Author(s): Liu Y, Wang MW
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Abstract Plants have been a source of therapeutic agents for more than 5000 years. Approximately 25\% of the modern medications are developed from plants. Botanical drugs, simply defined as clinically validated pharmaceuticals of plant origin, typically contain a multi-component composition derived from herbal practices. An obvious advantage of botanical drugs is their history of use and hence, that the therapeutic window has already been understood through experience. Following vigorous scientific validation and appropriate regulatory procedures, some of the ancient remedies may prove to be useful in mitigating certain ailments (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, metabolic syndrome, etc.) where contemporary therapies often lack desired effectiveness. Such a complementary approach has received tremendous attention among medical professionals, governmental agencies and the general public across the world. A few recently approved botanical prescriptions in the USA and Europe, albeit for topical application, have opened a window of opportunity in terms of regulatory passages in the West. One of the major challenges we face is the standardization of biological materials from natural sources. New technologies to modernize traditional herbs into mainstream pharmaceutical products are being evaluated with the ultimate goal of maximizing the opportunities and overcoming the challenges.
This article was published in Life Sci
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics