Plant Extract Shows Promise for Treating COVID-19

Rutan, an extract from the Rhus coriaria plant, has shown tremendous potential for the treatment of COVID-19 according to researchers.

The Rhus coriaria plant, also called Silicilian Sumac, is a relative of Rhus sumac, generally the Sumac plant. It is known to be anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.

A Sumac extract has been found as a promising COVID-19 treatment in research.

The global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred scientists and researchers to explore various avenues for effective treatments. Among the promising candidates is Rutan, an herbal medicine extract that has demonstrated significant promise in combating the virus.

With its ability to inhibit two vital enzyme systems of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, namely the 3CL protease and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, Rutan exhibits a synergistic action that enhances its anti-COVID-19 effect in laboratory research.

A Bit about Sumac

Rutan is derived from plant sources, including the plant Rhus coriaria which has traditionally been used for various purposes in herbal medicine. It is a Middle Eastern species of sumac. This and other sumac species have a long history of use in different cultures and are known for their medicinal properties.

Both Rhus coriaria and staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) are edible species of sumac. These plants are notable for their tart red berries that grow in dense clusters, providing versatility in various culinary applications.

Whether made into a lemonade-like drink or dried and ground into a distinctive spice cherished in Middle Eastern cuisine, their unique flavor profile has been celebrated in diverse culinary traditions.

However, it is crucial to correctly identify these plants because not all species of sumac are edible. In contrast, poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is a species of sumac that is not consumable and can cause severe reactions.

What differentiates this poison sumac from its edible counterparts is its white or pale yellow berries that hang in loose clusters, as opposed to the dense red clusters of the edible species. Therefore, distinguishing between the two types should be straightforward, but always exercise caution and ensure correct identification before consumption.

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What is the Rutan Compound?

The active compound Rutan, is an ethanol extraction from plant sources, including Rhus coriara mentioned above. This extract has been repurposed for its potential antiviral properties against COVID-19. This compound has shown promise in inhibiting key enzyme systems of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, making it a valuable candidate in the fight against the pandemic.

It is worth noting that while rutan is derived from rue, it has been undergoing extensive laboratory testing and research before being developed into a potential therapeutic agent. The isolation and purification of rutan from rue allows for further investigation and refinement of its properties to ensure safety and efficacy in treating COVID-19.

The utilization of natural sources, such as plants, in the development of pharmaceuticals is a common practice in the field of medicine. By harnessing the active compounds present in plants, researchers can explore their potential therapeutic applications and repurpose them for specific diseases.

In the case of rutan, its origin from plant sources provides a ready source of supply for the compound’s extraction and subsequent investigation. This not only provides a potential treatment option for COVID-19 but also highlights the importance of exploring nature’s diverse array of compounds in the quest for effective medications.

Can Rutan treat COVID-19?

Preclinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Rutan in long-term use. The results are encouraging, showing that doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg are safe for administration. Importantly, there was no evidence of drug accumulation in organs and tissues of the experimental animals. Acute and chronic toxicity assessments revealed no abnormal results following the administration of Rutan. These findings highlight the drug’s favorable safety profile and provide a strong foundation for further investigation.

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Additionally, Rutan has demonstrated immunostimulatory activity on various components of the immune system. It exerts its effects on humoral, cellular, and innate immunity, effectively suppressing immune responses associated with coronavirus infections. By modulating the immune system, Rutan offers a multi-faceted approach to combating the virus and its associated complications.

Moving beyond preclinical studies, clinical trials involving adults and children have yielded promising results, further solidifying Rutan’s potential as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. In monotherapy, Rutan has shown efficacy in mild and moderate forms of the disease, effectively reducing symptoms and improving patient outcomes. Moreover, when used in combination with other potent anti-COVID-19 drugs, Rutan has demonstrated its effectiveness in severe cases of the disease.

One study found that children who received 25 milligrams of rutan and adults who received 100 milligrams had significantly less post-COVID-19 symptoms compared to control groups.

How does Rutan work?

The success of Rutan in clinical trials can be attributed to its unique mechanisms of action. By inhibiting the 3CL protease, Rutan disrupts the replication and proliferation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, hindering its ability to spread within the body. Additionally, its inhibition of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase further impedes viral replication, providing a dual defense against the virus.

Furthermore, Rutan’s safety profile and lack of drug accumulation in organs and tissues make it an appealing option for long-term treatment. With no evidence of toxicity or adverse effects, Rutan holds promise as a viable therapeutic option for COVID-19 patients requiring extended treatment.

As the global medical community continues to search for effective treatments against COVID-19, Rutan emerges as a beacon of hope. Its ability to inhibit vital enzyme systems of the virus, combined with its immunostimulatory effects, make it a valuable addition to the arsenal of medications combating this relentless pandemic. With its demonstrated safety and efficacy in both preclinical and clinical settings, Rutan has the potential to transform the landscape of COVID-19 treatment, bringing us one step closer to overcoming this global health crisis.

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However, it’s important to note that the specific drug “Rutan” as a repurposed medication for COVID-19 is not a commonly known or established therapeutic agent in conventional medicine before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The repurposing of rutan specifically for the treatment of COVID-19 is an ongoing area of research and investigation. Its potential effectiveness against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as demonstrated in preclinical and clinical studies, has led to its exploration as a candidate for combating the COVID-19 infection.

As research progresses and more data becomes available, the potential applications of rutan in treating other diseases or conditions may also be explored. However, it is important to consult with healthcare professionals and rely on verified information from reputable sources for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the approved uses of any medication or drug.


Salikhov SI, Abdurakhmonov IY, Ziyavitdinov JF, et al. Repurposing of Rutan showed effective treatment for COVID-19 disease. Research Square; 2023. DOI: 10.21203/

Conducting Clinical Trials of the Medicine “Rutan Tablets 0.1g” No. 10 in the Complex Therapy of COVID-19.” May 16, 2023.


  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

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  • Reviewed by Alex Bernard, PhD

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