From ethnopharmacology to biodiscovery
Traditional medicine (TM) is used by almost 85–90 % of the world’s population for their primary health care needs and its use is increasing worldwide. Ready-made products from TM, mainly herbal preparations either from whole herbs or extracts thereof, represent large economic factors in Asian and Western countries. In contrast to single substance pharmaceuticals, even if they are derived from plants like e.g. atropine, digoxin or artemisinin, the herbal preparations are usually multicompounds.
Due to the global distribution of such products, conducting scientific studies on their quality, safety and efficacy has become a pressing issue. Such scientific studies can help create an evidence-based TM and facilitate better health care integration and collaborations between medical professionals. Many TM formulations/drugs/plants have potential for developing into high quality modern medicinal products, which may offer valuable solutions in the face of increasing health challenges worldwide, such as chronic diseases, multi-morbidity, ageing societies and ever increasing health costs.
This panel is dedicated to the exchange of information and understandings about the current scientific studies on TM. Original and innovative studies on medicinal plants/formulas and clinical trials involving efficacy, safety and quality of TM formulations are especially welcome. Scientific validation covers all research fields straddling the border between the chemical, biological and medical sciences, with the ultimate goal of broadening our understanding of how nature works at a molecular level.
Emphasis is placed on describing the full range of scientific studies including verification of traditional uses, mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, phytochemical analysis and omic-technologies. Logical framework ideas on how to enhance scientific validation of TM, networking and funding sources can be also presented.