While dengue virus (DENV) infection imposes a serious challenge to the survival of humans worldwide, severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) remains the most devastating pandemic in human history. A significant number of studies have shown that plant-derived substances could serve as potential candidates for the development of safe and efficacious remedies for combating these diseases. Different scientific databases were used to source for literature on plants used against these infections. Thirty-five studies described the traditional use of 25 species from 20 families for treating DENV infection with Carica papaya
and Euphorbia hirta
were the most widely used across different regions. 13 in vivo studies, 32 in vitro studies, and eight clinical studies were conducted on 30 species from 25 families against different DENV serotypes, while plants from 13 families were reported to inhibit different forms of SARS-CoV, all of which were investigated through in vitro studies. Phytoconstituents belonging to various chemical classes were identified to show a wide range of antiviral activity against these infections. Extensive studies on the potentials of medicinal plants are needed to confirm their efficacy. This paper reveals the capabilities of medicinal plants and their phytochemicals in inhibiting DENV and SARS-CoV infections.
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