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6.  A brief study of toxic effects of some medicinal herbs on kidney 
Increased use of complementary and alternative herbal medicines in the treatment of various diseases.Some herbal therapies may be causes of potential toxicity that may be renal toxicity caused by the ingestion of herbs. The goal of this study is the toxic and beneficial effects of medicinal herbs on renal health by which evidence for benefit or toxicity has been found. Included are nephrotoxicity from aristolochic acid and other components within herbs, herb-drug interactions, heavy metal toxicity in herbs and adulterants during careless preparation of herbal medicine, resulting in adverse renal effects and renal toxicity from contaminants within the extracts. The review aims to provide knowledge and guide to encourage future toxicity studies on the kidney by medicinal herbs.
doi:10.4103/2277-9175.100144
PMCID: PMC3544088  PMID: 23326775
Adverse effects; herbal medicines; nephrotoxicity
7.  Herbal medicine: women's views, knowledge and interaction with doctors: a qualitative study 
Background
There is growing concern that serious interactions are occurring between prescribed/over the counter and herbal medicines and that there is a lack of disclosure of herbal use by patients to doctors. This study explores women's perspectives about the safety of herbal remedies, herb-drug interactions and communication with doctors about herbal medicines.
Methods
Qualitative, cross-sectional study, with purposive sampling which took place in Cheshire, UK. Eighteen in depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with female herbal medicine users aged 18 years and above.
Results
The large majority did not inform their GPs of their use of herbal medicines. This was due to lack of physician enquiry, perception of importance and fear of a negative response. Several women were not aware that herbal remedies could interact with prescribed or over the counter medicines. Of the women who had experienced adverse effects none had reported them, believing them of low importance.
Conclusion
The women had little knowledge about herb-drug interactions and rarely disclosed use of herbal medicines to their doctor. Doctors' communication and openness regarding herbal medicines needs to improve and there should be increased access to accurate information on herbal medicines in the public and health care domain.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-40
PMCID: PMC1702550  PMID: 17156416
8.  Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México 
Toxicology and applied pharmacology  2007;227(1):125-135.
In Mexico, local empirical knowledge about medicinal properties of plants is the basis for their use as home remedies. It is generally accepted by many people in Mexico and elsewhere in the world that beneficial medicinal effects can be obtained by ingesting plant products. In this review, we focus on the potential pharmacologic bases for herbal plant efficacy, but we also raise concerns about the safety of these agents, which have not been fully assessed. Although numerous randomized clinical trials of herbal medicines have been published and systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these studies are available, generalizations about the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines are clearly not possible. Recent publications have also highlighted the unintended consequences of herbal product use, including morbidity and mortality. It has been found that many phytochemicals have pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions with drugs. The present review is limited to some herbal medicine that are native or cultivated in Mexico and that have significant use. We discuss the cultural uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological and toxicological properties of the following following plant species: Nopal (Opuntia ficus), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Chaparral (Larrea divaricata), Dandlion (Taraxacum officinale), Mullein (Verbascum densiflorum), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Nettle or Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), Passionflower (Passiflora incarmata), Linden Flower (Tilia europea), and Aloa (Aloa vera). We conclude that our knowledge of the therapeutic benefits and risks of some herbal medicines used in Mexico is still limited and efforts to elucidate them should be intensified.
doi:10.1016/j.taap.2007.10.005
PMCID: PMC2322858  PMID: 18037151
9.  Why is Research on Herbal Medicinal Products Important and How Can We Improve Its Quality? 
Research on herbal medicinal products is increasingly published in “Western” scientific journals dedicated primarily to conventional medicines. Publications are concerned mainly not only on the issues of safety and interactions, but also on efficacy. In reviews, a recurring complaint has been a lack of quality studies. In this opinion article, we present the case of Chinese herbal medicines as an example, as they have been extensively used in the global market and increasingly studied worldwide. We analyze the potential reasons for problems and propose some ways forward. As in the case of any drug, clinical trials for safety, efficacy, and/or effectiveness are the ultimate demonstration of therapeutic usefulness of herbal products. These will only make scientific sense when the tested herbal products are authentic, standardized, and quality controlled, if good practice guidelines of evidence-based medicine are followed, and if relevant controls and outcome measures are scientifically defined. Herbal products are complex mixtures, and for such complexity, an obvious approach for mechanistic studies is network pharmacology based on omic tools and approaches, which has already begun to revolutionize the study of conventional drugs, emphasizing networks, interactions, and polypharmacological features behind the action of many drugs.
doi:10.4103/2225-4110.124323
PMCID: PMC4032837  PMID: 24872927
Herbal medicinal products; Network pharmacology; Omic tools; Polypharmacology; Traditional chinese herbal medicines
10.  Novel Natural Inhibitors of CYP1A2 Identified by in Silico and in Vitro Screening 
Inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) is a major cause of herb–drug interactions. The CYP1A2 enzyme plays a major role in the metabolism of drugs in humans. Its broad substrate specificity, as well as its inhibition by a vast array of structurally diverse herbal active ingredients, has indicated the possibility of metabolic herb–drug interactions. Therefore nowadays searching inhibitors for CYP1A2 from herbal medicines are drawing much more attention by biological, chemical and pharmological scientists. In our work, a pharmacophore model as well as the docking technology is proposed to screen inhibitors from herbal ingredients data. Firstly different pharmaphore models were constructed and then validated and modified by 202 herbal ingredients. Secondly the best pharmaphore model was chosen to virtually screen the herbal data (a curated database of 989 herbal compounds). Then the hits (147 herbal compounds) were continued to be filtered by a docking process, and were tested in vitro successively. Finally, five of eighteen candidate compounds (272, 284, 300, 616 and 817) were found to have inhibition of CYP1A2 activity. The model developed in our study is efficient for in silico screening of large herbal databases in the identification of CYP1A2 inhibitors. It will play an important role to prevent the risk of herb–drug interactions at an early stage of the drug development process.
doi:10.3390/ijms12053250
PMCID: PMC3116189  PMID: 21686183
CYP1A2; pharmacophore; docking; herb–drug interaction
11.  Interaction and efficacy of Keigai-rengyo-to extract and acupuncture in male patients with acne vulgaris: A study protocol for a randomized controlled pilot trial 
Trials  2011;12:82.
Background
In consideration of patients seeking to use traditional Chinese medicine, an evidence-based potentiality for safe and effective use of herbal medicine and acupuncture in treatment of acne vulgaris has been suggested. However, despite common use of a combination of herbal medicine and acupuncture in clinical practice, the current level of evidence is insufficient to draw a conclusion for an interaction and efficacy of herbal medicine and acupuncture. Therefore, considering these methodological flaws, this study was designed to assess the interaction and efficacy of an available herbal medicine, Keigai-rengyo-to extract (KRTE), and acupuncture for treatment of acne using the 2 × 2 factorial design and the feasibility of a large clinical trial.
Methods/Design
A randomized, assessor single blinded, 2 × 2 factorial pilot trial will be conducted. Forty four participants with acne vulgaris will be randomized into one of four groups: waiting list group (WL), KRTE only group (KO), acupuncture only group (AO), and KRTE and acupuncture combined treatment group (KA). After randomization, a total of 8 sessions of acupuncture treatment will be performed twice a week in the AO- and KA groups, respectively. Patients in the KO- and KA groups will be prescribed KRTE 3 times a day at a dose of 7.4 g after meals for 4 weeks. The following outcome measurements will be used in examination of subjects: the mean percentage change and the count change of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions, the Skindex 29, visual analogue scale (VAS) and investigator global assessment (IGA) from baseline to the end of the trial.
Trial Registration
The trial is registered with the Clinical Research Information Service (CRiS), Republic of Korea: KCT0000071.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-12-82
PMCID: PMC3068102  PMID: 21418585
12.  Herbal medicines supplied by community pharmacies in Lagos, Nigeria: pharmacists’ knowledge 
Pharmacy Practice  2013;11(4):219-227.
Background
The use of herbal medicines is on the increase globally and they are usually supplied in pharmacies as non-prescription medicines. Pharmacists are, therefore, responsible for educating and informing the consumers about rational use of herbal medicines.
Objective
To evaluate the knowledge of pharmacists in Lagos, Nigeria with regards to the herbal medicines they supplied by their pharmacies.
Methods
Pharmacists in charge of randomly selected 140 community pharmacies from 20 Local Government Areas in Lagos were required to fill out a self-administered questionnaire. We gathered information on their knowledge of the indications, adverse effects, potential drug-herb interactions and contraindications of the herbal medicines they supply in their pharmacies.
Results
Of the 140 questionnaires distributed, 103 (72.9%) participants completed the questionnaire appropriately. The majority (74; 71.8%) of the participants were males and 36-50 years (56; 54.4%). The pharmacies supplied mostly Yoyo cleanser bitters® (101; 98.5%), ginseng (97; 98.5%), Jobelyn® (91; 88.3%), Ciklavit® (68; 66.6%), gingko (66; 64.1%), herbal tea (66; 64.1%), and Aloe vera (57; 55.3%). The pharmacists self-rated their knowledge of herbal medicines mostly as fair (39%) and good (42%), but they exhibited poor knowledge with regards to the indications, contraindications and safety profiles. Seventy participants consulted reference materials such as leaflet insert in the herbal medicines (56%) and internet (20%) before supplying herbal medicines. The information most frequently sought was herb-drug interactions (85%), contraindications (75%) and adverse effects (70%).
Conclusions
Community pharmacists need to be informed about the indications and safety profiles of herbal medicines.
PMCID: PMC3869638  PMID: 24367462
Phytotherapy; Herbal Medicine; Herb-Drug Interactions; Pharmacies; Pharmacists; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Nigeria
13.  Bioactivity Enhancement of Herbal Supplements by Intestinal Microbiota Focusing on the Ginsenosides 
Intestinal microbiota contributes to diverse mammalian processes including the metabolic function of drugs. It is a potential new territory for drug targeting, especially for dietary herbal products. Because most of herbal drugs are orally administered, the chemical profile and corresponding bioactivities of herbal medicines may be altered by intestinal microbiota. Ginseng is one of the most commonly used herb and it is always an attractive natural product to understand. In this review, after briefly introduce the interactions of herbal products and gut microbiota, we discussed the microbiota-mediated metabolism of ginsenosides in ginseng and red ginseng. In particular, the major metabolite Compound K and its pharmacological advances are commented including anticancer, antidiabetic and antiinflammatory effects. In summary, the intestinal microbiota may play an important role in mediating the metabolism and enhancement of bioactivity of herbal medicines.
PMCID: PMC3349338  PMID: 22083984
Intestinal microbiota; Ginseng; Red ginseng; Ginsenosides; Compound K
14.  African herbal medicines in the treatment of HIV: Hypoxis and Sutherlandia. An overview of evidence and pharmacology 
Nutrition Journal  2005;4:19.
In Africa, herbal medicines are often used as primary treatment for HIV/AIDS and for HIV-related problems. In general, traditional medicines are not well researched, and are poorly regulated. We review the evidence and safety concerns related to the use of two specific African herbals, which are currently recommended by the Ministry of Health in South Africa and member states for use in HIV: African Potato and Sutherlandia. We review the pharmacology, toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these herbal medicines. Despite the popularity of their use and the support of Ministries of Health and NGOs in some African countries, no clinical trials of efficacy exist, and low-level evidence of harm identifies the potential for drug interactions with antiretroviral drugs. Efforts should be made by mainstream health professionals to provide validated information to traditional healers and patients on the judicious use of herbal remedies. This may reduce harm through failed expectations, pharmacologic adverse events including possible drug/herb interactions and unnecessary added therapeutic costs. Efforts should also be directed at evaluating the possible benefits of natural products in HIV/AIDS treatment.
doi:10.1186/1475-2891-4-19
PMCID: PMC1156943  PMID: 15927053
15.  The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a qualitative study 
Background
Between 7% and 48% of cancer patients report taking herbal medicines after diagnosis. Because of the possibility of unwanted side effects or interactions with conventional treatments, people with cancer are generally advised to tell the professionals treating them if they are taking any form of medication, including herbal medicines and supplements. Studies suggest that only about half do so and that the professionals themselves have at best very limited knowledge and feel unable to give informed advice. This study is intended to inform the future development of information resources for cancer patients, survivors and healthcare professionals including tools for use before or during consultation to make it easier for patients to mention, and for healthcare professionals to ask about, use of herbal medications.
Methods/design
This is a three-phase study. In phase 1, a systematic review of the literature on self-medication with herbal medicines among UK populations living with cancer will establish the current evidence base on use of herbal medicine, sources of information, characteristics and motivations. This will allow us to better understand what aspects need further investigation and inform the topic guide for a qualitative study (phase 2). Six focus groups of six to eight cancer patients who have used at least one herbal preparation since diagnosis will explore behaviour, beliefs, knowledge, information sources and needs in an informal conversational setting.
Informed by the findings of the systematic review and qualitative study, in phase 3 we will construct and pilot a questionnaire for a future large-scale survey to quantify and prioritise people's beliefs, needs and information preferences.
Discussion
Despite known interactions with conventional cancer treatments and contraindications for some herbal remedies with specific cancers, reliable information resources for patients are very limited. Identifying cancer patients' information needs and preferences is the first step in creating a suitable resource for both the public and the professionals advising them.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-14
PMCID: PMC2685766  PMID: 19442268
16.  TCMSP: a database of systems pharmacology for drug discovery from herbal medicines 
Background
Modern medicine often clashes with traditional medicine such as Chinese herbal medicine because of the little understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of the herbs. In an effort to promote integration of both sides and to accelerate the drug discovery from herbal medicines, an efficient systems pharmacology platform that represents ideal information convergence of pharmacochemistry, ADME properties, drug-likeness, drug targets, associated diseases and interaction networks, are urgently needed.
Description
The traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP) was built based on the framework of systems pharmacology for herbal medicines. It consists of all the 499 Chinese herbs registered in the Chinese pharmacopoeia with 29,384 ingredients, 3,311 targets and 837 associated diseases. Twelve important ADME-related properties like human oral bioavailability, half-life, drug-likeness, Caco-2 permeability, blood-brain barrier and Lipinski’s rule of five are provided for drug screening and evaluation. TCMSP also provides drug targets and diseases of each active compound, which can automatically establish the compound-target and target-disease networks that let users view and analyze the drug action mechanisms. It is designed to fuel the development of herbal medicines and to promote integration of modern medicine and traditional medicine for drug discovery and development.
Conclusions
The particular strengths of TCMSP are the composition of the large number of herbal entries, and the ability to identify drug-target networks and drug-disease networks, which will help revealing the mechanisms of action of Chinese herbs, uncovering the nature of TCM theory and developing new herb-oriented drugs. TCMSP is freely available at http://sm.nwsuaf.edu.cn/lsp/tcmsp.php.
doi:10.1186/1758-2946-6-13
PMCID: PMC4001360  PMID: 24735618
TCM; Systems pharmacology; Drug discovery; ADME
17.  TCMSP: a database of systems pharmacology for drug discovery from herbal medicines 
Background
Modern medicine often clashes with traditional medicine such as Chinese herbal medicine because of the little understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of the herbs. In an effort to promote integration of both sides and to accelerate the drug discovery from herbal medicines, an efficient systems pharmacology platform that represents ideal information convergence of pharmacochemistry, ADME properties, drug-likeness, drug targets, associated diseases and interaction networks, are urgently needed.
Description
The traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP) was built based on the framework of systems pharmacology for herbal medicines. It consists of all the 499 Chinese herbs registered in the Chinese pharmacopoeia with 29,384 ingredients, 3,311 targets and 837 associated diseases. Twelve important ADME-related properties like human oral bioavailability, half-life, drug-likeness, Caco-2 permeability, blood-brain barrier and Lipinski’s rule of five are provided for drug screening and evaluation. TCMSP also provides drug targets and diseases of each active compound, which can automatically establish the compound-target and target-disease networks that let users view and analyze the drug action mechanisms. It is designed to fuel the development of herbal medicines and to promote integration of modern medicine and traditional medicine for drug discovery and development.
Conclusions
The particular strengths of TCMSP are the composition of the large number of herbal entries, and the ability to identify drug-target networks and drug-disease networks, which will help revealing the mechanisms of action of Chinese herbs, uncovering the nature of TCM theory and developing new herb-oriented drugs. TCMSP is freely available at http://sm.nwsuaf.edu.cn/lsp/tcmsp.php.
doi:10.1186/1758-2946-6-13
PMCID: PMC4001360  PMID: 24735618
TCM; Systems pharmacology; Drug discovery; ADME
18.  Herbal medicine use among urban residents in Lagos, Nigeria 
Background
Over three-quarter of the world's population is using herbal medicines with an increasing trend globally. Herbal medicines may be beneficial but are not completely harmless.
This study aimed to assess the extent of use and the general knowledge of the benefits and safety of herbal medicines among urban residents in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods
The study involved 388 participants recruited by cluster and random sampling techniques. Participants were interviewed with a structured open- and close-ended questionnaire.
The information obtained comprises the demography and types of herbal medicines used by the respondents; indications for their use; the sources, benefits and adverse effects of the herbal medicines they used.
Results
A total of 12 herbal medicines (crude or refined) were used by the respondents, either alone or in combination with other herbal medicines. Herbal medicines were reportedly used by 259 (66.8%) respondents. 'Agbo jedi-jedi' (35%) was the most frequently used herbal medicine preparation, followed by 'agbo-iba' (27.5%) and Oroki herbal mixture® (9%). Family and friends had a marked influence on 78.4% of the respondents who used herbal medicine preparations. Herbal medicines were considered safe by half of the respondents despite 20.8% of those who experienced mild to moderate adverse effects.
Conclusions
Herbal medicine is popular among the respondents but they appear to be ignorant of its potential toxicities. It may be necessary to evaluate the safety, efficacy and quality of herbal medicines and their products through randomised clinical trial studies. Public enlightenment programme about safe use of herbal medicines may be necessary as a means of minimizing the potential adverse effects.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-117
PMCID: PMC3252251  PMID: 22117933
19.  The growing use of herbal medicines: issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety 
The use of herbal medicinal products and supplements has increased tremendously over the past three decades with not less than 80% of people worldwide relying on them for some part of primary healthcare. Although therapies involving these agents have shown promising potential with the efficacy of a good number of herbal products clearly established, many of them remain untested and their use are either poorly monitored or not even monitored at all. The consequence of this is an inadequate knowledge of their mode of action, potential adverse reactions, contraindications, and interactions with existing orthodox pharmaceuticals and functional foods to promote both safe and rational use of these agents. Since safety continues to be a major issue with the use of herbal remedies, it becomes imperative, therefore, that relevant regulatory authorities put in place appropriate measures to protect public health by ensuring that all herbal medicines are safe and of suitable quality. This review discusses toxicity-related issues and major safety concerns arising from the use of herbal medicinal products and also highlights some important challenges associated with effective monitoring of their safety.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2013.00177
PMCID: PMC3887317  PMID: 24454289
herbal medicines; adverse reactions; monitoring safety; challenges; public health
20.  Herbal Medicine and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Applications and Challenges 
Use of herbal medicine in the treatment of liver cancer has a long tradition. The compounds derived from the herb and herbal composites are of considerable interest among oncologists. In the past, certain herbal compounds and herbal composite formulas have been studied through in vitro and in vivo as an anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) agent, enhancing our knowledge about their biologic functions and targets. However there is a significant distinction between the herbal medicine and the herbal production even though both are the plant-based remedies used in the practice. In this article, for the sake of clarity, the effective herbal compounds and herbal composite formulas against HCC are discussed, with emphasizing the basic conceptions of herbal medicine in order to have a better understanding of the prevention and treatment of HCC by herbal active compounds and herbal composite formulas.
doi:10.1093/ecam/neq044
PMCID: PMC3140057  PMID: 21799681
21.  Use of Herbal Products and Potential Interactions in Patients With Cardiovascular Diseases 
More than 15 million people in the United States consume herbal remedies or high-dose vitamins. The number of visits to providers of complementary and alternative medicine exceeds those to primary care physicians, for annual out-of-pocket costs of $30 billion. Use of herbal products forms the bulk of treatments, particularly by elderly persons who also consume multiple prescription medications for comorbid conditions, which increases the risk of adverse herb-drug-disease interactions. Despite the paucity of scientific evidence supporting the safety or efficacy of herbal products, their widespread promotion in the popular media and the unsubstantiated health care claims about their efficacy drive consumer demand. In this review, we highlight commonly used herbs and their interactions with cardiovascular drugs. We also discuss health-related issues of herbal products and suggest ways to improve their safety to better protect the public from untoward effects.
doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2009.07.074
PMCID: PMC2831618  PMID: 20152556
cardiovascular agents; complementary therapies; drug approval; herbal medicine; herb-drug interaction
22.  Soliciting an Herbal Medicine and Supplement Use History at Hospice Admission 
Journal of Palliative Medicine  2010;13(6):685-694.
Abstract
Background
Reconciling medication use and performing drug utilization review on admission of a patient into hospice care are essential in order to safely prescribe medications and to prevent possible adverse drug events and drug–drug interactions. As part of this process, fully assessing herbal medicine and supplement use in hospice patients is crucial, as patients in hospice may be likely to use these medications and may be more vulnerable to their potential adverse effects.
Objective
Our purpose was to identify herbals, vitamins, and supplements that should be routinely assessed on every hospice admission because of their higher likelihood of use or higher risk of adverse effects or drug interactions.
Methods
Experts in the fields of palliative medicine, pharmacy, and alternative medicine were asked to complete a Web-based survey on 37 herbals, vitamins, supplements, and natural products, rating likelihood of use, potential for harm, and recommendation to include it on the final list on a scale of 1 to 5 (least to most likely to agree).
Results
Twenty experts participated in the survey. Using a cutoff of 3.75 for inclusion of a medication on the final list, 12 herbal medicines were identified that should be routinely and specifically assessed on hospice admission.
Conclusions
Although assessing all herbal medicine use is ideal, thorough detection of herbals may be challenging. The list of herbals and supplements identified by this survey could be a useful tool for medication reconciliation in hospice and could aid in identifying potentially harmful medication use at the end of life.
doi:10.1089/jpm.2009.0378
PMCID: PMC4056556  PMID: 20557233
23.  P03.04. How to Integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine Into a Western Medical Clinical Practice 
Focus Area: Integrative Approaches to Care
Based on more than 20 years' clinical experience of integrative medicine in both China and America, using a series of experiential cases mainly of herbs/TCM intervention on kidney diseases and enhancing well-being, and from the perspective as a nephrologist, this paper presents the basic modalities of integrative medicine (IM) by describing the clinical skill of knowing how and when to use herbal/TCM intervention by applying the methodology of “disease-pattern combination” on how to make the drug-herb interaction achieve “mutual enhancement.” This paper also proposed a hypothesis about the “whole food herbal medicine” and discusses the importance of controlling the herb dosage and the cost-effectiveness of herbal remedies. Finally, this paper will share the basic, simpler method with medical doctors on how to learn herbs/TCM step by step.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2013.097CP.P03.04
PMCID: PMC3875040
24.  Use of bodily sensations as a risk assessment tool: exploring people with Multiple Sclerosis’ views on risks of negative interactions between herbal medicine and conventional drug therapies 
Background
Most users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) combine it with conventional medicine. Recent risk assessment studies have shown risks of negative interactions between CAM and conventional medicine, particularly when combining herbal medicine and conventional drug therapies (CDT). Little is known about the way users consider such risks. The present paper aims to gain knowledge about this issue by exploring views on risks of negative interactions when combining herbal medicine and CDT among people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Methods
This paper draws on a qualitative follow-up study on a survey among members of the Danish MS Society. Semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with a strategic selection from the survey respondents. The study was inspired by a phenomenological approach and emerging themes were extracted from the data through meaning condensation.
Results
Four themes characterized the informants’ views on risks of negative interactions when combining herbal medicine and CDT: 1) ‘naturalness’ in herbal medicine; 2) ‘bodily sensations’ as guidelines; 3) trust in the CAM practitioner; 4) lack of dialogue with medical doctor.
Conclusions
Generally, the combination of herbal medicine and CDT was considered by the informants to be safe. In particular, they emphasized the ‘non-chemical’ nature of herbal medicine and of their own bodily sensations as warrants of safety. A trustful relation to the CAM practitioner furthermore made some of them feel safe in their use of herbal medicine and CDT in combination. The informants’ use of bodily sensations as a non-discursive risk assessment may be a relevant element in understanding these issues.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-59
PMCID: PMC3942187  PMID: 24533750
Multiple sclerosis; Alternative treatment; CAM; Denmark; Contraindications; Negative interactions; Combination of conventional medicine and CAM; In-depth qualitative interviews; Mixed methods research
25.  An Overview of the Evidence and Mechanisms of Herb–Drug Interactions 
Despite the lack of sufficient information on the safety of herbal products, their use as alternative and/or complementary medicine is globally popular. There is also an increasing interest in medicinal herbs as precursor for pharmacological actives. Of serious concern is the concurrent consumption of herbal products and conventional drugs. Herb–drug interaction (HDI) is the single most important clinical consequence of this practice. Using a structured assessment procedure, the evidence of HDI presents with varying degree of clinical significance. While the potential for HDI for a number of herbal products is inferred from non-human studies, certain HDIs are well established through human studies and documented case reports. Various mechanisms of pharmacokinetic HDI have been identified and include the alteration in the gastrointestinal functions with consequent effects on drug absorption; induction and inhibition of metabolic enzymes and transport proteins; and alteration of renal excretion of drugs and their metabolites. Due to the intrinsic pharmacologic properties of phytochemicals, pharmacodynamic HDIs are also known to occur. The effects could be synergistic, additive, and/or antagonistic. Poor reporting on the part of patients and the inability to promptly identify HDI by health providers are identified as major factors limiting the extensive compilation of clinically relevant HDIs. A general overview and the significance of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic HDI are provided, detailing basic mechanism, and nature of evidence available. An increased level of awareness of HDI is necessary among health professionals and drug discovery scientists. With the increasing number of plant-sourced pharmacological actives, the potential for HDI should always be assessed in the non-clinical safety assessment phase of drug development process. More clinically relevant research is also required in this area as current information on HDI is insufficient for clinical applications.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2012.00069
PMCID: PMC3339338  PMID: 22557968
Herb–drug interaction; traditional medicine; phytochemicals; transport proteins; cytochrome P450

Results 1-25 (148615)