Research Article

The Efficacy of a Persian Medicine-Based Dietary Protocol on Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial


This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a Persian Medicine-based dietary protocol (PM diet) in patients infected with COVID-19. A randomized clinical trial was performed from July 2020 to January 2021 in Tehran, Iran. Eighty patients admitted due to pulmonary dysfunction caused by COVID-19 were randomly allocated into two groups: the PM diet or the common hospital (CH) diet. Eight beds in 2 rooms were considered for each group. Patients were randomly hospitalized in these rooms and received these diets up to discharge or death. The details of the PM diet were published before (Hospital diet for COVID-19, an acute respiratory infectious disease: An evidence-based Protocol of a Clinical Trial). O2 saturation level and duration of hospitalization, the rate of mortality, duration of fever, and duration of cough were considered as the primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. O2 Saturation and fever durationwere not different between groups (P-value= 0.08, 0.312, respectively). But the duration of hospitalization and the duration of cough in the PM diet group were significantly shorter than in the CH diet (P-value= 0.002, 0.009, and HR=2.02, 1.86 respectively). The mortality rate was significantly lower in the PM diet group than in the CH diet group (Odds ratio: 0.12, P-value=0.026). PM diet caused a lower mortality rate, shorter hospital stay, and better improvement in cough, but did not have a significant effect on O2 saturation and fever.

Mirzaie A, Halaji M, Dehkordi FS, Ranjbar R, Noorbazargan H. A narrative literature review on traditional medicine options for treatment of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Complement Ther Clin Pract 2020;40:101214.

Berretta AA, Silveira MAD, Captcha JMC, De Jong D. Propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and COVID-19 disease. Biomed Pharmacother 2020;131:110622.

Malik YS, Sircar S, Bhat S, Vinodhkumar OR, Tiwari R, et al. Emerging coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a pandemic public health emergency with animal linkages. Indian J Anim Sci 2020;90:303-317.

Menachemi N, Dixon BE, Wools-Kaloustian KK, Yiannoutsos CT, Halverson PK. How many SARS-CoV-2–infected people require hospitalization? Using random sample testing to better inform preparedness efforts. J Public Health Manag Pract 2021;27:246-250.

Hartanti D, Dhiani BA, Charisma SL, Wahyuningrum R. The potential roles of jamu for COVID-19: a learn from the traditional Chinese medicine. Pharm Sci Res 2020;7:12-22.

Wang H, Xu B, Zhang Y, Duan Y, Gao R, et al. Efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Pharmacol 2021;12:609213.

Ehsani MJ, Jafari JM, Aliasl J, Kamalinejad M, Gachkar L, et al. Effect of diet based on the principles of Iranian traditional medicine on cirrhosis (a clinical trial). Complement Ther Med 2016;29:35-41.

Nasser M, Tibi A, Savage-Smith E. Ibn Sina's Canon of Medicine: 11th century rules for assessing the effects of drugs. J R Soc Med 2009;102:78-80.

Arzani M. Teb-e-Akbari [Akbari’s medicine]. Research Institute for Islamic and Complimentary Medicine, Tehran 2008; pp 250-254.

Kumar A, Rai A, Khan MS, Kumar A, Haque Z, et al. Role of herbal medicines in the management of patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Tradit Complement Med 2022;12:100-113.

Komolafe K, Komolafe TR, Fatoki TH, Akinmoladun AC, Brai BI, et al. Coronavirus disease 2019 and herbal therapy: pertinent issues relating to toxicity and standardization of phytopharmaceuticals. Rev Bras Farmacogn 2021;31:142-161.

Moreira DdL, Teixeira SS, Monteiro MHD, De-Oliveira ACA, Paumgartten FJ. Traditional use and safety of herbal medicines. Rev Bras Farmacogn 2014;24:248-257.

Adefegha SA. Functional foods and nutraceuticals as dietary intervention in chronic diseases; novel perspectives for health promotion and disease prevention. J Diet Suppl 2018;15:977-1009.

Organization WH. COVID-19 clinical management: living guidance, 25 January 2021. World Health Organization, 2021.

Moslemifard M, Ghadimi R, Kamalinejad M, Shirafkan H, Mozaffarpur SA. Hospital diet for COVID-19, an acute respiratory infectious disease: an evidence-based protocol of a clinical trial. Caspian J Intern Med 2020;11:466-478.

Karimi M, Zarei A, Soleymani S, Jamalimoghadamsiahkali S, Asadi A, et al. Efficacy of Persian medicine herbal formulations (capsules and decoction) compared to standard care in patients with COVID‐19, a multicenter open‐labeled, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res 2021;35:6295-6309.

Setayesh M, Karimi M, Zargaran A, Abousaidi H, Shahesmaeili A, et al. Efficacy of a Persian herbal medicine compound on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a randomized clinical trial. Integr Med Res 2022;11:100869.

Wong A, Huang Y, Sowa PM, Banks MD, Bauer JD. Effectiveness of dietary counselling with or without nutritional supplementation in hospitalised patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition‐a systematic review and meta‐analysis. J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2022;46:1502-1521.

Calder PC, Laviano A, Lonnqvist F, Muscaritoli M, Öhlander M, et al. Targeted medical nutrition for cachexia in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized, controlled trial. J cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2018;9:28-40.

Thibault R, Seguin P, Tamion F, Pichard C, Singer P. Nutrition of the COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit (ICU): a practical guidance. Crit Care 2020;24:447.

Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A review of micronutrients and the immune system–working in harmony to reduce the risk of infection. Nutrients 2020;12:236.

Calder PC. Nutrition, immunity and COVID-19. BMJ Nutr Prev Health 2020;3:74-92

Moshawih S, Abdullah Juperi RA, Paneerselvam GS, Ming LC, Liew KB, et al. General health benefits and pharmacological activities of Triticum aestivum L. Molecules 2022;27:1948.

Lutter R, Teitsma-Jansen A, Floris E, Lone-Latif S, Ravi A, et al. The dietary intake of carrot-derived rhamnogalacturonan-i accelerates and augments the innate immune and anti-viral interferon response to rhinovirus infection and reduces duration and severity of symptoms in humans in a randomized trial. Nutrients 2021;13:4395.

McKay S, Oranje P, Helin J, Koek JH, Kreijveld E, et al. Development of an affordable, sustainable and efficacious plant-based immunomodulatory food ingredient based on bell pepper or carrot RG-I pectic polysaccharides. Nutrients 2021;13:963.

Sun P, Kim Y, Lee H, Kim J, Han BK, et al. Carrot pomace polysaccharide (CPP) improves influenza vaccine efficacy in immunosuppressed mice via dendritic cell activation. Nutrients 2020;12:2740.

del Rayo Camacho-Corona M, Camacho-Morales A, Góngora-Rivera F, Escamilla-García E, Morales-Landa JL, et al. Immunomodulatory effects of Allium sativum L. and its constituents against viral infections and metabolic diseases. Curr Top Med Chem 2022;22:109-131.

Khubber S, Hashemifesharaki R, Mohammadi M, Gharibzahedi SMT. Garlic (Allium sativum L.): a potential unique therapeutic food rich in organosulfur and flavonoid compounds to fight with COVID-19. Nutr J 2020;19:1-3.

Bormann M, Alt M, Schipper L, van de Sand L, Le-Trilling VTK, et al. Turmeric root and its bioactive ingredient curcumin effectively neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Viruses 2021;13:1914.

Gupta H, Gupta M, Bhargava S. Potential use of turmeric in COVID‐19. Clin Exp Dermatol 2020;45:902-903.

Kumaki Y, Wandersee MK, Smith AJ, Zhou Y, Simmons G, et al. Inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus replication in a lethal SARS-CoV BALB/c mouse model by stinging nettle lectin, Urtica dioica agglutinin. Antivir Res 2011;90:22-32.

Yonesi M, Rezazadeh A. Plants as a prospective source of natural anti-viral compounds and oral vaccines against COVID-19 coronavirus. Preprints 2020, 2020040321 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0321.v1).

Ahmad SR, Ghosh P. Benefits of dietary sesame seed and flaxseed to strengthen immune system during COVID-19 pandemic and prevent associated comorbidities related health risks. Ann Phytomedicine 2020;9:50-61.

Allam AE, Amen Y, Ashour A, Assaf HK, Hassan HA, et al. In silico study of natural compounds from sesame against COVID-19 by targeting M pro, PL pro and RdRp. RSC Adv 2021;11:22398-22408.

Bellavite P, Donzelli A. Hesperidin and SARS-CoV-2: New light on the healthy function of citrus fruits. Antioxidants 2020;9:742.

Banihani SA. Possible beneficial effects of fresh pomegranate juice in SARS-CoV-2 infection conditions. J Nutr Metab 2022;2022:5134560.

Ahmadm V. A Molecular docking study against COVID-19 protease with a pomegranate phyto-constituents' urolithin'and other repurposing drugs: from a supplement to ailment. VHL Regional Portal 2020.

Mentis AFA, Dalamaga M, Lu C, Polissiou MG. Saffron for “toning down” COVID-19-related cytokine storm: Hype or hope? A mini-review of current evidence. Metab Open. 2021;11:100111.

Kalediene L, Baz M, Liubaviciute A, Biziuleviciene G, Grabauskyte I, et al. Antiviral effect of honey extract Camelyn against SARS‐CoV‐2. J Adv Biotechnol Exp Ther 2021;4:290-297.

IssueVol 8, No 1, 2023 QRcode
SectionResearch Article(s)
COVID-19 Diet Persian medicine Nutrition Complementary therapies

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Moslemifard Khaledi M, Mehdinezhad Gorji H, Gorji N, Ghadimi R, Mozaffarpur SA, Shirafkan H. The Efficacy of a Persian Medicine-Based Dietary Protocol on Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Trad Integr Med. 2023;8(1):3-9.