Dietary therapy and herbal medicine for COVID-19 prevention: A review and perspective

Suraphan Panyod, Chi Tang Ho, Lee Yan Sheen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


A novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), transmitted from humans to humans, has rapidly become the pandemic responsible for the current global health crisis. COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is said to be of zoonotic origin. This review describes the etiology and signs and symptoms as well as the current allopathic therapy for COVID-19. Additionally, findings of previous studies on the immunomodulatory effects and antiviral activities of particular foods and herbs on influenza virus and coronaviruses have been collated, with the aim of promoting the use of dietary therapy and herbal medicine as COVID-19 preventive therapies, while specific drugs and vaccines are yet to be discovered or are still under development. The volume of existing reports is irrefutable evidence that foods and herbs possess a potential antiviral ability against SARS-CoV-2 and can prevent COVID-19. Foods and herbs could be used as dietary or complementary therapy to prevent infection and strengthen immunity, as antiviral agents for masks, as disinfectants to curb aerosol transmission, or as sanitizing agents to disinfect surfaces. However, these hypotheses need to be experimentally verified for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-427
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Dietary therapy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Herbs
  • Prevention
  • SARS-CoV-2

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