Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus, and the infection by SARS-CoV-2, termed as
COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, and this outbreak became a pandemic in February
of 2020. Till now, there is no effective drug or vaccine against this virus that can make a complete cure;
however, a number of drugs are in trials.
Objectives: In this review, we have focused on an alternative therapeutic approach using natural products utilizing
the host anti-viral responses for resolving COVID-19 pathogenesis.
Methods: We have searched databases like PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for articles
related to natural products and viral diseases, with a specific focus on coronaviruses, as well as other RNA
viruses and recent updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, and collected articles and reviewed them comprehensively.
Results: Scientific studies clarified the viral pathogenesis that involved viral entrance into host cells and anti-viral
response inside the cells, which can be effectively targeted by numerous natural compounds from different
sources. Many of these compounds can potentially target viral genomic material or protein machinery. Natural
products that were found effective against other coronaviruses, especially SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV (which
emerged in 2002 and 2012, respectively), might be effective against SARS-CoV-2 due to their structural similarities.
Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency thus, urgent drug development is necessary. Natural
products can be the biggest source of drugs, as they have been found to be effective in other coronaviruses previously;
however, time is required to establish the clinical success of these drugs for clinical applications.