COVID-19 is an acute and progressive respiratory illness, which is highly contagious. In 2020, COVID-19 has become a major health issue; its prevalence has been increasing at an alarming rate across the world. Less availability of COVID-19 drugs, high treatment cost, and side effects affect the quality of life of a person infected with COVID-19 in countries with poorly developed health systems. Through infection, patients can die due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) initiated by systemic inflammatory reactions due to the undue emancipation of chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines by the immune effector cells. The aim of this review is to summarize and evaluate the evidence of traditional medicine, which can facilitate the treatment options according to the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 patients and has proven effectiveness in prevention and control of disease. The systemic search for medicinal plants for the therapeutics of COVID-19 was performed considering the articles published through the different scientific databases. The results suggested that some important medicinal plants reported for antiviral and anti-allergic/anti-inflammatory activities are Withania somnifera Ashwagandha, Asparagus racemosus Shatavari, Ocimum sanctum Basil, Foeniculum vulgare Fennel, Allium Sativum Garlic, Tinospora cordifolia Giloy, Glycyrrhiza glabra licorice, Organum vulgare Oregano, Rosmarinus Officinalis Rosemary, Salvia Sage, Zinger officinale Ginger, Torreya nucifera Japenese torreya, Isatis indigotica Ban-Lan-Gen Echinacea, Panax ginseng, Houttuynia cordata, Cannabinoid (CBD). The traditional medicines against COVID-19, currently under clinical trials (NCT04494204, NCT04387643, NCT04395976, NCT04621903, NCT04621903, NCT04544605) and clinical application of traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 are also found. This review highlights the major goal of herbal remedies and their significant role to cure antiviral diseases like COVID-19. It is suggested that promising polyherbal formulations and traditional plants must be investigated on the priority basis to solve current crisis.
Key words: COVID-19, Medicinal plants, Traditional medicine, Phytotherapy.