Extensive medical research reveals that an old drug called “colchicine” improves the treatment of severe coronary heart disease and may even lower mortality rates from it. Colchicine is an ancient medicine derived from the saffron plant – which was known in ancient times for its healing properties, and is one of the few medicines that survived until modern times. A new study, recently published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine led by Prof. Amichai Shatner of the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center, finds that the ancient medicine with the special history is also effective in treating severe coronary heart disease.
While in the past colchicine was used to treat and prevent seizures of gout alone, a fifty-year-old discovery confirmed by studies at Tel Hashomer and Hadassah Medical Center has shown that colchicine is also very effective against hereditary inflammatory disease, known as Mediterranean fever. This disease is relatively common among Jewish families from North Africa as well as Turks, Armenians and Arabs.
The initial mention of colchicine was discovered in an ancient Egyptian papyrus dating to 1550 BC, and later the drug was used by physicians in ancient Greece, in the Byzantine period, and by Arab physicians more than a thousand years ago. According to Prof. Shtner, “it is an anti-inflammatory drug that has been accepted for the prevention and treatment of gout – a hereditary metabolic disease that causes inflammatory attacks due to increased urinary acid crystals in the joints and kidneys.”
“Recently, I conducted a review of the proven uses of colchicine in qualitative studies from the last twenty years. The present study raises three new and well-established uses for this drug – including treatment of the corona virus,” Prof. Shatner describes.
To date, four controlled studies have been published examining the effect of colchicine supplementation in nearly 6,000 corona patients. It was found that patients who received colchicine showed a significant improvement in severe corona indices, and most importantly – there was a decrease in mortality by about 50% compared to those who were not treated with colchicine. Prof. Shatner concludes that “thanks to its cheap price and safety of use, the effectiveness of colchicine in the treatment of corona is an important discovery that could significantly contribute to improving the morbidity and mortality of many patients, if confirmed in further studies. The result is particularly surprising “New uses are being discovered for it, and future studies may establish its usefulness in other situations.”