Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Chemistry

Title

New perspectives onhow to discover drugs from herbal medicines: CAM's outstanding contribution to modern therapeutics

Language

English

Abstract

With tens of thousands of plant species on earth, we are endowed with an enormous wealth of medicinal remedies from Mother Nature. Natural products and their derivatives represent more than 50% of all the drugs in modern therapeutics. Because of the low success rate and huge capital investment need, the research and development of conventional drugs are very costly and difficult. Over the past few decades, researchers have focused on drug discovery from herbal medicines or botanical sources, an important group of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy. With a long history of herbal usage for the clinical management of a variety of diseases in indigenous cultures, the success rate of developing a new drug from herbal medicinal preparations should, in theory, be higher than that from chemical synthesis. While the endeavor for drug discovery from herbal medicines is "experience driven," the search for a therapeutically useful synthetic drug, like "looking for a needle in a haystack," is a daunting task. In this paper, we first illustrated various approaches of drug discovery from herbal medicines. Typical examples of successful drug discovery from botanical sources were given. In addition, problems in drug discovery from herbal medicines were described and possible solutions were proposed. The prospect of drug discovery from herbal medicines in the postgenomic era was made with the provision of future directions in this area of drug development. © 2013 Si-Yuan Pan et al.

Publication Date

2013

Source Publication Title

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Volume

2013

Start Page

627375-1

End Page

627375-25

Publisher

Hindawi Publishing Corporation

DOI

10.1155/2013/627375

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/627375

ISSN (print)

1741427X

ISSN (electronic)

17414288

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