Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, India

2 Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, India

3 Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, India



Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global challenge to the health care system. A novel agent to combat this deadly virus is still a matter of research. Herbal molecules have served humanity since the beginning.
Objectives: This narrative review aims to study the antiviral properties of medicinal plants, which are already effectively used in the past against various viruses. It derives the importance of exploration of such phytochemicals, which can be complementarily used to treat COVID-19.
Methods: Studies related to traditional medicine and treatment for viruses were retrieved from databases including PubMed, Google scholar until December 2020 using the keywords SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Immunological, Phyto-chemicals, Traditional Medicine. The resulting publications were analyzed to develop a narrative review on the traditional Indian phytochemicals that have been shown to effectively treat various viral infections and potentially treat or prevent COVID-19.
Results: Many of the researches are showing that Indian herbal compounds have a significant potential against viral diseases. Plants like Azadirachta indica, Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, Ocimum basilicum, and many more have been shown tremendous antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulatory activities.
Conclusion: Phytochemicals obtained from the herbs can be helpful in the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2via various modes such as inhibition of attachment, penetration, uncoating, replication, assembly, and release of respiratory viruses. Further analysis of the potential phytochemicals in treating SARS-CoV-2 in clinical trials is warranted.