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Antiviral Effects Of Plant-Derived Essential Oils And Their Components: An Updated Review

Li Ma, Lei Yao

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The presence of resistance to available antivirals calls for the development of novel therapeutic agents. Plant-derived essential oils may serve as alternative sources of virus-induced disease therapy. Previous studies have demonstrated essential oils to be excellent candidates to treat antiviral-resistant infection associated with their chemical complexity which confers broad-spectrum mechanisms of action and non-specific antiviral properties. However, almost no comprehensive reviews are updated to generalize knowledge in this regard and disclose the interplay between the components and their antiviral activities. This review provides an up-to-date overview of the antiviral efficacy of essential oils from a wide range of plant species and their characteristic components, as well as their overall mechanisms of action, focusing on the last decade. The roles of individual components relative to the overall antiviral efficacy of essential oils, together with the antiviral activity of essential oils in comparison with commercial drugs are also discussed. Lastly, the inadequacies in current research and future research are put forward. This review will provide references in the design of new drug prototypes and improve our understanding of the proper applications of essential oils in the future.