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1Traditional Medicine Research  2020, Vol. 5 Issue (3): 160-166    DOI: 10.12032/TMR20200406172
Special Issue on Infectious Diseases and Public Health     
The potential application of the traditional Chinese herb Exocarpium Citri grandis in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19
Wei-Wei Su1,*(), Yong-Gang Wang1, Pei-Bo Li1, Hao Wu1, Xuan Zeng1, Rui Shi1, Yu-Ying Zheng1, Pan-Lin Li1, Wei Peng1
1Guangdong Engineering & Technology Research Center for Quality and Efficacy Reevaluation of Post-Market Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.
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In this review, the researchers summarized the characteristics and associated mechanisms of naringin, the pharmacologically active compound of the Chinese herb Huajuhong (Exocarpium Citri grandis, ECG) in alleviating multiple respiratory diseases, and discussed its potential application in the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019.


The Chinese herb Huajuhong is the dried epicarp of ECG, an herb that originated from Huazhou town in the Guangdong province of South China. It was first documented in an ancient book of traditional Chinese medicine, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi (Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica), which was written in 1765 C.E. It has been used as folk herbal medicine in the treatment of respiratory diseases for hundreds of years in China. ECG was included in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia since 1977 and was a primary ingredient in many famous traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions. ECG contains flavonoids, and naringin is the primary active component[9].


Huajuhong (Exocarpium Citri grandis, ECG) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine and has been used for the treatment of respiratory diseases for hundreds of years. Recently, ECG has been listed in a traditional Chinese medicine formula in the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (sixth edition) in China. To date, the effect and mechanism of ECG against respiratory diseases have not been systematically reviewed. In this paper, the researchers summarized the effects of ECG and its pharmacologically active compound naringin in functioning as an antitussive and expectorant, improving lung function, alleviating acute lung injury, attenuating pulmonary fibrosis, and enhancing antiviral immune response, so as to provide a reference for its clinical application in the prevention and treatment of multiple respiratory diseases, including coronavirus disease 2019.

Key wordsHuajuhong      Exocarpium Citri grandis      Naringin      coronavirus disease 2019      Clinical application     
Published: 13 April 2020
Fund:  This work was supported by Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province in China (2018A030313491, 2019B090905002).
Corresponding Authors: Wei-Wei Su   
Cite this article:

Wei-Wei Su, Yong-Gang Wang, Pei-Bo Li, Hao Wu, Xuan Zeng, Rui Shi, Yu-Ying Zheng, Pan-Lin Li, Wei Peng. The potential application of the traditional Chinese herb Exocarpium Citri grandis in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. 1Traditional Medicine Research, 2020, 5(3): 160-166. doi: 10.12032/TMR20200406172


Figure 1 The therapeutic effects of Exocarpium Citri grandis against multiple respiratory diseases.
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