Hypericum perforatum against SARS-CoV-2. A Narrative Review

Document Type : Review paper


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Immunology and Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Botany, Research Center for Plant Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background and Aim: Viral infection dissemination and cytokine storm play an important role in the aggravation of COVID-19 disease, thus developing a drug that provides both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties is essential.
Method: In this study, we reviewed the remarkable properties of two major active compounds (hyperforin and hypericin) in Hypericum perforatum plant with a special focus on the molecular pathways that have been involved in their anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.
Results: Hyperforin can inhibit inflammation and regulate the function of the immune system by inhibiting the phosphorylation of three main signaling pathways including JAK/STAT, NF-κB, MAPK and increasing Treg cells. Hypericin by destruction of viral membrane, proteins, and nucleic acids can inactivate only enveloped viruses.
Conclusion: Recently, studies have shown that hypericin has the ability to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 NSP14, ACE2 recognition region of SARS-CoV-2's S-protein. The antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of hypericin and hyperforin increase the probability of H. perforatum effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. We believe that H. perforatum extract has the potential to be considered as an antiviral herbal medicine.


Main Subjects

Volume 2, Issue 1
( Special Issue: Abstracts and papers from ICBMS23, Budapest, Hungary)
Pages 105-114
  • Receive Date: 20 June 2023
  • Revise Date: 25 June 2023
  • Accept Date: 08 July 2023