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Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology


ISSN (Print): 2211-7385
ISSN (Online): 2211-7393

Mini-Review Article

Antiviral Essential Oils Incorporated in Nanocarriers: Strategy for Prevention from COVID-19 and Future Infectious Pandemics

Author(s): Malkiet Kaur, Gayatri Devi, Manju Nagpal*, Manjinder Singh, Gitika A. Dhingra and Geeta Aggarwal

Volume 8, Issue 6, 2020

Page: [437 - 451] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/2211738508666201016151850

Price: $65


Background: Coronavirus has become a life-threatening disease and it is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This new strain of coronavirus is not completely understood and to date, there is no treatment for coronavirus. Traditional ayurvedic medicines, mainly essential oils and Chinese herbs, have always played a vital role in the prevention and treatment of several epidemics and pandemics. In the meantime, guidelines of the ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoepathy) include a traditional medicinal treatment for flu and fever and also recommended to boost immunity to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is not possible to find which essential oil will offer the best level of protection. However, it is likely to assume that some essential oils are likely to offer a measurable level of defense in the same way they do with many other known viruses.

Methods: Literature relevant to various essential oils having antiviral activity has been collected and compiled. Various nanocarriers of essential oils have also been stated. The database was collected using various search engines such as J-Gate, Google Scholar, Sci-Hub, PubMed, ScienceDirect, etc.

Results: Essential oils contain active constituents such as phenolic compounds, terpenoids, alkaloids, phenyl propanoids, etc., which are responsible for their biological properties such as antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant activities and many more. However, the use of essential oils has always been limited due to poor solubility, solvent toxicity, volatility and low solubility. Many nanotechnology based carriers especially, liposomes, dendrimers, nanoparticles, nanoemulsion and microemulsion, etc. have been evidenced to overcome limitations associated with essential oils.

Conclusion: Several essential oils possess potent antiviral activity and are characterized by fewer side effects and are safe for human use. The nanocarrier systems of these oils have proved the potential to treat viral and bacterial infections.

Lay Summary: Current COVID-19 era demands traditional treatment for immunity boost up as support therapy. Traditional ayurvedic medicines, mainly essential oils and Chinese herbs, have always played a vital role in the prevention and treatment of several epidemics and pandemics. Therefore, authors have summarized various essential oils having antiviral activity in current manuscript. Various nanocarriers of essential oils have been reported. Essential oils contain active constituents such as phenolic compounds, terpenoids, alkaloids, phenyl propanoids, etc., which are responsible for their biological properties such as antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant activity. However, the use of essential oils has always been limited due to poor solubility, solvent toxicity, volatility and low solubility. Many nanotechnology based carriers especially, liposomes, dendrimers, nanoparticles, nanoemulsion and microemulsion, etc. have been evidenced to overcome limitations associated with essential oils. The nanocarrier systems of these oils have proved the potential to treat viral and bacterial infections.

Keywords: Antiviral activity, coronavirus, COVID-19, essential oils, nanocarriers, pandemic.

Graphical Abstract
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