Herbal plants, plant preparations and phytoconstituents have proved useful in attenuating infectious conditions and were the only remedies available, till the advent of antibiotics (many being of plant origin themselves). Among infectious diseases, viral diseases in particular, remain the leading cause of death in humans globally. A variety of phytoconstituents derived from medicinal herbs have been extensively studied for antiviral activity. Based on this rationale, an online search was performed, which helped to identify a large number of plant species harboring antiviral molecules. These herbal sources have been reported individually or in combinations across a large number of citations studied. Activities against rabies virus, Human immunodeficiency virus, Chandipura virus, Japanese Encephalitis Virus, Enterovirus, Influenza A/H1N1 and other influenza viruses were discovered during the literature search. This review includes all such plant species exhibiting antiviral properties. The review also encompasses composition and methodologies of preparing various antiviral formulations around the globe. An elaborate section on the formulations filed for patent registration, along with non-patented formulations, has also been included in this article. To conclude, herbal sources provide researchers enormous scope to explore and bring out viable alternatives against viral diseases, considering non-availability of suitable drug candidates and increasing resistance to existing drug molecules for many emerging and re-emerging viral diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases