Background: Natural products are useful agents for the discovery of new
lead- compounds and effective drugs to combat coronaviruses (CoV).
Objective: The present work provides an overview of natural substances, plant extracts,
and essential oils as potential anti-SARS-CoV agents. In addition, this work evaluates
their drug-like properties which are essential in the selection of compounds in order to accelerate
the drug development process.
Methods: The search was carried out using PubMed, ScienceDirect and SciFinder. Articles
addressing plant-based natural products as potential SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2
agents within the last seventeen years were analyzed and selected. The descriptors for
Chemometrics analysis were obtained in alvaDesc and the principal component analysis
(PCA) was carried out in SIMCA version 13.0.
Results: Based on in vitro assays and computational analyses, this review covers twentynine
medicinal plant species and more than 300 isolated substances as potential anti-coronavirus
agents. Among them, flavonoids and terpenes are the most promising compound
classes. In silico analyses of drug-like properties corroborate these findings and indicate
promising candidates for in vitro and in vivo studies to validate their activity.
Conclusion: This paper highlights the role of ethnopharmacology in drug discovery and
suggests the use of integrative (in silico/ in vitro) and chemocentric approaches to
strengthen current studies and guide future research in the field of antiviral agents.