A review of existing evidence of traditional Chinese medicines and herbs for their related antiviral activities, efficacy, and underlying mode of action in virus-related diseases.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has a long history in treating febrile diseases, according tothe Shang Han Lun, a classical theory of traditional Chinese medicine developed by Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. Some herbs have been formulated as prescription formulae or manufactured as finished medicine such as pills, capsules or injections. The Chinese government has recommended specific TCM prescriptions alone or combined with Western medicine to treat patients with COVID-9. Here, we introduce three prescription formulae, Qingfei Paidu Decoction, Huashi Baidu Formula, and Xuanfei Baidu Formula, three finished medicines, Lianhua Qingwen Capsule, Jinhua Qinggan Granule, and Xuebijing Injection; following this, several single herbs such as Ephedra herba, Honeysuckle, Scutellaria, Glycyrrhizae radix, Armeniacae semen,Sophorae flavescentis radix, and Curcuma longa. We review existing evidence of these traditional medicines and herbs for their related antiviral activities, efficacy, and underlying mode of action in virus-related diseases. Most of these drugs have been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for over a thousand years, and they have been proved to be safe in treating flu-like virus infections. It will be adequate to further test for their efficacy for COVID-19 and understand the underlying molecular mechanism.