Role of medicinal plants in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 and in the management of post-COVID-19 complications

Background – The worldwide corona virus disease outbreak, generally known as COVID-19 pandemic outbreak resulted in a major health crisis globally. The morbidity and transmission modality of COVID-19 appear more severe and uncontrollable. The respiratory failure and following cardiovascular complications are the main pathophysiology of this deadly disease. Several therapeutic strategies are put forward for the development of safe and effective treatment against SARS-CoV-2 virus from the pharmacological view point but till date there are no specific treatment regimen developed for this viral infection. Purpose – The present review emphasizes the role of herbs and herbs-derived secondary metabolites in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 virus and also for the management of post-COVID-19 related complications. This approach will foster and ensure the safeguards of using medicinal plant resources to support the healthcare system. Plant-derived phytochemicals have already been reported to prevent the viral infection and to overcome the post-COVID complications like parkinsonism, kidney and heart failure, liver and lungs injury and mental problems. In this review, we explored mechanistic approaches of herbal medicines and their phytocomponenets as antiviral and post-COVID complications by modulating the immunological and inflammatory states. Study design – Studies related to diagnosis and treatment guidelines issued for COVID-19 by different traditional system of medicine were included. The information was gathered from pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions approaches. The gathered information sorted based on therapeutic application of herbs and their components against SARSCoV-2 and COVID-19 related complications. Methods – A systemic search of published literature was conducted from 2003 to 2021 using different literature database like Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science to emphasize relevant articles on medicinal plants against SARS-CoV-2 viral infection and Post-COVID related complications. Results – Collected published literature from 2003 onwards yielded with total 625 articles, from more than 18 countries. Among these 625 articles, more than 95 medicinal plants and 25 active phytomolecules belong to 48 plant families. Reports on the therapeutic activity of the medicinal plants belong to the Lamiaceae family (11 reports), which was found to be maximum reported from 4 different countries including India, China, Australia, and Morocco. Other reports on the medicinal plant of Asteraceae (7 reports), Fabaceae (8 reports), Piperaceae (3 reports), Zingiberaceae (3 reports), Ranunculaceae (3 reports), Meliaceae (4 reports) were found, which can be explored for the development of safe and efficacious products targeting COVID-19. Conclusion – Keeping in mind that the natural alternatives are in the priority for the management and prevention of the COVID-19, the present review may help to develop an alternative approach for the management of COVID-19 viral infection and post-COVID complications from a mechanistic point of view.

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