Document Detail

Quality and safety of Chinese herbal medicines guided by a systems biology perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19683045     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chinese herbal medicines, often referred as Chinese materia medica (CMM), are comprised of a complex multicomponent nature. The activities are aimed at the system level via interactions with a multitude of targets in the human body. This review aims at the toxicity aspects of CMM and its preparations at the different steps of production; harvesting, processing and the final formulation. The historic perspective and today's issues of the safety of CMM are introduced briefly, followed by the descriptions of the toxic CMM in the current Chinese Pharmacopoeia (2005). Subsequently, several aspects of safety are illustrated using a typical example of a toxic CMM, Aconitum roots, and some recent findings of our own research are included to illustrate that proper processing and multi-herbs formulation can reduce the level of toxic components. This also explains that in CMM, some herbs, such as Aconitum, Ephedra species are never used as single herb for intervention and that aconite is only used when it is processed and in combination with specific matched other herbs. The formulation principle of multi-herbs intervention strategy is a systems approach for the treatment and prevention of disease. In this light, the role of systems toxicology in the safety and quality of Chinese herbal medicine is proposed as a promising method. Moreover the principles of practiced-based and evidence-based research are discussed from a symbiotic perspective.
Jiangshan Wang; Rob van der Heijden; Shannon Spruit; Thomas Hankermeier; Kelvin Chan; Jan van der Greef; Guowang Xu; Mei Wang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2009-08-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of ethnopharmacology     Volume:  126     ISSN:  1872-7573     ISO Abbreviation:  J Ethnopharmacol     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-10-19     Completed Date:  2010-02-17     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7903310     Medline TA:  J Ethnopharmacol     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  31-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
CAS Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian, China.
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MeSH Terms
Aconitum / toxicity
Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
Drug Compounding
Drug Evaluation
Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects*,  classification*
Materia Medica
Medicine, Chinese Traditional
Quality Control
Systems Biology / methods*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Drugs, Chinese Herbal; 0/Materia Medica

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