Role of Iranian Medicinal Plants in the Prevention of COVID-19

Document Type : Review Article

Authors

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran

2 Nutrition Research Center, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), Faculty of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

One of the essential approaches to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is disease prevention methods. In this regard, medicinal plants are valuable. In this study the mechanisms and effects of effective medicinal plants for the prevention of COVID-19 in the Iranian pharmaceutical market were investigated. For this purpose, search terms Herbal Medicine, Phytotherapy, Traditional Medicine, Complementary Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Prevention, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19 were used to retrieve relevant publications indexed in Scopus, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, and PubMed until May 2021. After obtaining articles related to medicinal plants, articles that addressed plants in Iran were included in the review, then the mechanisms of their actions in the prevention of COVID-19 were investigated. According to the extracted studies, plants such as Zataria multiflora Boiss., Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, Echinacea spp., Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f, Nigella sativa, eucalyptus spp., Cichorium intybus L., Syzygium aromaticum (L.), Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Allium sativum L., and Crocus sativus L. are effective in preventing COVID-19, which are found in the domestic market of Iran. These plants seem to effectively prevent COVID-19 with three fundamental mechanisms: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, immunomodulatory effects, and inhibiting virus attachment to the host cell.

Keywords


1.Perlman S. Another decade, another coronavirus. Mass Medical Soc; 2020.
2.Guan W-j, Ni Z-y, Hu Y, Liang W-h, Ou C-q, He J-x, et al. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(18):1708-20.
3.Far F, Amiri-Ardekani E. Spike protein and involved proteases in SARS-COV-2 pathogenicity and treatment; a review. Proceedings of the Shevchenko Scientific Society Medical Sciences. 2021:52-61.
4.Takhti HK, Ardaneh M, Zare S, Sarkhaei MR, Amiri-Ardekani E. Symptoms and underlying diseases associated with the hospitalization period of 3480 Covid-19 patients in Hormozgan, Iran. Malta Medical Journal .2022
5.Dhama K, Karthik K, Khandia R, Munjal A, Tiwari R, Rana R, et al. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of herbs and plant metabolites/extracts countering viral pathogens-current knowledge and future prospects. Current drug metabolism. 2018;19(3):236-63.
6.Schulman IH, Raij L. The angiotensin II type 2 receptor: what is its clinical significance? Current hypertension reports. 2008;10(3):188-93.
7.Danser AHJ, Saris JJ, Schuijt MP, van Kats JP. Is there a local renin—angiotensin system in the heart? Cardiovascular Research. 1999;44(2):252-65.
8.Hamming I, Timens W, Bulthuis M, Lely A, Navis Gv, van Goor H. Tissue distribution of ACE2 protein, the functional receptor for SARS coronavirus. A first step in understanding SARS pathogenesis. The Journal of Pathology: A Journal of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 2004;203(2):631-7.
9.Bullock GR, Steyaert I, Bilbe G, Carey RM, Kips J, De Paepe B, et al. Distribution of type-1 and type-2 angiotensin receptors in the normal human lung and in lungs from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Histochemistry and cell biology. 2001;115(2):117-24.
10.Sanders JM, Monogue ML, Jodlowski TZ, Cutrell JB. Pharmacologic treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a review. Jama. 2020;323(18):1824-36.
11.Luo H, Tang Q-L, Shang Y-X, Liang S-B, Yang M, Robinson N, et al. Can Chinese Medicine Be Used for Prevention of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)? A Review of Historical Classics, Research Evidence and Current Prevention Programs. Chinese journal of integrative medicine. 2020;26(4):243-50.
12.Ling L-j, Lu Y, Zhang Y-y, Zhu H-y, Tu P, Li H, et al. Flavonoids from Houttuynia cordata attenuate H1N1-induced acute lung injury in mice via inhibition of influenza virus and Toll-like receptor signalling. Phytomedicine. 2020;67:153150.
13.Vimalanathan S, Hudson J. Anti-influenza virus activity of essential oils and vapors. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products. 2014;2(1):47-53.
14.Cooke B, Ernst E. Aromatherapy: a systematic review. British journal of general practice. 2000;50(455):493-6.
15.Heidary F, Varnaseri M, Gharebaghi R. The potential use of persian herbal medicines against COVID-19 through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. Archives of clinical infectious diseases. 2020;15(COVID-19).
16.Watkins J. Preventing a covid-19 pandemic. British Medical Journal Publishing Group; 2020.
17.Prompetchara E, Ketloy C, Palaga T. Immune responses in COVID-19 and potential vaccines: Lessons learned from SARS and MERS epidemic. Asian Pacific journal of allergy and immunology. 2020;38(1):1-9.
18.Tufan A, Güler AA, Matucci-Cerinic M. COVID-19, immune system response, hyperinflammation and repurposing antirheumatic drugs. Turkish journal of medical sciences. 2020;50(SI-1):620-32.
19.Mirghaed AT, Hoseini SM, Hoseinifar SH, Van Doan H. Effects of dietary thyme (Zataria multiflora) extract on antioxidant and immunological responses and immune-related gene expression of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. 2020;106:502-9.
20.Khalil SR, Abd Elhakim Y, Abd El-fattah AH, Farag MR, Abd El-Hameed NE, Abd Elhakeem E-M. Dual immunological and oxidative responses in Oreochromis niloticus fish exposed to lambda cyhalothrin and concurrently fed with Thyme powder (Thymus vulgaris L.): Stress and immune encoding gene expression. Fish & shellfish immunology. 2020;100:208-18.
21.Ezzat Abd El-Hack M, Alagawany M, Ragab Farag M, Tiwari R, Karthik K, Dhama K, et al. Beneficial impacts of thymol essential oil on health and production of animals, fish and poultry: a review. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2016;28(5):365-82.
22.Hassan FA, Awad A. Impact of thyme powder (Thymus vulgaris L.) supplementation on gene expression profiles of cytokines and economic efficiency of broiler diets. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2017;24(18):15816-26.
23.Harikrishnan R, Balasundaram C, Heo M-S. Influence of diet enriched with green tea on innate humoral and cellular immune response of kelp grouper (Epinephelus bruneus) to Vibrio carchariae infection. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. 2011;30(3):972-9.
24.Nootash S, Sheikhzadeh N, Baradaran B, Oushani AK, Moghadam MRM, Nofouzi K, et al. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) administration induces expression of immune relevant genes and biochemical parameters in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish & shellfish immunology. 2013;35(6):1916-23.
25.Aucoin M, Cooley K, Saunders PR, Carè J, Anheyer D, Medina DN, et al. The effect of Echinacea spp. on the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 and other respiratory tract infections in humans: A rapid review. Advances in integrative medicine. 2020;7(4):203-17.
26.Barrett B. Medicinal properties of Echinacea: a critical review. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(1):66-86.
27.Percival SS. Use of Echinacea in medicine. Biochemical pharmacology. 2000;60(2):155-8.
28.Cundell DR, Matrone MA, Ratajczak P, Pierce Jr JD. The effect of aerial parts of Echinacea on the circulating white cell levels and selected immune functions of the aging male Sprague–Dawley rat. International Immunopharmacology. 2003;3(7):1041-8.
29.Roesler J, Emmendörffer A, Steinmüller C, Luettig B, Wagner H, Lohmann-Matthes M-L. Application of purified polysaccharides from cell cultures of the plant Echinacea purpurea to test subjects mediates activation of the phagocyte system. International journal of immunopharmacology. 1991;13(7):931-41.
30.O'neill W, McKee S, Clarke A. Immunological and haematinic consequences of feeding a standardised Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) extract to healthy horses. Equine Veterinary Journal. 2002;34(3):222-7.
31.Goel V, Chang C, Slama JV, Barton R, Bauer R, Gahler R, et al. Echinacea stimulates macrophage function in the lung and spleen of normal rats. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 2002;13(8):487-92.
32.Mehrabi Z, Firouzbakhsh F, Rahimi-Mianji G, Paknejad H. Immunostimulatory effect of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) on non-specific immune response, immune gene expression, and experimental challenge with Saprolegnia parasitica in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture. 2019;503:330-8.
33.Zanuzzo FS, Sabioni RE, Montoya LNF, Favero G, Urbinati EC. Aloe vera enhances the innate immune response of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) after transport stress and combined heat killed Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Fish & shellfish immunology. 2017;65:198-205.
34.Shaterzadeh-Yazdi H, Noorbakhsh M-F, Samarghandian S, Farkhondeh T. An overview on renoprotective effects of Thymoquinone. Kidney Diseases. 2018;4(2):74-82.
35.Srinivasan K. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and black cumin (Nigella sativa) seeds: traditional uses, chemical constituents, and nutraceutical effects. Food quality and safety. 2018;2(1):1-16.
36.Goyal SN, Prajapati CP, Gore PR, Patil CR, Mahajan UB, Sharma C, et al. Therapeutic potential and pharmaceutical development of thymoquinone: a multitargeted molecule of natural origin. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2017;8:656.
37.Hossein BM, Nasim V, Sediqa A. The protective effect of nigella sativa on lung injury of sulfur mustard–exposed guinea pigs. Experimental lung research. 2008;34(4):183-94.
38.Liu T, Zhang J, Yang Y, Zhang L, Ma H, Li Z, et al. The potential role of IL-6 in monitoring coronavirus disease 2019. Available at SSRN 3548761. 2020.
39.Serafino A, Vallebona PS, Andreola F, Zonfrillo M, Mercuri L, Federici M, et al. Stimulatory effect of Eucalyptus essential oil on innate cell-mediated immune response. BMC immunology. 2008;9(1):1-16.
40.Sadlon AE, Lamson DW. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. Altern Med Rev. 2010;15(1):33-47.
41.Juergens LJ, Worth H, Juergens UR. New Perspectives for Mucolytic, Anti-inflammatory and Adjunctive Therapy with 1,8-Cineole in COPD and Asthma: Review on the New Therapeutic Approach. Advances in therapy. 2020;37(5):1737-53.
42.Kim JH, Mun YJ, Woo WH, Jeon KS, An NH, Park JS. Effects of the ethanol extract of Cichorium intybus on the immunotoxicity by ethanol in mice. International immunopharmacology. 2002;2(6):733-44.
43.Lepczynski A, Herosimczyk A, Ozgo M, Skomial J, Taciak M, Barszcz M, et al. Dietary supplementation with dried chicory root triggers changes in the blood serum proteins engaged in the clotting process and the innate immune response in growing pigs. Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society. 2015;66(1):47-55.
44.Pretorius R, Prescott SL, Palmer DJ. Taking a prebiotic approach to early immunomodulation for allergy prevention. Expert review of clinical immunology. 2018;14(1):43-51.
45.Carrasco FR, Schmidt G, Romero AL, Sartoretto JL, Caparroz-Assef SM, Bersani-Amado CA, et al. Immunomodulatory activity of Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Salvia officinalis L. and Syzygium aromaticum L. essential oils: evidence for humor- and cell-mediated responses. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009;61(7):961-7.
46.Peterhans E. Oxidants and antioxidants in viral diseases: disease mechanisms and metabolic regulation. The Journal of nutrition. 1997;127(5 Suppl):962s-5s.
47.Li T, Peng T. Traditional Chinese herbal medicine as a source of molecules with antiviral activity. Antiviral Res. 2013;97(1):1-9.
48.Wang L, Yang R, Yuan B, Liu Y, Liu C. The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb. Acta pharmaceutica Sinica B. 2015;5(4):310-5.
49.Pastorino G, Cornara L, Soares S, Rodrigues F, Oliveira MBPP. Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): A phytochemical and pharmacological review. Phytother Res. 2018;32(12):2323-39.
50.Ojha S, Golechha M, Kumari S, Arya DS. Protective effect of Emblica officinalis (amla) on isoproterenol-induced cardiotoxicity in rats. Toxicology and industrial health. 2012;28(5):399-411.
51.Upadhyay S, Mantha AK, Dhiman M. Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) root extract attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity via alleviating oxidative stress and stabilising the cardiac health in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2020;258:112690.
52.Li L, Sun T, Tian J, Yang K, Yi KN, Zhang P. Garlic in Clinical Practice: An Evidence-Based Overview. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2013;53:670 - 81.
53.Hall A, Troupin A, Londono-Renteria B, Colpitts TM. Garlic Organosulfur Compounds Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress during Dengue Virus Infection. Viruses. 2017;9(7).
54.Tavakoli-Far F, Amiri-Ardekani E, Tehrany A. Allium sativum L. (Garlic) Role in Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials. Biointerface Research in Applied Chemistry. 2021;11:12104-19.
55.Sachdeva J, Tanwar V, Golechha M, Siddiqui KM, Nag TC, Ray R, et al. Crocus sativus L. (saffron) attenuates isoproterenol-induced myocardial injury via preserving cardiac functions and strengthening antioxidant defense system. Experimental and toxicologic pathology : official journal of the Gesellschaft fur Toxikologische Pathologie. 2012;64(6):557-64.
56.Pyankov O, Usachev E, Pyankova O, Agranovski I. Inactivation of Airborne Influenza Virus by Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils. Aerosol Science and Technology. 2012;46:1295 - 302.