Natural products as home-based prophylactic and symptom management agents in the setting of COVID-19

Phytother Res. 2020 Dec;34(12):3148-3167. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6794. Epub 2020 Aug 17.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread across the globe affecting 213 countries or territories with greater than six million confirmed cases and about 0.37 million deaths, with World Health Organization categorizing it as a pandemic. Infected patients present with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and critical cases show acute respiratory infection and multiple organ failure. Likelihood of these severe indications is further enhanced by age as well as underlying comorbidities such as diabetes, cardiovascular, or thoracic problems, as well as due to an immunocompromised state. Currently, curative drugs or vaccines are lacking, and the standard of care is limited to symptom management. Natural products like ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, cinnamon, lemon, neem, basil, and black pepper have been scientifically proven to have therapeutic benefits against acute respiratory tract infections including pulmonary fibrosis, diffuse alveolar damage, pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, as well as associated septic shock, lung and kidney injury, all of which are symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection. This review highlights the potential of these natural products to serve as home-based, inexpensive, easily accessible, prophylactic agents against COVID-19.

Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; coronavirus disease; diffuse alveolar damage; natural products; pulmonary fibrosis; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Biological Products