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.