Research Studies on Anti-Viral Herbs, and Herbal Medicines for Coronavirus and SARS

Here is a comprehensive list of research studies on some of the key herbs I recommend.  As I am a scientist and doctor of Chinese medicine, I take it seriously to provide credible sources on the information given on this site.

Many of these studies are refrenced on other pages too.  This page provides a complete list of cited sources.  

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and Perspective


This report is a comprehensive study on the Western medicines, and Chinese herbal medicines that were used in the treatment of COVID-19 in China and Hong Kong.  It discusses many medications, single herbs, and herbal formulas, and gives great information about the molecular mechanisms of how these medicines work.

Yang Yang, Md Sahidul Islam, Jin Wang, Yuan Li, and Xin Chen

Int J Biol Sci. 2020; 16(10): 1708–1717.

Published online 2020 Mar 15.

2. How Coronavirus (COVID-19) is Treated with TCM in China, Dr. Chen, John, eLotus Webinar, March, 17, 2020

The link below is to a presentation given by Dr. John Chen PhD, OMD.  In this webinar he discusses many of the herbal formulas and single herbs that were used in China for treating COVID-19.  Dr. Chen has a degree in pharmacology and Chinese medicine, and is one of the leading researchers in the world for understanding the pharmacological properties of herbs.  TCM for Coronavirus

3. Unraveling the Molecular Mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Formulas Against Acute Airway Viral Infections

This publication discusses in great detail how various herbal formulas can be effective for viral infections of the respiratory system. The molecular mechanisms of how herbs work against viruses is discussed, including the active substances in the herbs, and how they affect the lungs and various viruses.  The article was published in Sep. 2019 and mentions "coronavirus, rhinovirus, influenza, parainfluenza virus, enteroviruses, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, etc."

Molecules. 2019 Oct; 24(19): 3505.

Published online 2019 Sep 27. doi: 10.3390/molecules24193505

PMCID: PMC6804036

PMID: 31569633

4. Traditional Chinese medicine herbal extracts of Cibotium barometz, Gentiana scabra, Dioscorea batatas, Cassia tora, and Taxillus chinensis inhibit SARS-CoV replication

Chih-Chun Wen, Lie-Fen Shyur, Jia-Tsrong Jan, Po-Huang Liang, Chih-Jung Kuo, Palanisamy Arulselvan, Jin-Bin Wu, Sheng-Chu Kuo, and Ning-Sun Yang

J Tradit Complement Med. 2011 Oct-Dec; 1(1): 41–50.

doi: 10.1016/s2225-4110(16)30055-4

PMCID: PMC3942999

PMID: 24716104


5. Traditional Chinese medicine therapy decreases the pneumonia risk in patients with dementia

This research published in the journal Medicine, shows how the herbal formulas we use including: Ma-Xing-Gan-Shi-Tang, Yin-Qiao-San, and Xiao-Qing-Long-Tang "might represent possible formulae reducing the incidence of pneumonia."

Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Sep; 95(37): e4917.

Published online 2016 Sep 16

PMCID: PMC5402612

PMID: 27631269

6. Antiviral Effects of Houttuynia cordata Polysaccharide Extract on Murine Norovirus-1 (MNV-1)—A Human Norovirus Surrogate


Dongqing Cheng, Liang Sun, Songyan Zou, Jiang Chen, Haiyan Mao, Yanjun Zhang, Ningbo Liao, and Ronghua Zhang


Molecules. 2019 May; 24(9): 1835.

Published online 2019 May 13

7. A current update on the phytopharmacological aspects of Houttuynia cordata Thunb

This research discusses many of the therapeutic potentials related to Houttuynia, one of the herbs we use to treat corona.  A quote from the paper reads, "H. cordata exhibited significant inhibitory effects on SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) 3C-like protease (3CLpro) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase."

Manish Kumar, Satyendra K. Prasad, and S. Hemalatha

Pharmacogn Rev. 2014 Jan-Jun; 8(15): 22–35.

8. A Systematic Review of Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics on Astragali Radix: Implications for Astragali Radix as a Personalized Medicine


The research in this article discusses several of the substance found in Astragali, which is one of the main herbs in our Immune + formula.  It examines how this herb stimulates the immune system, acts as an anti-oxidant, and is anti-inflammatory.  The research was published in the International Journal of Molecular Science.

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar; 20(6): 1463.

Published online 2019 Mar 22

9. Identification of myricetin and scutellarein as novel chemical inhibitors of the SARS coronavirus helicase, nsP13. 


Yu MS, Lee J, Lee JM, Kim Y, Chin YW, Jee JG. et al.  Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012;22:4049–54.

10.  Inhibition of human T cell leukemia virus by the plant flavonoid baicalin (7-glucuronic acid, 5,6-dihydroxyflavone).


Baylor NW, Fu T, Yan YD, Ruscetti FW. 

J Infect Dis. 1992;165(3):433-437.1371535


11. In vivo anti-influenza virus activity of plant flavonoids possessing inhibitory activity for influenza virus sialidase.


Nagai T, Miyaichi Y, Tomimori T, Suzuki Y, Yamada H. Antiviral Res. 1992;19(3):207-217.1444327


12. Antiviral activity of plant flavonoid, 5,7,4′-trihydroxy-8-methoxyflavone, from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis against influenza A (H3N2) and B viruses.


Nagai T, Suzuki Y, Tomimori T, Yamada H.  Biol Pharm Bull. 1995;18(2):295-299.7742801

13. Immunomodulatory activities of the herbal formula Kwan Du Bu Fei Dang in healthy subjects: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.


Fung KP, Leung PC, Tsui KW, Wan CC, Wong KB, Waye MY. et al. Hong Kong Med J. 2011;17(Suppl 2):41–3. 

14. Immunomodulatory and anti-SARS activities of Houttuynia cordata.


Lau KM, Lee KM, Koon CM, Cheung CS, Lau CP, Ho HM. et al.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;118:79–85.

15. The spike protein of SARS-CoV — a target for vaccine and therapeutic development


Lanying Du, Yuxian He, Yusen Zhou, Shuwen Liu, Bo-Jian Zheng, and Shibo Jiang


Nat Rev Microbiol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 Sep 24.

Published in final edited form as:

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Mar; 7(3): 226–236.

Published online 2009 Feb 9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2090