1921
Volume 103, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

The world is currently facing a novel COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that, as of July 12, 2020, has caused a reported 12,322,395 cases and 556,335 deaths. To date, only two treatments, remdesivir and dexamethasone, have demonstrated clinical efficacy through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in seriously ill patients. The search for new or repurposed drugs for treatment of COVID-19 continues. We have witnessed anecdotal use of herbal medicines, including spp. extracts, in low-income countries, and exaggerated claims of their efficacies that are not evidence based, with subsequent political controversy. These events highlight the urgent need for further research on herbal compounds to evaluate efficacy through RCTs, and, when efficacious compounds are identified, to establish the active ingredients, develop formulations and dosing, and define pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and safety to enable drug development. Derivatives from the herb have been used as traditional medicine over centuries for the treatment of fevers, malaria, and respiratory tract infections. We review the bioactive compounds, pharmacological and immunological effects, and traditional uses for spp. derivatives, and discuss the challenges and controversies surrounding current efforts and the scientific road map to advance them to prevent or treat COVID-19.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 08 Jul 2020
  • Accepted : 16 Jul 2020
  • Published online : 23 Jul 2020
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