Modulation of neutrophil (dys)function by Ayurvedic herbs and its potential influence on SARS-CoV-2 infection

Manjunath B. Joshi, Archana Kamath, Aswathy S. Nair, Pooja Yedehali Thimmappa, Sitaram J. Sriranjini, G. G. Gangadharan, Kapaettu Satyamoorthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


For centuries, traditional medicines of Ayurveda have been in use to manage infectious and non-infectious diseases. The key embodiment of traditional medicines is the holistic system of approach in the management of human diseases. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection is an ongoing pandemic, which has emerged as the major health threat worldwide and is causing significant stress, morbidity and mortality. Studies from the individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection have shown significant immune dysregulation and cytokine overproduction. Neutrophilia and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio has been correlated to poor outcome due to the disease. Neutrophils, component of innate immune system, upon stimulation expel DNA along with histones and granular proteins to form extracellular traps (NETs). Although, these DNA lattices possess beneficial activity in trapping and eliminating pathogens, NETs may also cause adverse effects by inducing immunothrombosis and tissue damage in diseases including Type 2 Diabetes and atherosclerosis. Tissues of SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects showed microthrombi with neutrophil-platelet infiltration and serum showed elevated NETs components, suggesting large involvement and uncontrolled activation of neutrophils leading to pathogenesis and associated organ damage. Hence, traditional Ayurvedic herbs exhibiting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may act in a manner that might prove beneficial in targeting over-functioning of neutrophils and there by promoting normal immune homeostasis. In the present manuscript, we have reviewed and discussed pathological importance of NETs formation in SARS-CoV-2 infections and discuss how various Ayurvedic herbs can be explored to modulate neutrophil function and inhibit NETs formation in the context of a) anti-microbial activity to enhance neutrophil function, b) immunomodulatory effects to maintain neutrophil mediated immune homeostasis and c) to inhibit NETs mediated thrombosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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