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Review of Antiviral Medicinal Plants used in Taraba State Nigeria: A Possible Source for COVID-19 Drug Discovery

Cletus Anes Ukwubile, Troy Silvia Malgwi, Alexander Ezekiel Angyu, Otalu Otalu, Mathias Simon Bingari
Journal of Scientific Research in Medical and Biological Sciences , Volume 1, pp 1-23; doi:10.47631/jsrmbs.v1i2.50

Abstract: Purpose: Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is a viral infection that has been tagged as the greatest pandemic since the existence of humans by the WHO, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people globally; with the USA one of the highest. The full biology of the virus is yet to be known. This study reviews sixteen natural antiviral plants used in Taraba State to manage viral infections locally. Subjects and Methods: Sixteen medicinal plants popularly used as antiviral agents in Taraba State, Nigeria were surveyed based on a field-trip experience with herbal medicine practitioners in the three zones of the state. Plants that were in both zones were counted as the same. The plants that are majorly used for various viral infections are Allium sativum, Zingiber officinale, Camellia sinensis, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Cirus lemon, Azardirachta indica, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Curcuma longa, Haematostaphis barteri, Olea europaea, Melastomastrum capitatum, Astragalus canadensis, Carissa edulis, Spondias venulosa, Vitellaria paradoxa, and Euphorbia hirta. Results: Of the sixteen plants, ten have been reported to have antiviral properties against at least one of these viruses avian or bird flu, human influenza virus, infectious bronchitis virus (a type of coronavirus), herpes virus, hepatitis C virus and HIV. Conclusion: The study revealed that further research on these antiviral plants used traditionally might pave the way for the discovery of potent antiviral drugs against COVID-19.
Keywords: HIV / Hepatitis C virus / Antiviral / Coronavirus / medicinal / Taraba / surveyed / Sixteen / COVID

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