Background: The aim of the present review is to provide basic knowledge regarding the
treatment of Coronavirus via medicinal plants. Coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV)
as a viral pneumonia causative agent, has infected thousands of people in China and worldwide. Currently,
there is no specific medicine or vaccine available that can treat or prevent this virus and this has posed
a severe threat to human health; therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a novel drug or anticoronavirus
vaccine. However, natural compounds to treat coronaviruses are the most effective alternative
and complementary therapies due to their diverse range of biological and therapeutic properties.
Methods: We performed an open-ended, English restricted search of Scopus database, Web of Science,
and Pubmed for all available literature from Jan-March, 2020, using terms related to phytochemical
compounds, medicinal plants and coronavirus.
Results: The view on anti-coronavirus (anti-CoV) activity in the plant-derived phytochemicals and
medicinal plants gives a strong base to develop a novel treatment employing these compounds for
coronavirus. Various phytochemicals and medicinal plant extracts have been revised and are considered
as potential anti-CoV agents for effective control of the virus and future drug development. Herein,
we discuss some important plants (Scutellaria baicalensis, Psorothamnus arborescens, Glycyrrhiza
radix, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Lycoris radiate, Phyllanthus emblica, Camellia sinensis, Hyptis atrorubens
Poit, Fraxinus sieboldiana, Erigeron breviscapus, Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium, Amaranthus
tricolor, Phaseolus vulgaris, Rheum palmatum, Curcuma longa and Myrica cerifera) that have
emerged to have broad-spectrum antiviral activity.
Conclusion: Nigella sativa has potent anti-SARS-CoV activity and it might be a useful source for developing
novel antiviral therapies for coronavirus.