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Are There Natural Alternatives to Hydroxychloroquine?

by Andreea Laza

The fast-spreading novel coronavirus COVID-19 is urging doctors to find a rapid cure. In a recent tweet, the US president Donald Trump mentioned that hydroxychloroquine (anti-malaria medicine) with zinc sulfate and azithromycin (an antibiotic) have great result in the treatment of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

His tweet has made headlines worldwide.

Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko, a NY practitioner, who has used hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin plus zinc sulfate successfully to treat COVID-19 patients, has sent this letter to president Trump. You can read it below.

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin plus zinc sulfate treatment for COVID-19 from Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko.

Read Also: 3 Natural Ways to Prevent Coronavirus COVID-19 Infection

Hydroxychloroquine Natural Alternatives for COVID-19

Are There Natural Alternatives to Hydroxychloroquine?

It is important to understand that we don’t want to promote a cure for COVID-19 or make any claims whatsoever. This information here is purely an informative reading about natural alternatives to hydroxychloroquine, as a treatment for malaria.

If you have any symptoms related to COVID-19, we urge you to consult a doctor. This being said, let’s see if there actually are any natural alternatives to hydroxychloroquine.

Before we answer this question, it’s best we understand what chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are and what is their medical use.

What Is Hydroxychloroquine?

Chloroquine, the precursor of hydroxychloroquine, has been around for over 80 years. The drug was first developed as an antimalarial treatment. Today, doctors also prescribe it for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It has also been used for the SARS-associated coronavirus epidemic in 2003, according to a French study. So it’s not news that it works for coronaviruses.

After being used for ages to treat malaria, some of the parasites causing malaria have developed a resistance to it. Hence, doctors created a milder version, that we know as hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine is an alkaline compound used for the treatment of malaria, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. 

How Can Hydroxychloroquine Treat COVID-19?

Some argue that hydroxychloroquine raises the pH levels of the host cells attacked by the virus, thus preventing the virus from releasing its genes and replicate. As a result, hydroxychloroquine expels the coronavirus COVID-19 bug out of the lung cells and can’t infect them anymore.

While this may sound like a good explanation, simply stopping the replication of the virus in the body doesn’t explain how hydroxychloroquine fights the already installed virus and the havoc it creates.

Another explication is that hydroxychloroquine helps the zinc sulfate to enter the affected cells and it’s actually the zinc that kills off the coronavirus bug, while azythromicin prevents for further infections to take place. This iswhy the Zelenko protocol seems to work againts COVID-19.

Read Also: 10 Best Natural Sources of Zinc

Read Also: 8 Natural Alternatives to Azythromicin for COVID-19

But there is more to it. And the next question is…

Why Is a Malaria Treatment Effective for COVID-19?

What we know for sure is that patients with COVID-19 suffer from prolonged and progressive hypoxia. This happens when the body is starved of oxygen due to low O2 in the blood stream. Lungs don’t get enough oxygen, and the same happens to the rest of the body, thus organ failure is a common cause of death in COVID-19.

Why is this actually happening?

A good explanation that we found here is that the glycoproteins in COVID-19 attach to the proteins in the hemoglobin (responsible to carry oxygen through the blood stream) called “hemes“. Hemes carry a special kind of iron ion through the blood stream, which is normally quite toxic in its free form. When the virus binds to the hemes, it forces them to release this toxic oxidative iron ion into the blood stream.

Two thing happen: hemoglobin can no longer carry oxygen because they lack the vital ion iron to do so. Second, the released iron ion is highly reactive and causes oxidative damage in the body. Last, the overwhelmed liver doesn’t know how to cope with the situation and releases an enzyme called alanine aminotransferase ALT. At this stage, the patient needs a whole lot of oxygen, just to keep the organs continue working, thus the needed ventilators.

But we now know that ventilators don’t work for COVID-19. What actually works is hydroxycholoquine with zinc sulfate and azythromicin (zitromax).

And now we’re getting to the bottom of it.

Hydroxychloroquine Fights COVID-19

Just like COVID-19, malaria is a little parasite that enters the red blood cells and feeds off of hemoglobin. Hydroxychloroquine comes in, and it stops malaria from eating the hemoglobin and releasing its iron ions into the blood stream. Apparently this is the same reason why hydroxychloroquine has great results in treating COVID-19.

Many state governments have already implemented this COVID-19 treatment with success, as some news report.

People are hyped about this and more and more doctors start to speak out about the fact that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Some claim that hydroxychloroquine can have side-effects but in a matter of life and death, side-effects are negligible.

At the time being hydroxychloroquine is hard to procure because some states officials in the US have simply banned doctors to prescribe it, its cannot be taken over the counter and the mass-media fights very hard against it, pushing the narrative that we need a vaccine and a more expensive drugs.

But we all know that before a vaccine, we need a cure for COVID-19, and in the end, we may not need a vaccine after all. And even before we need a treatment, we need a good prevention. Hydroxychloroquine has been proven to also work as a means to prevent COVID-19.

So we made our own research to see if there are natural alternatives to hydroxychloroquine and we have good news for you.

Read Also: 5 Best Natural Supplements to Prevent COVID-19

7 Natural Alternatives to Hydroxychloroquine

Before chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were even synthesized in labs, doctors used natural extracts to treat malaria.

The most notable natural alternatives to hydroxychloroquine are:

Most of the natural alternatives to hydroxychloroquine below have no negative interaction with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, according to studies. In addition, they have little to no side-effects if used according to a medical prescription.

1. Sweet Wormwood

(Artemisia annua)

This simple herb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as a treatment for malaria. According to some scientific research, artemisinin has a higher chemotherapeutic index than chloroquine and is effective in chloroquine-resistant strains of human malaria.

Artemisinin, also known as qinghaosu, is an antimalarial compound, that although is not a direct natural alternative to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, it fights the same cause. In addition it is particularly active against chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans.

The aforementioned scientific paper revealed that artemisinin and its two derivatives have been used clinically for the treatment of cerebral malaria in areas where chloroquine resistance was endemic and the cure rate was greater than 90%.

In addition, sweet wormwood fights viral loads and can reduce cellular immune depression caused by excess cortisol. In other words, it helps the body cells stay strong when we’re going through very stressful situations, such as the COVID-19 epidemics.

You Can Buy Sweet Wormwood Extract Here:

2. Cinchona Bark

(Chincona officinalis)

Did you know that chloroquine was actually created as an alternative treatment for quinine? Yes, before chloroquine and its newer version, hydroxychloroquine, quinine was the natural and only treatment for malaria. In Europe, Chichona tree bark has been used as a malaria medicine since the early 17th century.

Quinine is naturally extracted from the bark of Cinchona trees. This natural source of quinine, has proven to have effective anti-malarial properties, as studies show. The WHO guidelines still recommend the use of quinine in various drug combinations to treat mild malaria, and consider it to be safe for first trimester pregnant women who suffer from malaria.

You Can Buy Chichona Here:

Read Also: 10 Best Natural Sources of Zinc

3. Remijia Bark

(Ciliosemina pedunculata)

It is a flowering shrub native to Peru, Colombia and Brazil, a cheaper version of quinine compared to Cinchona bark. Due to the high quinine and quinidine alkaloids it contains, Remija’s bark is used to make tonic water and beverages. It is, as you may assume, bitter and astringent in taste.

This plant is an effective treatment for fevers, and is especially used as a treatment and preventative of malaria.

It is a common herbal treatment for malaria, cold and influenza, sore throat as well as other conditions such as neuralgia, muscle cramps and cardiac fibrillation. Remijia bark could be a natural alternative to hydroxychloroquine.

4. Macassar kernels

(Brucea javanica)

This medicinal plant is an ancient treatment for malaria fever in the South-Eastern parts of Asia. Recent studies revealed that the biochemical compounds in this plant, namely the alkaloids, flavonoids and phenols in its fruits and alkaloids, phenols and saponins in its roots are highly effective against malaria.

Other studies have revealed that the use of this extract doesn’t interfere with the antiplasmodial activity of chloroquine and quinine. Moreover, doctors use it to delay the onset of chloroquine-resistant malaria. It is not a natural alternative to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine per se, but it has the same therapeutic action, and fights chloroquine-resistant malaria.

You Can Buy Macassar Kernels Here:

5. Guduchi

(Tinospora cordifolia)

Guduchi, commonly known as heart-leaved moonseed, is an Ayurvedic medicine for malaria, with immuomodulatory properties just like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Guduchi is a common alternative treatment for intermittent fevers due to dengue and malaria.

A 2011 study compared the efficiency of a natural Ayurvedic medicine made with guduchi and ginger with hydroxychloroquine sulfate, in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The conclusion was that guduchi and ginger has similar effects in controlling active RA, just like hydroxychloroquine sulfate, but no side-effects.

You Can Buy Guduchi Supplements Here:

6. Ylang Ylang

(Cananga odorata & Artabotrys hexapetalus)

Another highly effective malarial drug is the semi-synthetic extract from the Ylang Ylang plant, know as arteflene. This compound actually has suppressive and prophylactic properties, similar to chloroquine and superior to artemisinin. According to a 1994 study, it has a low acute toxicity when taken orally or in subcutaneous administration.

In Java and Vietnam, the dried flowers of C. odorata are used to treat malaria and malaria-like symptoms. Native healers of The Northern Mariana Islands use the flowers and bark of this beautifully scented flowering shrub to treat pneumonia and stomach pains. Indians use the Ylang Ylang bark decoctions to treat rheumatism, phlegm, ophthalmia, ulcers, and fevers.

7. Tree of Heaven

(Ailanthus altissima)

The seeds of this tree contain an active compounds, similar to hydroxychloroquine in its action against malaria. We are talking about quassin, one of the most bitter substances found in nature. Quassin is a very common ingredient in soft tonic drinks.

According to a 2003 study, quassin showed effeciveness against both chloroquine‐resistant and chloroquine‐sensitive strains of Plasmodium falciparum (the parasite that causes malaria) in vitro.

The are other trees from the Simaroubaceae family, that have high levels of quassinoids. Simba Cedron is one of them. Due to its high levels of quassinoids, this tree’s extract is used to treat malaria, as an alternative to chloroquine.

You Can Buy Tree of Heaven Root Bark Here:

7 Natural Alternatives to Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Natural Alternatives for Hydroxychloroquine Treatment

Foods, herbs and spices that naturally fight malaria (and possibly prevent coronavirus COVID-19) are:

  • grapefruit, cinnamon, lemon, lime, oranges, ginger, raisins, honey, pepper and basil.
  • avoid oily, fatty, ready meals, junk foods or deep fried foods.

Here is how you can use them for prevention:

  1. Heat up 1 grapefruit and eat its pulp. Grapefruit contains quinine-like substances, which in turn is effective in treating malaria.
  2. Boil some freshly ground black pepper and 1 tsp of cinnamon in 1 cup of water. Leave it to cool off and then add a bit of honey. Drink this spicy tea while warm.
  3. Mix 60 ml of water with the juice from 1 lemon and 3 mg of lime juice. Drink this to prevent fever episodes.
  4. Juice the leaves of holy basil to make 11 mg of fresh juice, and mix this juice with 3 mg dried and powdered holy basil and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Add 1 small piece of ginger and 2-3 raisins in a cup of water. Boil until the initial water quantity drops to half. Let the tea cool off a bit and drink it warm.

Good to know! In the initial stages of malaria, patients follow a diet of orange juice and water.


It is quite interesting to see that drugs that have been used for malaria, can potentially have a beneficial effect for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. There is a great need for more alternatives treatments for the novel coronavirus, given there are none at the given time.

Until then, the best we can do is to stay positive, eat light and fresh, and boost our immune system naturally. It is without any doubt that the best treatment is prevention. Follow the hygiene guidelines and stay positive, no matter what. Fear suppresses the immune system.

Read Also: Natural Alternatives to Azythromicin for COVID-19

The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor.

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