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Since December 2019 world news broadcasted stories of a deadly disease caused by SARS CoV-19, which is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm of infected cells. Coronaviruses (CoVs) and the associated severe acquired respiratory syndrome (SARS - CoV) are potential agents to infect the respiratory tract of humans and animals. Much scientific effort has been focused on the development of vaccine and medicines to protect future outbreaks. However, the chances to rapidly develop an effective vaccine are difficult now. Due to the sudden and explosive emergence of the disease, empirical strategies have been used to treat the patients. The increasing demand for natural products as an alternative therapy for pandemic viral diseases has encouraged research into the pharmacological importance of bioactive compounds from plants, especially Indian herbs. Ethnopharmacological studies have been extremely relevant to discover promising drugs for the treatment of viral diseases. This review is intended to focus on the traditionally practised Indian medicinal plants and bioactive compounds with anti-viral properties used for the treatment of respiratory associated viral infections and other retroviral infections. It may lead us to develop a broad spectrum of anti-viral for the prevention and control of these viral pathogens in the current situation.
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