Send to

Choose Destination
J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 Apr;32(1-3):141-53.

Can ethnopharmacology contribute to the development of antiviral drugs?

Author information

Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp (UIA), Belgium.


In recent years, many compounds having potent antiviral activity in cell cultures and in experimental animals have been detected, but only a few have been approved by Western health authorities for clinical use. Nevertheless, some of these compounds are currently undergoing either preclinical or clinical evaluation, and perspectives for finding new interesting antiviral drugs are promising. Among these antiviral substances are several natural compounds isolated from plants used in traditional medicine including polysaccharides, flavonoids, terpenes, alkaloids, phenolics and amino acids. Some of these plant compounds exhibit a unique antiviral mechanism of action and are good candidates for further clinical research. What follows is a brief summary of the selection methods of plants for antiviral screening and in vitro and in vivo assays, which are currently used for detecting this activity in plant extracts. The importance of the plant kingdom as a source of new antiviral substances will be illustrated by presenting a survey on plant-derived antirhinovirus and anti-HIV agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center