shown its capacity of treatment of COVID-19 through utility of medicinal herbs and old traditional remedies that are long ago forgotten by the other nations. The commonest treatment modality against COVID-19 in China, Thailand and other Buddhist countries are through mere inhaling of steam and intake of herbal teas.3 Many studies have shown that any form of tea especially chamomile tea is beneficial in the treatment of COVID 19. We have also currently run a clinical trial at the Aga Khan University where chamomile and saffron tea was given in twice a day dose for a month to the depressed patients to treat their depression. To our pleasant surprise many participants of the trial knew that chamomile is also effective against viral infections. Our research has shown that saffron and chamomile in combination at reduced doses has synergistic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects through modulation of neurotransmitters in brain.4,5 It is suggested that this synergism may benefit individuals against cytokine cascade, oxidant activity and inflammatory effects of the COVID 19 as well as alleviate neuropsychological deficits like anxiety, stress and depression that are associated with the fear of catching this communicable infection. This herbal tea may indeed help to kill two birds COVID-19 and neuropsychological illness with a stone.


Acknowledgement: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University.

Disclaimer: No disclaimer.

Conflict of Interest: There is no conflict of interest.

Funding Disclosure: No Funding was granted.




1.      Cacciapaglia, G., Cot, C. & Sannino, F. Second wave COVID-19 pandemics in Europe: a temporal playbook. Sci. Rep. 2020; 10:15514

2.      Talha Burki. China's successful control of COVID-19. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; 20:1240-1241. S1473-3099(20)30800-8.

3.      Ho P, Zheng JQ, Wu CC, Hou YC, Liu WC, Lu CL, Zheng CM, Lu KC, Chao YC. Perspective Adjunctive Therapies for COVID-19: Beyond Antiviral Therapy. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18:314-324. doi:10.7150/ijms.51935. Available from URL:

4.      Ahmad S, Khan A, Batool Z, Mahmood MH, Khaliq S, Haider S. Medicinal effects of saffron and chamomile on diabetes mellitus and associated hyperlipidemia and memory impairment. Pak J Pharm Sci  2020, 33:1191-1198.

5.      Salah Mohamed El Sayed, Hamdi H. Almaramhy, Yasmeen Talal Aljehani, Ahmed M. Okashah, Mariam E. El-Anzi, Mansour Barakah AlHarbi, Rehab El-Tahlawi, Manal Mohamed Helmy, Moutassim Aboonq, Osama Hamouda, and Osama Alhadramy, "TaibUVID for Minimizing COVID-19 Fatalities nd Morbidity: An Evidence-based Approach for Better Outcomes (A Treatment Protocol)." Am J Public Health Res. 2020;8:54-60. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-8-2-3.


Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association has agreed to receive and publish manuscripts in accordance with the principles of the following committees: