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Abstract

The new SARS-CoV-2 belonging to the coronaviruses family has caused a pandemic affecting millions of people around the world. This pandemic has been declared by the World Health Organization as an international public health emergency. Although several clinical trials involving a large number of drugs are currently underway, no treatment protocol for COVID-19 has been officially approved so far. Here we demonstrate through a search in the scientific literature that the traditional Moroccan pharmacopoeia, which includes more than 500 medicinal plants, is a fascinating and promising source for the research of natural molecules active against SARS-CoV-2. Multiple in-silico and in-vitro studies showed that some of the medicinal plants used by Moroccans for centuries possess inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. These inhibitory activities are achieved through the different molecular mechanisms of virus penetration and replication, or indirectly through stimulation of immunity. Thus, the potential of plants, plant extracts and molecules derived from plants that are traditionally used in Morocco and have activity against SARS-CoV-2, could be explored in the search for a preventive or curative treatment against COVID-19. Furthermore, safe plants or plant extracts that are proven to stimulate immunity could be officially recommended by governments as nutritional supplements.

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 traditional pharmacopoeia medicinal plants natural products Morocco

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How to Cite
Mohamed Yafout, Amine Ousaid, Ibrahim Sbai El Otmani, Youssef Khayati, & Amal Ait Haj Said. (2020). Natural products from the traditional Moroccan pharmacopoeia: A potential lead for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, 11(SPL1), 1278-1285. https://doi.org/10.26452/ijrps.v11iSPL1.3619