Role of herbal medicines in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 and managing post-COVID-19 complications

Phytomedicine. 5 Jan 2022;98:153930. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2022.153930. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The global outbreak of corona virus disease, commonly known as the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, has resulted in a major global health crisis. The morbidity and mode of transmission of COVID-19 seem more severe and uncontrollable. Respiratory failure and the resulting cardiovascular complications are the main pathophysiology of this fatal disease. Several therapeutic strategies are proposed for the development of a safe and effective treatment against the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a pharmacological point of view, but to date, no specific therapeutic regimen has been developed for this viral infection.

OBJECTIVE: The present review emphasizes the role of herbs and herb-derived secondary metabolites in the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus and also for the management of post-COVID-19 related complications. This approach will promote and ensure guarantees for the use of medicinal plant resources to support the health system. Plant-derived phytochemicals have previously been reported to prevent viral infection and overcome post-COVID complications such as parkinsonism, kidney and heart failure, liver and lung damage, and mental problems. In this review, we explored mechanistic approaches to medicinal plants and their phytocomponents as antiviral and post-COVID complications by modulating immunological and inflammatory states.

STUDY DESIGN: Studies related to diagnostic and treatment guidelines issued for COVID-19 by different systems of traditional medicine were included. Information was collected from pharmacological or non-pharmacological intervention approaches. The collected information was sorted according to the therapeutic application of the herbs and their components against complications related to SARSCoV-2 and COVID-19.

METHODS: A systemic search of published literature was conducted from 2003 to 2021 using different literature databases like Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science to highlight relevant articles on Medicinal Plants for SARS-CoV-2 Viral Infection and Post-COVID Related Complications.

RESULTS: Published literature collected from 2003 yielded a total of 625 articles, from over 18 countries. Among these 625 articles, more than 95 medicinal plants and 25 active phytomolecules belong to 48 plant families. Reports on the therapeutic activity of medicinal plants belong to the Lamiaceae family (11 reports), the maximum of which was reported from 4 different countries, including India, China, Australia and Morocco. Other reports on the medicinal plant of Asteraceae (7 reports), Fabaceae (8 reports), Piperaceae (3 reports), Zingiberaceae (3 reports), Ranunculaceae (3 reports), Meliaceae (4 reports) were found, which can be explored for the development of safe and effective products targeting COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: Bearing in mind that natural alternatives are prioritized for the management and prevention of COVID-19, this review may help to develop an alternative approach for the management of viral infection COVID-19 and post-COVID complications from a mechanistic perspective.

PMID:35114450 | DOI:10.1016/j.phymed.2022.153930

Alvin J. Chase