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Medicinal and Therapeutic Potential of Herbs and Plant Metabolites / Extracts Countering Viral Pathogens - Current Knowledge and Future Prospects

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 3 ]


Kuldeep Dhama*, Kumaragurubaran Karthik, Rekha Khandia, Ashok Munjal, Ruchi Tiwari, Rajneesh Rana, Sandip Kumar Khurana, Sana Ullah, Rifat Ullah Khan, Mahmoud Alagawany, Mayada Ragab Farag, Maryam Dadar and Sunil Kumar Joshi   Pages 236 - 263 ( 28 )


Background: Recently, there has been a remarkable progress in the field of antiviral herbal therapy owing to increasing concerns about the development of drug resistance and limited advances in the field of antiviral drug discovery. In almost all countries, medicinal plants have been used widely throughout history for the treatment of diseases and infections as traditional healing remedies due to their broad therapeutic spectrum and minimal or no side effects. As synthetic antiviral drugs are not available against most of the viral agents, hence all possible efforts have been focused on the search for new drugs and complementary/alternative medicines from different herbal formulations.

Methods: We have retrieved the related information from the online published resources (Medline, PubMed, Pub- Med Central, Science Direct and other scientific databases); which were further analyzed and compiled.

Results: Medicinal plants contain extractable biochemical and bioactive compounds, which can target certain viruses or can cure or prevent several viral diseases and infections. Despite their long history of use, the research and scientific evidences regarding the use of medicinal plants and natural products as prophylactics, therapeutics, and their health multiple beneficial applications have only gained momentum in past few decades. Many scientific studies have been undertaken, which range from the separation of active substances to the comprehension of the therapeutic mechanisms of antiviral herbs, their potent applications in the neutralization of viral pathogens and clinical trials. Consequently, hundreds of herbs and plant metabolites have been screened, identified, and tested for their antiviral activities; fortunately, some have shown significant medicinal activity in the amelioration or prevention of various viral diseases in both preclinical and clinical studies.

Conclusion: This review addresses the scientific significance of various herbal formulations of different medicinal plants and their extracts, which have shown promise or been proven effective for the treatment of diseases caused by various viral pathogens, including emerging and re-emerging viruses that infect humans, animals, poultry and fish.


Medicinal plants, herbs, viral pathogens, anti-viral activity, modes of action, herbal medicine.


Division of Pathology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh - 243122, Central University Laboratory, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600051, Department of Biochemistry & Genetics, Barkatullah University, Bhopal - 462026 (M.P.), Department of Biochemistry & Genetics, Barkatullah University, Bhopal - 462026 (M.P.), Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Sciences, UP Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalay Evum Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura, Uttar Pradesh 281001, Division of Bacteriology and Mycology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh - 243122, ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes, Hisar, Haryana -125 001, Laboratory of Fisheries, Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Frank Reidy Research Center of Bioelectrics College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University 4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508

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