Potential gamechanger? Singapore firm unveils herbal supplement to support immunity

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The firm has also set up a telemedicine platform to conduct video calls with cold and flu patients ©Avrocil
The firm has also set up a telemedicine platform to conduct video calls with cold and flu patients ©Avrocil

Related tags Singapore Herbal Immunity respiratory

Singapore-based Tabernacle Health Group (THG) has developed a herbal supplement to support the immune system.

THG, the company behind Avrocil, its supplement brand officially launched this month with two supplements, one targeting cold and flu symptoms, another for supporting a strong immune system. The former has since been withdrawn.

Avrocil contains redroot gromwell root (detoxifier), grosvenor momordica leaf (cough reliever), chrysanthemum leaf (treatment for fever, headaches, dizziness, and swelling), capillary wormwood leaf (chinese sage) relieves bronchitis and has antibacterial properties, prunella vulgaris eases mouth ulcers and throat infections and common lophatherum fruit for getting rid of body heat and is a TCM normally used in severe URTI. The supplements are contain vitamins A, E, K, and D.

URTI is one of the most commonly recurring infections and the current pharmaceutical treatments tend to be steroids, and take about a week for symptoms to cure, often along with side effects, according to Jesslyn Wong, CEO and founder of THG, a biotech company based in Singapore focusing on the research and development in URTI.

In-vitro​ study

The firm has done an in-vitro​ study using upper respiratory epithelial cells which are inoculated with the HRV virus, the most common viral infection in humans known to cause colds.

THG researchers have found that upon consumption of Avrocil formula, respiratory tract viruses are unable to transcript their RNA matter in the host cell, thereby halting their replication.

It has the potential to reduce viral spike protein fusion by dropping ACE2 receptors through its strong anti-inflammatory mechanism. If the virus is unable to replicate itself, it will die off within 24 hours.

Avrocil was found to reduce Interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels, a pro-inflammatory cytokine within 24 hours. When cells are infected with virus, they also tend to change morphology but 50% of cells treated with avrocil were found to return back to normal shape after 24 hours.

The study is being peer-reviewed and awaiting publication. “We feel this may be a game changer for the cold and flu industry​,” Wong said.

To further validate Avrocil’s findings, THG has plans to conduct human clinical studies in the future.

Sales and export markets

The supplement is manufactured in Singapore, is Health Sciences Authority-approved and pending patent. It retails for SG$55 (US$40).

Wong said it took five years of R&D, including exploring a herbal drink format, quickly realising the taste was unacceptable among the younger generation, hence switching to the current capsule format.

THG has also set up a telemedicine platform to conduct video calls with cold and flu patients. Patients can also consult them on dietary changes.

In Singapore, the product is sold on THG’s e-commerce store, its telegram group, upcoming Shopee platform, and is working with several department and convenience stores to list the supplement.

For exports, the firm has listed the product on Amazon US, and is working with distributors in US, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia to bring the product to doctors and pharmacists.

Tabernacle Health Group has taken down one of the supplement targeting cold and flu symptoms.

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