MACH-19: Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19
“Mushroom-based Product for COVID-19” (MACH-19)
“Chinese Herbal Formula for COVID-19” (MACH-19)
“RCT of Mushroom-based Natural Product to Enhance Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccination” (MACH-19)
Top researchers at the University of California have launched a groundbreaking FDA-approved clinical trial to study natural medicine to fight COVID-19. While the US population rapidly becomes vaccinated, it may take until 2023 or longer before a large part of the world’s population has the same opportunity. This time delay could invite the development of vaccine resistant strains in unvaccinated areas placing even those who have already been immunized at risk. COVID will continue to fester in unvaccinated areas, placing billions at risk of acute infection and death.
Historic Study of Natural Medicine: Perpetual Impact
Many of our best antimicrobials, such as penicillin, come from fungi and mushrooms. Unlike pharmaceutical approaches, nature has been continuously interacting with our biological world, giving rise to a broad spectrum of defenses against emerging microbial threats. MACH-19 (Mushrooms and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19) will study an immune balancing mycological formula with broad spectrum, anti-viral activity and a Chinese herbal formula widely used in Asia.
MACH-19 seeks to address problems raised by COVID-19 by developing a spectrum of solutions:
- Treatment for acute COVID-19 patients to reduce hospitalizations.
- Vaccine adjuvant to safely boost the effectiveness of vaccines, lengthen the duration of immunity, and protect against vaccine-resistant strains that may emerge.
If successful, these natural medicines will offer safe, widely available, and affordable remedies to address multiple aspects of the pandemic. The FDA clinical trials are based at UC San Diego with collaborators from UCLA, UC Irvine, and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. These studies may constitute a watershed moment for the field of natural medicine. This remarkable effort addresses not only the current pandemic but future ones as well. It will equip generations to come with scientifically documented knowledge of the potency and potential of natural medicine.