Medicinal Plants, Phytochemicals, and Herbs to Combat Viral Pathogens Including SARS-CoV-2.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is the most important health issue, internationally. With no specific and effective antiviral therapy for COVID-19, new or repurposed antiviral are urgently needed. Phytochemicals pose a ray of hope for human health during this pandemic, and a great deal of research is concentrated on it. Phytochemicals have been used as antiviral agents against several viruses since they could inhibit several viruses via different mechanisms of direct inhibition either at the viral entry point or the replication stages and via immunomodulation potentials. Recent evidence also suggests that some plants and its components have shown promising antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2. This review summarizes certain phytochemical agents along with their mode of actions and potential antiviral activities against important viral pathogens. A special focus has been given on medicinal plants and their extracts as well as herbs which have shown promising results to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection and can be useful in treating patients with COVID-19 as alternatives for treatment under phytotherapy approaches during this devastating pandemic situation.