Review Article

A review of the medicinal plants with immune-boosting potential

Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Olufunke O. Fajinmi, Kuben K. Naidoo, Georgina D. Arthur, Roger M. Coopoosamy
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development | Vol 6, No 1 | a158 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v6i1.158 | © 2022 Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Olufunke O. Fajinmi, Kuben K. Naidoo, Georgina D. Arthur, Roger M. Coopoosamy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 February 2022 | Published: 07 October 2022

About the author(s)

Olaoluwa O. Olarewaju, Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Olufunke O. Fajinmi, Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Kuben K. Naidoo, Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Georgina D. Arthur, Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Roger M. Coopoosamy, Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Humanity is faced with various kinds of infections (viral, bacterial and fungal). The recent spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus disease outbreak as a global pandemic. Medical experts suggested that people with high immunity tend to survive the infection more than those with low immunity. Hence, people must boost their immunity by consuming more fruit and vegetable or medications with immune-boosting potential to survive any form of unforeseen infections.

Aim: This study aimed to review horticultural fruit, vegetables and medicinal plants with immune-boosting potentials that may be useful in drug formulations to combat infectious diseases.

Methods: A literature search was conducted on electronic databases such as Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. Several terms and free text words were combined in an appropriate manner to perform the search. Identified articles were reviewed independently for eligibility and extract of information.

Results: The study highlighted medicinal and horticultural crops with the potential to combat the symptoms of Covid-19 such as cold, cough, chest pain and high fever. Details about how despite effective vaccines, respiratory infections such as asthma, tuberculosis, pneumonia and measles are causing significant death worldwide.

Conclusion: This review highlights the fact that pharmaceutical companies should be encouraged to maximise the use of medicinal plants suggested for drug formulation strategies and humans should consume more fruit and vegetables to boost their immune systems.

Contribution: The use of natural products is now receiving global attention against synthetic ones to combat infections and the recent COVID-19 outbreak has called for innovative methods of treating the disease and its symptoms. This review provided information about medicinal plants with immune-boosting potential that when consumed or used in drug formulations can boost immune systems against various forms of infections. Insights on how the burden of diseases can be reduced and healthy lifestyles enhanced naturally are provided for social and economic developments.


Keywords

horticultural fruit and vegetables; immunostimulatory; COVID-19 and its symptoms; human health; medicinal.

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