Herbal Medicines Current Affairs - 2020

Herbal Decongestant Spray developed by CSIR

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI) has developed herbal decongestant spray. The spray is used to prevent COVID-19 infection and to ease wearing masks.


Wearing mask for a long time creates difficulty in breathing and congestion in respiratory system. The herbal spray will help to address this problem.

What causes difficulty in wearing masks?

The main issue of wearing face mask is that the carbon dioxide gets accumulated in the inner cavity of the mask. The accumulated carbon dioxide goes back to the lungs when a person breathes. This creates difficulty in breathing when a person wears mask for a long time.

Decongestant Spray

The spray has been created by blending four plant-based oil. The CSIR has not disclosed the names of the plants due to issues related to intellectual property rights. The spray has been prepared based on the guidelines of Ministry of AYUSH.

The spray clears windpipe and thus helps in removing mucus or cough that helps to ease breathing. This will also help to reduce the stress caused by excessive decongestion.


The NBRI is a Lucknow based laboratory that mainly focuses on botanical research work. The institute is to transfer technology to Indian companies for commercial production. The masks then produced with the spray are to be sent to the front- line workers fighting against COVID-19.

Neurocalyx calycinus plant possesses medicinal values

Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) have confirmed the multiple therapeutic properties of Neurocalyx calycinus, a medicinal plant endemic to the southern parts of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

The therapeutic properties of the plant were discovered based on traditional knowledge of Cholanaickan tribe, (one of the particularly vulnerable groups in Kerala) used it to treat inflammations and wounds.

Key Facts
  • The herbal drug formulation derived from Neurocalyx calycinus possesses burn-healing, wound-healing, anti-cancer, analgesic, immuno-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, platelet-augmentation and anti-oxidant effects.
  • Animal trials have proved that the leaves of this medicnal plant possess wound-healing properties comparable to the standard drug Povidone/Iodine in the early phase of inflammation.
  • The anti-inflammatory activity of the leaves was found comparable to the drug diclofenac sodium. The pre-clinical trials also have confirmed the therapeutic effects of N.calycinus against burn wounds and pain.
  • The presence of high Vitamin E content and potent cytoprotective activity in cell lines has also enhanced the prospects of developing an anti-cancer drug. Besides it also has immuno-enhancing, platelet augmentation, and anti-oxidant potential.