Some of the days we are shocked with news about the Ministry of Agriculture which will mass produce an antivirus necklace. There are a number of things that we must get right with this news. First the Ministry of Agriculture is a government institution, not a company so it is not possible to produce a product. Ministry of Agriculture in this case is the producer of technology including eucalyptus products.
Why does the Ministry of Agriculture care about antivirus products?
Balitbangtan as one of the echelon 1 units under the Ministry of Agriculture which has a mandate to conduct research and development, including examining the potential of eucalyptus which is one type of volatile plant. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Indonesian Spice & Medicinal Crops Research Institute (ISMCRI), which has the mandate to conduct research in the fields of herbs, medicines and atsiri, has inventoryed several potential plants as enhancing immunity and also antiviral. This data was obtained both from the results of research for almost 40 years Balittro was founded or from scientific publications. There are about 50 plants identified, and more than 20 have been extracted and their active ingredients are known.
Furthermore, testing is conducted by the Indonesian Center for Veterinary Research (IRCVS) on the ability of antivirals in influenza viruses and corona virus models (beta and corona gamma). At present there is no laboratory capable of growing Sars Cov2 virus in cell culture. The test results showed several potential plant extracts as antiviral in testing on embryo eggs. With a concentration of 1% eucalyptus oil can kill up to 100% influenza virus or corona virus.
The next stage of this research is the development of oil-based products by the Post-Harvest Agricultural Research Center (BB Post-harvest) which has competencies including the development of nanotechnology-based products. There are five dosage forms developed, namely roll on, inhalers, balm, aromatherapy oils and aromatherapy necklaces. Currently, patents on eucalyptus products have been registered with the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights and have been licensed by industry partners. In addition to marketing, a distribution permit from BPOM as a traditional medicine has already been issued. To be able to get a marketing authorization, of course, has passed the evaluation process by the Expert Team from BPOM related to its ability.
Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Necklace
Necklace products are aromatherapy accessories products, which are designed in the form of name tags worn as necklaces so that they are easy to carry anywhere without worrying about being left behind or scattered. This aromatherapy accessories product in the wider world can be designed as a key chain, fan, ballpoint pen or other form that delivers aromatherapy.
Balitbangtan aromatherapy necklace product is formulated based on oil of Eucalyptus sp. and designed with nanotechnology in powder form and packaged in a porous bag. With nano technology, the particle size of the active ingredient becomes very small and its surface area becomes very large. Thus, the area of contact becomes very large and can suppress the use of active ingredients.
This product releases a slow release scent so that it functions as aromatherapy for a certain period of time. To get the optimal aromatherapy effect, its use is carried out by inhaling the aroma from the holes of the packaging. This product has been tested in vitro in laboratories with antiviral activity, both against influenza viruses and corona viruses (gamma- and beta-corona)
Why is eucalyptus able to neutralize or kill viruses?
When we carry out scientific or empirical searches, a lot of information that supports the results of this Balitbangtan innovation. According to Bakkali et al (2008), essential oils generally have the ability as an antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune system enhancer.
Eucalyptus oil with an active ingredient of 1.8 cineol or eucalyptol has the ability to inhibit the replication of influenza virus (H1N1) according to Sadatrasuletal (2017). Furthermore, several other publications (Sadlon et al., 2010; Singh et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2001; Serafino et al., 2008) mention the potential of eucalyptus for handling respiratory disorders, especially in patients with swelling of the airways and lungs.
As an antioxidant even eucalyptus has been used as an active ingredient in the drug Soledum which is used for the treatment of respiratory diseases. The antimicrobial ability of Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oil containing 1.8 cineol has the potential to disinfect microbes (May et al., 2000). The second test of this essential oil as an aerosol disinfecting material shows a strong antiviral ability which is able to kill more than 95% of the virus within 5-15 Minutes of exposure (Usachev, 2013).
The number of publications and empirical facts related to eucalyptus oil has been used from generation to generation as an alternative treatment for colds and respiratory disorders which is certainly a supporter of the innovations carried out by Balitbangtan.
Information that from the results of in vitro testing on embryonated chicken eggs, eucalyptus oil has the potential to neutralize the corona virus should be captured by other institutions that are more competent to conduct clinical testing on humans or covid patients. Thus, the chance of our nation can more quickly find drugs or technology handling covid. It takes determination and enthusiasm to work together for the progress of this nation, not to denigrate or weaken one another.
SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE OF MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE