Research Topic

Metabolomics and Ethnopharmacology in the Development of Herbal and Traditional Medicine

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Herbal medicines, also called phytomedicines, are composed of plants or their parts and used as medicinal substances for therapeutic purposes consumed throughout the globe. On the other hand, traditional medicines are derived from local and empirical knowledge often transmitted orally and have been developed ...

Herbal medicines, also called phytomedicines, are composed of plants or their parts and used as medicinal substances for therapeutic purposes consumed throughout the globe. On the other hand, traditional medicines are derived from local and empirical knowledge often transmitted orally and have been developed over generations. Modern research on natural products has its origin in traditional and local uses. Presently, in natural product research, we have been able to isolate, identify, and elucidate the mechanism of pharmacological actions of bioactive molecules present in plants. The natural product chemists usually emphasize a reductionist approach, while traditional healers, Indian AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and homeopathy) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners mainly emphasize holistic approaches with a focus on the therapeutic practice and outcomes.

Herbal medicines are composed of hundreds of bioactive molecules with diverse chemistry. Metabolomics and metabolomic profiling of herbal medicines and medicinal plants have provided new avenues of research in drug development by identifying and analyzing their metabolome. Metabolomic approaches allow the possibility of modulating many targets, genes, and diseases. Further, it gives the concept of multicomponent multitarget synergistic effects and polypharmacology, as well as holistic approaches of treatments as per AYUSH, and other traditional systems of medicine. Synergistic effects are over additive effects observed in experimental and clinical studies. Incorporating omic technologies in herbal and traditional medicine will help in rationalizing the biological effects by unfolding the possible mechanism of synergistic actions. Such tools will allow us to explore possibilities of standardization of multi-component extracts and formulations, dereplication, and prediction of the toxicity and safety using network pharmacology and system biology.

We welcome in our Research Topic, Reviews and Original Research articles on the following subtopics of research on medicinal plants, herbal and traditional medicines with a focus on complex preparations from a single or several botanical drugs:

• Quality control analysis and stability studies of botanicals and traditional formulations.
• Metabolomics and Pharmacokinetic studies.
In-vitro, In-vivo, safety, and efficacy studies.
• Phytochemistry and bioactivity guided isolation and characterization.
• Chromatographic analysis and Thin Layer Chromatography-bioautography.
• Clinical studies.

This Research Topic is developed through the initiatives of the Society for Ethnopharmacology, India (SFE-India), affiliated to the International Society for Ethnopharmacology. This Research Topic will focus on several research aspects of metabolomics of traditional medicine presented at the 7th International Congress of the Society for Ethnopharmacology, India.

All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and will need to fully comply with the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology (check here). In all research dealing with plant extracts or other natural substances/compounds, the composition and the stability of the study material must be described in sufficient detail. Please also, note specifically the guidelines concerning Pharmacological Requirements (Section 1), as well as the need for testable scientific approaches to evaluate the effects of traditional medicinal preparations (Section 3d).

Topic Editor Dr Chandrakant Katiyar is the CEO of Emami Ltd (India). All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Ethnopharmacology, Medicinal Plants, AYUSH drugs, Metabolomics, Traditional medicine, Herbal medicine


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