COVID-19 Disinfectants: Citriodiol From Eucalyptus Plants Found In Chiangmai, Australia And Elsewhere Able To Destroy SARS-CoV-2 According To UK Study
: A natural chemical compound called Citriodiol which is obtained from the essential oil of the lemon-scented gum consisting of citronellal from the eucalyptus citriodora tree had been found to be able to destroy the strain of coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease according to a preliminary study by Britain's defense laboratory.
Citriodiol is often used in insect repellents and past studies had already showed that it was able to kill various other strains of coronavirus.
British scientists at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) found that Citriodiol, the active ingredient in repellents such as Mosi-guard, had anti-viral properties if mixed with the virus in the liquid phase and on a test surface.
Jeremy Quin, the British Defence Minister told media that "Mixing a virus suspension with Mosi-guard spray or selected constituent components resulted in a reduction in SARS-CoV-2. At a high concentration, Mosi-guard gave a significant decrease resulting in no recoverable virus.”
Citriodiol is made from oil in the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus citriodora tree, which is found in Asia, South America and Africa, and is already known to kill other types of coronavirus.
In Thailand, the plants are found in Chiangmai, Ratchaburi , and most of the Northern provinces and the extracted citronella oil is used in aromatherapy products or as incense to ward off mosquitoes.
In the UK, the oil is produced by a process that artificially mimics and accelerates the normal acting process in the leaf, converting it into p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), a more potent insect repellent.
The compound is already approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a disinfectant for various pathogens.
The study findings has not been externally peer-reviewed, with the Ministry of Defense saying it was intended to act "as the foundation for other scientific bodies who are researching the virus and possible solutions".
The researchers said, "DSTL is hopeful that the findings in this research can be used as a springboard for other organizations to expand and develop the research, as well as to confirm the findings in this publication."
Ben Wallace Britain's Defense Secretary in May said the country's armed forces were being given the insect repellent to offer potential protection against the coronavirus.
Mr Wallace said a Citriodiol-based spray had been given to personnel after the Surgeon General advised it would "do no harm" and should be used as a precautionary "additional layer of protection" against exposure to the virus.
The report noted some caveats. For example, the synthetic skin is a
representative surface and human skin may react differently. They also did not test the change in performance over time.
Also in the study pure Citriodiol was not use but rather the insect repellent formula Mosi-guard made by the British company. It was as if the British Defense Ministry was helping promote sales of a British insecticide! (things must be hard with Brexit!)
There was also skepticism expressed on the reports. Dr Matthew Lloyd, a senior lecturer, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at University of Bath, said there is 'definitely an effect' of Mosi-guard to a 'very high' significance.
Dr Lyod told media, “Looking at the vitro viral load being reduced by 100-1000 times but on artificial skin, after four hours, viral loads are only reduced by 10-fold. The effect is quite small.'
He however cautioned, “The insect repellent formulation also contains ethanol and isopropanol (short-chain alcohols) and these are probably equally effective. As far as I can see they did not actually do a statistical significance test of the alcohols vs. citriodiol, but they look equally active to me.
He added, “My feeling is that we need to be cautious as it may be the alcohol carrier rather than the citriodiol killing the virus in the Mosi-guard. One advantage might be that citriodiol would be quite a lot less volatile than ethanol or isopropanol which would make probably it easier to apply. It would probably be an acceptable substitute in the field for using soap and water. It is probably of similar effectiveness.”
The British company Citrefine International Ltd, the company that produces citriodiol, also believed it could offer protection against the coronavirus, but had not carried out its own research.
Managing director the company, Jacqueline Watson, said in April she would like the government to support a formal testing programme.
She said at that time, 'What we can say is that we do feel there is a very good chance it could work against this virus but it does of course need to be thoroughly tested.”
Also interesting is that bug sprays nearly always contain DEET, a chemical that when applied to the skin or clothing provides protection against various insects.
However the research did not look at DEET and so it is unclear what role this would play.
Also it should be noted that even if citriodiol is able to zap the virus in some way, as the reports claim, it is not clear if this prevents people from getting infected.
It was reported that British troops were given stocks of Mosi-guard early in the pandemic on suspicion it could have an effect on the strain of the disease behind the pandemic.
Past tests have shown that low concentrations of citriodiol can be effective in killing SARS CoV-1, a coronavirus closely related to the one causing the pandemic.
Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence said a citriodiol-based spray has been given to personnel in light of the Surgeon General's advice it wouldn't do any harm.
He said it should be used on a precautionary basis as against exposure to the virus.
Other British politicians have expressed concern at the trials. In separate letters, politicians asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace for more details and clarification.
Key among their concerns are why, with such little evidence, are resources being diverted to this endeavour.
Stewart McDonald of the Scottish National Party asked to see the evidence that informed the MoD's decision.
The petition states,”If this is based on science, it is vital that the evidence is made public and all frontline workers are given the same advice. If there is no evidence that it will be effective, then the MoD must explain why this product is being issued, creating a false sense of security and putting lives at risk.Clarity on this matter is of the greatest urgency.”
Another politician, Jamie Stone of the Liberal Democrats wrote in his letter, “The over-riding point is that if your decision has been taken on the basis of sound scientific evidence, then why are other frontline workers not also being provided with citriodiol?”
It should be noted that Citridiol should never be consumed internally as it can be toxic. (We needed to emphasize this in case Trump or his followers has other ideas again!)
While the British are making a lot of fuss over the compound which most probably can only suffice as a disinfectant, Thailand and its people has for years been using the pure citronella oils from eucalyptus and other different species of Cymbopogon plants without any DEET or other toxic chemicals as a natural insecticide and disinfectant against various pathogens.
Thailand also has a whole range of natural herbs that is found in the daily Thai diets that have been found to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties also causes epigenetic changes that has been able to protect its people from the ravages of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus so far. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/new-therapeutic-teas-
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or about pure Citronella oils, contact Thailand Medical News directly.