Queen Aronia stands up against the Corona

The berries help prevent COVID-19, treat colds, and have a good effect on people suffering from diabetes


Prof. Dr. M. Boncheva, MD is the Head of the Clinical Laboratory at University Multi-Profile Hospital for Active Treatment “St Ekaterina” EAD – Sofia. She has completed post-graduate specializations in metabolic diseases

The COVID-19 coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease. Recent, but incomplete, reports from medical doctors around the world picture a disease with various clinical presentations, of which 17-19 have been described so far. From asymptomatic infection to... severe lethal lung conditions (lack of respiratory capacity due to damaged alveolar tissue) or stroke.

Everyone's task now is to avoid getting infected with a large dose of the virus, but on the other hand we ought to stay in an excellent health condition by observing personal hygiene, taking daily walks in the open air, and eating healthy food. This will keep our immunity ready to defend us against "any intruders".

In addition to the recommended intake of vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, I will let myself draw attention to the daily intake of bioflavonoids and their Queen berry - aronia. Bioflavonoids are an ocean of beneficial molecules that we get from plants, though RARELY ENOUGH! With this article, let me remind you about the Queen Aronia which as fruit is a typical functional food.

The chemical composition of Aronia melanocarpa (which enjoys the most wonderful cultivation conditions in our country) has been studied in detail. Every year, there are over 600 articles published in scientific literature by specialists in food chemistry, pharmacologists and physicians who provide new details about the composition and healing effects of the Queen, known also as a "natural healer" since ancient times.

Aronia berries have skin and liquid content. The skin is particularly rich in iodine, which cold-pressed juice does not contain in such concentrations.

Daily gargling and mouth rinsing with juice 2-3 times a day has a direct effect

SARS-Cov 2 is a mutated coronavirus. When another type of coronavirus infects you, you catch cold as a result. The common virus simply penetrates the cell but does not suppress it and the cell continues to live. When infection with COVID-19 develops, the cell itself and its viability are suppressed. SARS-Cov 2 damages the cells severely and irreversibly. Therefore, it is important to stop the virus from entering the cells through the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. The "queen" helps achieve this through many mechanisms. It has the highest content of polyphenols and especially anthocyanins and procyanidins. Laboratory studies of the antioxidant power of aronia juice show record-high values - 160.62 of Trolox Equivalents. In comparison with other 277 similar "red-fruit" plants, these values are many times higher. Furthermore, in 2015, Naman and co-authors isolated from dried berries of Aronia melanocarpa two new, formerly unknown derivatives of flavonoids: melanodiol 4-O-protocatechuate and melanodiol. These newly discovered compounds, specific to aronia alone, have powerful antioxidant activity. Cytotoxicity trials show that these molecules are not cytotoxic.

Aronia tea is good for everyone!

This is important for the local application of the juice. If you apply the juice two to three times daily for mouth rinsing and gargling, it will have a direct effect on viruses and bacteria, destroying those found in the oral cavity and upper respiratory tract. You may apply drops (of juice diluted with water in 1:1 ratio) in the nostrils, 2-3 times a day.

In the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, intake of aronia products may be used also in patients with respiratory infections, alongside the specific treatment of the infection.

More scientific evidence suggests that aronia intake acts preventively through (at least) two mechanisms of the immune system: It activates the pathway of macrophage cells that engage pathogens, and inhibits the release of many cytokines (thus early intake would protect against cytokine storms in more severe infection with SARS-Cov-2). Aronia intake increases the number of cells that are the competent natural killers (NK cells); it contributes to the increase in the number of lymphocytes.

The largest number of patients are chronically ill with type 2 diabetes mellitus. If the disease is poorly controlled, they are susceptible to complications. Aronia intake modulates carbohydrate metabolism through various mechanisms, such as restoring the integrity and physiology of pancreatic beta cells, increasing insulin release activity, and glucose uptake. Many countries produce aronia products, the most common of which is cold-pressed juice. However, Bulgarian aronia juice is the only one in which a specific iminosugar was found at a specialized laboratory for the study of iminosugars in England. Iminosugars are analogues of sugars as chemical compounds, in whose molecule a nitrogen atom has displaced oxygen from the structure ring. These molecules are responsible for the healing properties of plants. The first iminosugar was discovered in 1976 - deoxynojirimycin (DNJ, NM). A number of others followed. These molecules (iminosugars) are alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. They have a proven effect in the compensation of diabetes, and direct antiviral action. The benefits of aronia in diabetic patients have been studied in detail. The route of the exerted effect begins in the gastrointestinal tract. In the first few days, the intestinal flora is influenced, followed by the intestinal incretins – the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).

But in what "dosage" is this "medicine" to be taken? First, let us see what products are available on the market and in your yards and homes. Recommended: plain, fresh aronia berries (seasonal); dried aronia berries (for use all year round); "flour" - dried aronia is made into flour; cold-pressed juice of fresh, unfrozen aronia berries; slightly fermented juice (thanks to the natural yeast) called "wine" or "vitamin drink"; a slightly dried berry coated in chocolate (aronia chocolate dragees).

Unrecommendable: aronia juice, but such that contains sugar or sweeteners and water (read the label very carefully). Juice from frozen aronia (you can never know ...). Some brands of "juice" contain only 5% of aronia juice, but the packaging has ARONIA written on in huge letters. Make sure to stay informed, and when you choose the best product, stick with it. All product varieties are recommendable for those not suffering from ill health, who will take aronia as food. For them, the daily intake can be: a handful of berries; 50 ml of juice; 4 teaspoons of flour; 100 ml of "wine"; two handfuls of chocolate dragees (just kidding, those are to indulge yourself with !!!). Aronia can be mixed with some "Manastirsko" yogurt and ... you have your breakfast ready.

For people suffering from diabetes, to assist their treatment they should take a dose 3-4 times higher. Take the same products as above, only before each meal - three or four times a day. That would be at 8 a.m., 12 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., for example.
People who seek to prevent the flu and other inflammatory diseases - the same twice a day, before meals. The juice is the product of choice also because it can be used for gargling or as drops to directly "disinfect" the oral cavity and upper respiratory tract.
There is more and more ... about the "gains" from the intake of Aronia: It has been established that it relieves the inflammation of the vascular wall of arteries and veins, thereby reducing the adhesion of platelets to them, and hence the formation of atheromatous plaques or intravascular thrombosis; last but not least, there have been beneficial neuropsychological effects in many of the studied groups.

It can certainly be concluded that the intake of Aronia juice has no toxic effects. Too much of it may cause a laxative effect, which will cease by reducing the dose, depending on the individual concerned.

That is why Aronia is recommended as a health-related functional food (rather than a food supplement) in almost all chronic diseases, as well as in the convalescent period after severe trauma, surgery, and also during chemotherapy.

Don't think about the Corona or COVID-19! Just nibble Queen Aronia every day.

And .... keep social distancing – let no one come near your Queen.