Potential of flavonoid-inspired phytomedicines against COVID-19

Wilfred Ngwa, Rajiv Kumar, Daryl Thompson, William Lyerly, Roscoe Moore, Terry Elinor Reid, Henry Lowe, Ngeh Toyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flavonoids are widely used as phytomedicines. Here, we report on flavonoid phytomedicines with potential for development into prophylactics or therapeutics against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These flavonoid-based phytomedicines include: caflanone, Equivir, hesperetin, myricetin, and Linebacker. Our in silico studies show that these flavonoid-based molecules can bind with high affinity to the spike protein, helicase, and protease sites on the ACE2 receptor used by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 to infect cells and cause COVID-19. Meanwhile, in vitro studies show potential of caflanone to inhibit virus entry factors including, ABL-2, cathepsin L, cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, Mip-1α, TNF-α), and PI4Kiiiβ as well as AXL-2, which facilitates mother-to-fetus transmission of coronavirus. The potential for the use of smart drug delivery technologies like nanoparticle drones loaded with these phytomedicines to overcome bioavailability limitations and improve therapeutic efficacy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2707
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Flavonoids and their derivatives
  • Phytomedicine
  • SARS-COV-2
  • Smart nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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