Antiviral effect of phytochemicals from medicinal plants: Applications and drug delivery strategies

Shimon Ben-Shabat, Ludmila Yarmolinsky, Daniel Porat, Arik Dahan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Viral infections affect three to five million patients annually. While commonly used antivirals often show limited efficacy and serious adverse effects, herbal extracts have been in use for medicinal purposes since ancient times and are known for their antiviral properties and more tolerable side effects. Thus, naturally based pharmacotherapy may be a proper alternative for treating viral diseases. With that in mind, various pharmaceutical formulations and delivery systems including micelles, nanoparticles, nanosuspensions, solid dispersions, microspheres and crystals, self-nanoemulsifying and self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS and SMEDDS) have been developed and used for antiviral delivery of natural products. These diverse technologies offer effective and reliable delivery of medicinal phytochemicals. Given the challenges and possibilities of antiviral treatment, this review provides the verified data on the medicinal plants and related herbal substances with antiviral activity, as well as applied strategies for the delivery of these plant extracts and biologically active phytochemicals. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-367
Number of pages14
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Antiviral
  • Flavonoid
  • Herbal extracts
  • Oral drug delivery
  • Phytomedicine
  • Solubility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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