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1.  An Assessment of Traditional Uighur Medicine in Current Xinjiang Region (China) 
The main objectives of this study were to assess the current research and development of traditional Uighur medicine in Xinjiang (China), and to evaluate the promising pharmacological products of traditional Uighur medicine for further studies.
Materials and Methods
Traditional Uighur medicine data of medicine registry, patent, and academic publications was collected and analyzed.
Data showed that, among the registered and studied traditional Uighur medicine, the main therapeutic areas of traditional Uighur medicine focused on skin disease, urogenital disease, rheumatism and digestive system disease. The representative traditional Uighur patent medicine included the following: BaixuanXiatare Tablets, Kaliziran Tincture and Vernoniaanthelmintica Injection (Psoriasis and vitiligo); Xi-payimazibiziLiquid (prostatitis); KursiKaknaq (urinary tract infection); Tongzhisurunjiang Capsules (anti-rheumatism medicine); HuganBuzure Granules (digestive system disease). Moreover, ten Uighur herbs were widely used, including: ResinaScammoniae, Folium FumicisDentati, HerbaDracocephali, Semen AmygdaliDulcis, HerbaChamomillae, FructusPimpinellaeanisi, Cortex Foeniculi, FructusVernoniae, FructusApii, and Radix AnacycliPyrethri.
This study concluded by indicating that traditional Uighur medicine with excellent curative effect should be screened in details for their phytochemical properties and pharmacological activity to discover new bioactive constituents.
PMCID: PMC4202637  PMID: 25435613
Traditional Uighur medicine; Traditional Uighur patent medicine; Uighur herb
2.  Modified Yupingfeng Formula for the Treatment of Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a very common disease of respiratory system. An increasing number of clinical trials on Yupingfeng formula in the management of stable COPD have been performed. However, the evidence base for it remains unknown. This review aims at assessing the efficacy, and safety of modified Yupingfeng formula in the treatment of stable COPD through a systematic review of all available randomized controlled trials.
Materials and Methods
Literature retrieval was conducted using four English databases (CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science), and four Chinese databases (CBM, CNKI, VIP, and WANFANG), from respective inception to January 2013, and supplemented with a manual search. Review authors independently extracted the trial data, and assessed the quality of each trial. Methodological quality was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias and Jadad's scale. The following outcomes were evaluated: (1) lung function; (2) 6-minute walk distance (6MWD); (3) effective rate; (4) serum levels of IgA, IgG and IgE; and (5) adverse events. Data were analyzed using STATA 12.0 software.
A total of nine studies involving 660, stable COPD patients were identified. Patients from all studies included in this review were randomized to receive Yupingfeng formula combined with Western medications in comparison with Western medications. In general, the methodological quality of the included trials was poor. The results of this systematic review indicates that, compared with Western medications alone, the use of Yupingfeng formula, if combined with Western medications could significantly improve FEV1 (WMD = 0.30L; 95%CI: 0.19, 0.42), FEV1/FVC ratio (SMD = 0.69; 95%CI: 0.48, 0.91), 6MWD (WMD = 31.73m; 95% CI: 19.29, 44.17), and effective rate (RR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.41), and increase the serum levels of IgA (WMD = 0.25; 95%CI: 0.16, 0.34) and IgG (WMD = 1.10; 95%CI: 0.53, 1.68), but no difference was found in the serum IgE levels (WMD = 0.47; 95%CI: −0.32, 1.27) between the two groups. No serious adverse events were reported.
Within the limitations of this systematic review, we may conclude that compared with Western medications alone, Yupingfeng formula, when combined with Western medications can provide more benefits for patients with stable COPD, without any serious adverse reactions being identified. However, these benefits need to be further confirmed through high-quality prospective placebo-controlled trials that should be strictly conducted in accordance with methodological principles and procedures.
PMCID: PMC3957235  PMID: 24653547
Yupingfeng formula; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Systematic review
3.  Clinical Study of the Hypothesis of Endogenous Collateral Wind on Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Review 
Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), is a serious threat to people's health, and life, and in recent years, the incidence has increased yearly. This study was to propose the hypothesis of “endogenous collateral wind” based on the patho-mechanism of thrombogenesis complicated by ruptured plaque on ACS, and the theory of traditional Chinese medicine.
Materials and Methods
Through successful coronary angiography (CAG), and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), patients with coronary artery disease were made the differential diagnosis such as blood stasis, blood stasis due to phlegm obstruction, and endogenous collateral wind. The levels of plasma inflammatory marker were measured to study on the characteristics of “endogenous collateral wind”. Luo heng dripping pills with promoting blood circulation to expel wind-evil, and remove wetness were made based on the hypothesis of “endogenous collateral wind” on ACS. Patients with unstable angina were randomly divided into 3, groups based on therapeutic methods: conventional therapy group, Luo Heng dripping pills group and Tongxinluo caps. Differences among groups were compared.
There were great changes in number and degree of coronary arteriostenosis confirmed by CAG, the types of ACC/AHA lesion and Levin lesion confirmed by CAG, remodeling index, positive or negative remodeling percentage measured by IVUS, the plasma levels of plasma inflammatory marker measured by ELLSA in the patients with endogenous collateral wind, compared with patients with blood stasis and blood stasis due to phlegm obstruction. The total effective rate of improved angina in Luo Heng dripping pills group was significantly higher than those in other two groups. The levels of plasma inflammatory marker were significantly lower in Luo Heng dripping pills group.
There were some pathological basis which were found about the hypothesis of “endogenous collateral wind” on acute coronary syndrome. It provided evidences for patients with coronary artery disease treated by medicines with expelling evil-wind, and removing wetness.
PMCID: PMC3957252  PMID: 24653564
The hypothesis of “endogenous collateral wind”; acute coronary syndrome; Luoheng dripping pills; coronary artery disease
4.  A Review of the Pharmacological Mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Intervention of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke 
In recent years, several researches have showed that Buyang Huanwu Decoction (BHD) possesses multiple target points in the intervention of diseases, and has same treatment effects on cerebrovascular diseases and cardiovascular diseases. But, there was no full report about the mechanistic and material basis in Brain-Heart concurrent treatment. The objective of the present study was to examine the pharmacological mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine in the intervention of coronary heart disease and stroke. We combined the HIT, PubChem, David Database resource and the networked pharmacology method to ultimately find out BHD's thirty-five potential brain-heart concurrent treatment target points, and preliminarily reveal BHD's material basis for treatment of cerebrovascular diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Finally, the study provided new information with the guidance meanings.
PMCID: PMC3847397  PMID: 24311882
Buyang Huanwu Decoction (BHD); Brain-Heart concurrent treatment; Pharmaceutical effect mechanism; Material basis
5.  A Literature Analysis on 14 Cases of Allergic Shock Caused by Safflower Injection 
The objective of this paper was to investigate the characteristics and general rules of domestic safflower injection causing allergic shock, to retrieve the medical journals published domestically, and to make statistical analysis on the cases of allergic shock caused by safflower injection. Results showed that the incidence of allergic shock caused by safflower injection in patients above 40 years old was high: females were more than males. It occurred within 30min after medication, and no patient died after emergency treatment. The study concluded that allergic shock caused by safflower injection is related to many factors, and clinical care personnel should pay more attention to it.
PMCID: PMC3847404  PMID: 24311889
safflower injection; allergic shock; literature analysis
6.  The Role and Place of Medicinal Plants in the Strategies for Disease Prevention 
Medicinal plants have been used in healthcare since time immemorial. Studies have been carried out globally to verify their efficacy and some of the findings have led to the production of plant-based medicines. The global market value of medicinal plant products exceeds $100 billion per annum. This paper discusses the role, contributions and usefulness of medicinal plants in tackling the diseases of public health importance, with particular emphasis on the current strategic approaches to disease prevention. A comparison is drawn between the ‘whole population’ and ‘high-risk’ strategies. The usefulness of the common-factor approach as a method of engaging other health promoters in propagating the ideals of medicinal plants is highlighted. The place of medicinal plants in preventing common diseases is further examined under the five core principles of the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach. Medicinal plants play vital roles in disease prevention and their promotion and use fit into all existing prevention strategies. However, conscious efforts need to be made to properly identify, recognise and position medicinal plants in the design and implementation of these strategies. These approaches present interesting and emerging perspectives in the field of medicinal plants. Recommendations are proposed for strategising the future role and place for medicinal plants in disease prevention.
PMCID: PMC3847409  PMID: 24311829
Medicinal Plants; Prevention; Strategy; Primary Health Care
7.  A Review of Oxidative Stress in Acute Kidney Injury: Protective Role of Medicinal Plants-Derived Antioxidants 
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is the common clinical syndrome which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The severity extends from less to more advanced spectrums which link to biological, physical and chemical agents. Oxidative stress (OS)-related AKI has demonstrated the increasing of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and the decreasing of endogenous antioxidants. Medicinal plants-derived antioxidants can be ameliorated oxidative stress-related AKI through reduction of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and enhancement of activities and levels of endogenous antioxidants. Therefore, medicinal plants are good sources of exogenous antioxidants which might be considered the important remedies to ameliorate pathological alterations in oxidative stress-related AKI.
PMCID: PMC3794397  PMID: 24146507
Acute kidney injury; Medicinal plant; Oxidative stress
8.  Use of Antifungal Saponin SC-2 of Solanum Chrysotrichum for the Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: In Vitro Studies and Clinical Experiences 
Saponin SC-2 from Solanum chrysotrichum showed antifungal activity, demonstrated in vitro, which inhibited the growth of dermatophytes, and in vivo, to be effective in the treatment against tinea pedis and pityriasis capitis. Fungistatic and fungicidal activity of saponin SC-2 on Candida albicans and other Candida species, fluconazole and ketoconazole resistaent strains was demostrated. SC-2-associated ultrastructural alterations in several Candida species were observed. An exploratory clinical, randomized, double-blind, and controlled ketoconazole study of ketoconazole was conducted with the aim of assessing the effectiveness and tolerability of an herbal medicinal product containing SC-2, on women with Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). The results exhibited a percentage of therapeutic clinical effectiveness similar to that of ketoconazole (X2, p ≥0.30), but obtained a smaller percentage of mycological effectiveness, and 100% tolerability. In conclusion, saponin SC-2 possesses fungicidale and fungistatic activity on Candida albicans and other multi resistant Candida species, causes morphological changes and fungal death, and it is an alternative therapy for the treatment of VVC.
PMCID: PMC3777579  PMID: 24146467
Solanum chrysotrichum; saponins; antifungal activity; vulvovaginal candidiasis; alternative therapy
9.  Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Ethnomedicinal Uses of Ficus Thonningii (Blume Moraceae): A Review 
The common wild fig, Ficus thonningii, is extensively used in African ethnomedicine for treating a number of disease conditions which include diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, diabetes mellitus, gonorrhoea, respiratory infections, and mental illnesses. This review aims to present a logical analysis of the nutritional, phytochemical and pharmacological properties of F. thonningii in relation to its therapeutic applications. A bibliographic analysis of the uses, phytochemical constituents and phytophamacological properties of Ficus thonningii was carried out using published papers, medicinal plant databases and various ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological books. Ficus thonningii contains various bioactive compounds which include alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins and active proteins, all of which contribute to its curative properties. In vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies revealed that F. thonningii possesses antimicrobial, antidiarrhoeal, antihelmintic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies have shown that Ficus thonningii is non-toxic if administered orally in low doses. Scientific research has validated the ethnomedicinal claims that Ficus thonningii is useful in disease management. However, there is need to continue identifying, isolating and quantifying the active principles and possibly determine the mechanisms underlying its curative properties.
PMCID: PMC3746567  PMID: 24146443
Ficus thonningii; phytochemical; toxicity; nutraceutical
10.  Aromatherapy as an Adjuvant Treatment in Cancer Care — A Descriptive Systematic Review 
Claims of benefits of aromatherapy for cancer patients include reduced anxiety levels and relief of emotional stress, pain, muscular tension and fatigue. The objective of this paper is to provide an updated descriptive, systematic review of evidence from pre-clinical and clinical trials assessing the benefits and safety of aromatherapy for cancer patients. Literature databases such as Medline (via Ovid), the Cochrane database of systematic reviews, Cochrane Central were searched from their inception until October 2010. Only studies on cancer cells or cancer patients were included. There is no long lasting effect of aromatherapy massage, while short term improvements were reported for general well being, anxiety and depression up to 8 weeks after treatment. The reviewed studies indicate short-term effects of aromatherapy on depression, anxiety and overall wellbeing. Specifically, some clinical trials found an increase in patient-identified symptom relief, psychological wellbeing and improved sleep. Furthermore, some found a short-term improvement (up to 2 weeks after treatment) in anxiety and depression scores and better pain control. Although essential oils have generally shown minimal adverse effects, potential risks include ingesting large amounts (intentional misuse); local skin irritation, especially with prolonged skin contact; allergic contact dermatitis; and phototoxicity from reaction to sunlight (some oils). Repeated topical administration of lavender and tea tree oil was associated with reversible prepubertal gynecomastia.
PMCID: PMC3746639  PMID: 23983386
aromatherapy; essential oil; massage; cancer; review
11.  Acupuncture in Treating Hepatic Fibrosis: A Review With Recommendation for Future Studies 
Hepatic fibrosis, as a major medical problem, is characterized with significant morbidity and mortality. Acupuncture has potential advantages in treating hepatic fibrosis as acupuncture functions well to reduce Qi and Blood stagnation, resolve stasis and enhance body immunity, which are important factors in treating hepatic fibrosis. The aim of this review was to appraise the current limited evidence of acupuncture in treating hepatic fibrosis from both animal experiments and clinical trials by using both Chinese and western databases and to provide recommendations for future studies.
PMCID: PMC3746655  PMID: 23983380
Acupuncture; hepatic fibrosis; review
12.  Mitochondria as Pharmacological Targets: The Discovery of Novel Anti-Obesity Mitochondrial Uncouplers from Africa's Medicinal Plants 
Obesity results from prolonged positive imbalance between energy in take and expenditure. When food intake chronically exceeds the body's energy need, an efficient metabolism results in the storage of the excess energy as fat. Mitochondria are the main centre for energy production in eukaryotic cells. Mitochondrial proton cycling is responsible for a significant proportion of basal or standard metabolic rate, therefore, further uncoupling of mitochondria may be a good way to increase energy expenditure and hence represent a good pharmacological target for the treatment of obesity. This implies that, any chemical agent or photochemical compound that further uncouples the mitochondria in vivo without having any effect on mitochondria activity could be a potential target in finding treatment for obesity. In the past, uncoupling by 2, 4-dinitrophenol has been used this way with notable success. This paper discusses the mitochondria as targets in the discovery of potential plant natural anti-obesity products from Africa's rich rainforests.
PMCID: PMC3746629  PMID: 23983343
Uncoupling; Mitochondria; Pharmacology; Medicinal Plants; Obesity
13.  Meta-Analysis: Therapeutic Effect of Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization Combined With Compound Kushen Injection in Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
Compound Kushen Injection (CKI) is Sophora Flavescens and Heterosmilacis Japonicae extract. Meta-analysis confirmed that CKI plus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is more superior to TACE alone for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (UHCC) patients.
PMCID: PMC3746636  PMID: 23983333
Compound Kushen Injection; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; TACE; hepatocellular carcinoma
14.  Advances in the Analytical Methods for Determining the Antioxidant Properties of Honey: A Review 
Free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in contributing to the processes of aging and disease. In an effort to combat free radical activity, scientists are studying the effects of increasing individuals' antioxidant levels through diet and dietary supplements. Honey appears to act as an antioxidant in more ways than one. In the body, honey can mop up free radicals and contribute to better health. Various antioxidant activity methods have been used to measure and compare the antioxidant activity of honey. In recent years, DPPH (Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power), ORAC (The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), ABTS [2, 2-azinobis (3ehtylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diamonium salt], TEAC [6-hydroxy-2, 5, 7, 8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid (Trolox)-equivalent antioxidant capacity] assays have been used to evaluate antioxidant activity of honey. The antioxidant activity of honey is also measured by ascorbic acid content and different enzyme assays like Catalase (CAT), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPO), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). Among the different methods available, methods that have been validated, standardized and widely reported are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3746522  PMID: 23983317
Honey; antioxidant properties; DPPH; FRAP; ORAC; TEAC; ABTS
15.  Recommendations for the Development of Regulatory Guidelines for Registration of Traditional Medicines in South Africa 
The regulation and registration of traditional medicines (TM) continues to present challenges to many countries regardless of the fact that an increased number of the population utilises TM for their health care needs. There have been improvements in the legal and policy framework of South Africa based on the WHO guidelines. However, there are currently no guidelines or framework for the registration of TM in South Africa. This article reviews literature and existing guidelines of specific countries and regions and makes recommendations for South African guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3746524  PMID: 23983321
Regulation; Registration; Traditional Medicines; South Africa
16.  Traditional Use of Plants Against Snakebite in Indian Subcontinent: A Review of the Recent Literature 
Snakebite has been a major cause of mortality across the tropical countries including Indian subcontinent. The present review deals with the enormous amount of ethnobotanical work performed in the last few years involving use of different plants against snakebite in Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal). From a variety of literature sources the data has been compiled mentioning the plants, parts used, dosage, mode of administration, name of the ethnic communities, geographical locations etc. depending on the availability of information.
PMCID: PMC3746536  PMID: 23983332
Ethnobotany; snakebite; subcontinent; review
17.  Traditional Medicine: Past, Present and Future Research and Development Prospects and Integration in the National Health System of Cameroon 
Traditional medicine refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being. In the last decade traditional medicine has become very popular in Cameroon, partly due to the long unsustainable economic situation in the country. The high cost of drugs and increase in drug resistance to common diseases like malaria, bacteria infections and other sexually transmitted diseases has caused the therapeutic approach to alternative traditional medicine as an option for concerted search for new chemical entities (NCE). The World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the Cameroon Government has put in place a strategic platform for the practice and development of TM in Cameroon. This platform aims at harmonizing the traditional medicine practice in the country, create a synergy between TM and modern medicine and to institutionalize a more harmonized integrated TM practices by the year 2012 in Cameroon. An overview of the practice of TM past, present and future perspectives that underpins the role in sustainable poverty alleviation has been discussed. This study gives an insight into the strategic plan and road map set up by the Government of Cameroon for the organisational framework and research platform for the practice and development of TM, and the global partnership involving the management of TM in the country.
PMCID: PMC3252219  PMID: 22468007
Tradttional medicine; Cameroon
18.  Insights into the Monomers and Single Drugs of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Myocardial Preservation 
Chinese herbal drugs have been proved to be effective agents in myocardial protection by preventing ischemia-reperfusion injury. The underlying mechanisms as to how these agents work were however poorly elucidated. Studies on the monomers or on the single drugs have highlighted the possible rationales, leading to a better understanding of the pharmaceutical effects of the active parts of the herbs. These agents have been found to be structure-sensitive while they play the role of a protective ingredient. Polysaccharides of Chinese herbal medicine have pharmaceutical effects in immune modulation, anti-inflammation, anti-virus, anti-tumor, anti-aging mechanisms, with an anti-oxidative effect being a commonly recognized mechanism. Saponins are prone to alleviate calcium overload. As bioflavonoids commonly contain active phenolic hydroxy group, they have good anti-oxidant property. Those containing effective lignanoids and essential oils can result in a reduced nitric oxide secretion of the endothelial cells and an increased intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression. Alkaloids may resist free radical injuries. Most importantly, modern in-depth research revealed that myocardial infarction is typically associated with apoptosis, and herbal medicine containing carbohydrates and glycosides showed cardioprotective effects by way of inhibiting apoptosis of myocytes. As a supplement to cardioplegia, some Chinese herbal drugs have become especially valuable in myocardial protection in open heart surgery by preserving metabolic energy. In conclusion, the classification of Chinese herbal medicine made according to their main active ingredients has facilitated the expression of their functioning mechanisms. Chinese herbal drugs play an important role in cardioprotection via many different mechanisms, the most recent and important finding being the inhibition of apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3252691  PMID: 22238491
apoptosis; Chinese herbal drugs; myocardial ischemias
19.  Extraction, Isolation and Characterization of Bioactive Compounds from Plants' Extracts 
Natural products from medicinal plants, either as pure compounds or as standardized extracts, provide unlimited opportunities for new drug leads because of the unmatched availability of chemical diversity. Due to an increasing demand for chemical diversity in screening programs, seeking therapeutic drugs from natural products, interest particularly in edible plants has grown throughout the world. Botanicals and herbal preparations for medicinal usage contain various types of bioactive compounds. The focus of this paper is on the analytical methodologies, which include the extraction, isolation and characterization of active ingredients in botanicals and herbal preparations. The common problems and key challenges in the extraction, isolation and characterization of active ingredients in botanicals and herbal preparations are discussed. As extraction is the most important step in the analysis of constituents present in botanicals and herbal preparations, the strengths and weaknesses of different extraction techniques are discussed. The analysis of bioactive compounds present in the plant extracts involving the applications of common phytochemical screening assays, chromatographic techniques such as HPLC and, TLC as well as non-chromatographic techniques such as immunoassay and Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3218439  PMID: 22238476
Bioactive compound; Plant Extraction; Isolation; Herbal preparations; Natural products
20.  Bhaishajya Kalpanaa - The Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics - An Overview 
In Ayurvedic therapeutics, drug therapy is given prime importance. There is a very well developed sub-discipline entirely devoted to drug formulations known as “Bhaisajya Kalpanaa”. Considering its importance, different aspects of this discipline have been presented in this review to familiarize the readers, especially those who have just started studying Ayurveda, with concept of ayurvedic pharmaceutics. The Ayurvedic drug formulation is based on what is known as “Pancavidha Kasaaya” concept. According to this concept there are five basic forms of formulation known as 1-‘Swarasa’ the expressed juice, 2-‘Kalka’, a fine paste obtained by grinding fresh or wet grinding dried plant material 3- ‘Kwaatha’, the decoction, 4- ‘Sheeta’ or ‘Hima’, the cold water infusion and 5- ‘Faanta’, the hot water infusion. Different aspects of their preparation and use have been discussed. Further from the above basic forms, a number of other formulations are derived; a brief description of each of them has been given along with brief outlines of drug formulations meant for specific routes. The third part of the review is devoted to discussion of influence of different factors on the expression of pharmacological activity.
PMCID: PMC3025621  PMID: 21461144
Ayurvedic pharmaceutics; Bhaisajya Kalpanaa; Pancavidha Kasaaya; Ayurvedic formulations Traditional systems of medicine
21.  Treating Gynaecological Disorders with Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Review 
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has significant advantages in treating gynaecological disorders. The paper has provided a brief introduction on the current progress of treating some gynaecological disorders including endometriosis, infertility, dysmenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, uterine fibroids, chronic pelvic inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cervicitis and vaginitis with Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) and acupuncture. The use of TCM in the field of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) has also been included in the review. In addition, thirty-two commonly used Chinese medicinal formulas in treating gynaecological disorders have been introduced.
PMCID: PMC2816470  PMID: 20606770
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM); acupuncture; gynaecological disorders; review
22.  Utilization and Practice of Traditional/Complementary/Alternative Medicine (TM/CAM) in South Africa 
The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of published and unpublished research investigating the prevalence of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TMCAM) use in the general population. Results found that use of a traditional and/or faith healer seemed to have decreased over the past 13 years (from a range of 3.6–12.7% to 0.1%). The prevalence of traditional male circumcision was found to be 24.8% generally and 31.9% among the African Black racial group. The range of use of alternative and complementary medicine was from 0% to 2.2%. Local utilization surveys of TMCAM for the last illness episode or in the past year showed a variation in use of 6.1% to 38.5%. The prevalence of conditions treated at different TMCAM out-patients settings ranged from chronic conditions, complex of supernatural or psychosocial problems, mental illness, chronic conditions, acute conditions, generalized pain, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. TM and probably CAM is used by substantial proportions of the general population, but differences in study design and methodological limitations make it difficult to compare prevalence estimates.
PMCID: PMC2816568  PMID: 20209010
Utilization; prevalence; traditional medicine; complementary medicine; alternative medicine; South Africa
23.  Induced Differentiation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Natural Products 
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide. For the difficulty of the giving sufficient dose because of the poor liver function and the low sensitivity of hepatoma cells for the chemotherapeutic agents, chemotherapy adds little to overall survival of hepatocellular carcinoma patients. The induction of terminal differentiation in tumor cells represents a possible therapeutic strategy with less toxicity. Gekko sulfated polysaccharides, isoverbascoside, Ginsenoside-Rh2, Camptothecin, 9-nitro-camptothecin, tachyplesin, Matrine, tylophorine, 7-OH-4-CH (3)- coumarin and arsenic trioxide are known to have a differentiation-inducing capability on hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and/or in vivo. Although the therapeutic effect of the differentiation-inducing agents may not be potent when compared with that of conventional chemotherapeutic agents, they have multiple therapeutic targets, low toxicity and less probability of drug resistance. More data are required on the molecular mechanisms of therapeutic effects, dose response and potential toxicities.
PMCID: PMC2816580  PMID: 20161953
Differentiation; hepatocellular carcinoma; herb
24.  The Antimalarial Potential of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Malaria in Cameroonian Folk Medicine 
Malaria remains one of the leading public health problems in Cameroon as in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decades, this situation has been aggravated by the increasing spread of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. New antimalarial drug leads are therefore urgently needed. Traditional healers have long used plants to prevent or cure infections. This article reviews the current status of botanical screening efforts in Cameroon as well as experimental studies done on antimalarial plants. Data collected from 54 references from various research groups in the literature up to June 2007 shows that 217 different species have been cited for their use as antimalarials in folk medicine in Cameroon. About a hundred phytochemicals have been isolated from 26 species some among which are potential leads for development of new antiamalarials. Crude extracts and or essential oils prepared from 54 other species showed a wide range of activity on Plasmodium spp. Moreover, some 137 plants from 48 families that are employed by traditional healers remain uninvestigated for their presumed antimalarial properties. The present study shows that Cameroonian flora represents a high potential for new antimalarial compounds. Further ethnobotanical surveys and laboratory investigations are needed to fully exploit the potential of the identified species in the control of malaria.
PMCID: PMC2816552  PMID: 20161952
25.  The Need for Enhancement of Research, Development, and Commercialization of Natural Medicinal Products in Nigeria: Lessons from the Malaysian Experience* 
The use of natural medicinal products in modern medicine as complementary and alternative therapies is of the increase globally. More so in developing and third world countries where the cost of research and development of synthetic drugs is prohibitive and technological facilities as well as expertise are lacking. These, coupled with the crumbling health care management systems in many of such countries make herbal medicines attractive alternatives. The potential medicinal values of these plant products are not being properly harnessed and research and development (R&D) in this area are lagging behind. R&D and consultancy services span from phytochemical analysis, standardization and quality control of herbs, and dosage forms design to preclinical and clinical trials. This paper tries to highlight all the necessary steps needed to conduct research and development in this area and proposes the nitty - gritty needed to impose statutory regulations on ensuring the quality, safety, efficacy, and commercial distribution of such products. The paper examines these important issues and highlights by way of examples, some of the steps taken and the positive achievements of the people and government of Malaysia towards self reliance in the area of natural medicinal plant research. It is primarily intended to map out strategies on how Nigeria in conjunction with research and academic institutions can be actively involved in natural products R&D, taking the Malaysian experience as a prototype. It is also aimed at urging government's efforts to encourage research in this area and impose regulations for commercial production and distribution of such products.
PMCID: PMC2816542  PMID: 20161927
research; development; commercialization; natural medicinal products; Nigeria

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