This article is for informational purposes only. The current coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing event and certain details may change as new information comes to light. No effective or FDA-approved products are currently available for the treatment of the new coronavirus (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV), although research is still ongoing.
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa), most commonly known as the spice found in curry, is not only known for its flavor, but for its purported health benefits as well. Its active compound, curcumin, is a popular and well-known anti-inflammatory supplement .
Some clinical trials suggest that two months of curcumin supplementation at 500 mg/day can reduce hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion. The authors proposed that curcumin helps balance the immune response .
In a study on almost 2,500 people, eating a diet rich in curcumin was associated with an improved lung function, especially among current and past smokers .
Because curcumin blocks cytokine release, it has been suggested to prevent life-threatening complications of severe viral infections such as ARDS and cytokine storm .
In mice with acute lung injury caused by severe bacterial infections, curcumin (injected, as a nose spray, and directly delivered into the lungs) prevented its progression to ARDS by reducing lung inflammation, swelling, and damage [10, 11, 12, 13, 14].
Curcumin also reduced lung damage and inflammation caused by air pollution, different chemicals (benzo-alpha-pyrene, bleomycin, paraquat, hydrochloric acid, and polyethylene glycol), diabetes, and lung transplantation in animal studies [16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23].
A pharmaceutical company (SignPath Pharma) is currently developing a curcumin-based treatment for ARDS associated with COVID-19 .
Curcumin may help protect the lungs from damage by reducing inflammation and promoting anti-inflammatory Treg cells
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of curcumin protected mice from cytomegalovirus infection as effectively as the antiviral drug ganciclovir .
Curcumin delivered into the vagina reduced inflammation and tissue damage in female rats with genital herpes. However, it failed to prevent the infection in healthy ratas .
In turkeys challenged with avian flu (H9N2), supplementation of the feed with curcumin and thymoquinone reduced virus shedding and enhanced immune responses 
In test tubes, curcumin inhibited the following viruses:
- SARS-CoV-1 
- Influenza A [27, 34]
- Respiratory syncytial virus [35, 36]
- Hepatitis B [37, 38]
- Hepatitis C [39, 40, 41]
- Oral herpes (herpes simplex 1) [42, 43]
- Genital herpes (herpes simplex 2) 
- HIV [45, 46, 47, 44]
- Cytomegalovirus 
- Enterovirus 71 [49, 50]
- Zika 
- Chikungunya [51, 52]
- Dengue [53, 54]
- Japanese encephalitis virus 
- Rift valley virus 
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus 
- Coxsackievirus B3 
- Bovine herpesvirus type 1 
A molecular simulation study identified curcumin and some of its derivatives as potential inhibitors of the ebola virus .
In a similar study, both curcumin and its derivative demethoxycurcumin were identified as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 capable of targeting its main protease .
This mechanism can add to the ability of curcumin to inhibit enveloped viruses by breaking down their fatty membrane .
Curcumin has shown antiviral activity on direct contact, and it appeared to protect experimental animals from viral infection.