Traditional Chinese medicine practices used in COVID-19 (Sars-cov 2/Coronavirus-19) treatment in clinic and their effects on the cardiovascular system

Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2020 Jun;48(4):410-424. doi: 10.5543/tkda.2020.03374.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of plants used in the formulations of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which were also used in clinical trials to treat patients with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and to assess their effects on the cardiovascular system.

Methods: A literature review of PubMed, ResearchGate, ScienceDirect, the Cochrane Library, and TCM monographs was conducted and the effects of the plants on the cardiovascular system and the mechanisms of action in COVID-19 treatment were evaluated.

Results: The mechanism of action, cardiovascular effects, and possible toxicity of 10 plants frequently found in TCM formulations that were used in the clinical treatment of COVID-19 were examined.

Conclusion: TCM formulations that had been originally developed for earlier viral diseases have been used in COVID-19 treatment. Despite the effectiveness seen in laboratory and animal studies with the most commonly used plants in these formulations, the clinical studies are currently insufficient according to standard operating procedures. More clinical studies are needed to understand the safe clinical use of traditional plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / toxicity
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / toxicity
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / toxicity
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antihypertensive Agents / toxicity
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / toxicity
  • COVID-19
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / toxicity
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Pandemics
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / toxicity
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / toxicity


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Vasodilator Agents