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Special Features
Molecular Mechanisms of Essential Oils in the Treatment of Diseases via Systems Biology
December 7, 2022
Essential oils (EOs) are natural products with bioactive functions that are obtained from many plant species, e.g., Lavandula angustifolia, and plant parts e.g., flower and leaf, through extraction methods such as hydro-distillation, steam distillation, cold pressing, etc. Such techniques can be dated back to ancient Egyptian and Greek times. EOs represent an important part of traditional medicine and have practical applications in the treatment of human infectious diseases and mental disorders. Although many EOs are effective in disease treatment, the specific pharmacological mechanisms underlying their effects remain unclear due to their complex compositions. Previous studies have attempted to apply pharmaceutical analysis techniques such as HPLC and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to elucidate the compositions of EOs. Although these methods are effective at identifying the components of EOs, they provide limited information regarding the mechanisms of the bioactive functions of EOs. In recent years, both molecular biology and computational analyses have emerged as convenient and appropriate approaches for studying the molecular mechanisms of traditional medicines. Due to its multi-compound, multi-target, multi-pathway and multi-disease mode of action, systems biology technology hold the potential for thoroughly understanding the pharmacological effects of EOs in the context of any specific disease.
Frontier research on the toxicity and efficacy of Chinese medicine
July 21, 2022
Having multiple components, multiple effects and multiple targets and containing multiple active ingredients are important characteristics influencing the efficacy and toxicity of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Also, the scientific connotation and mutual relationships between the toxicity and efficacy of TCM are of worldwide interest. Recently, based on the application of some innovative strategies and methods, including omics technologies (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), network pharmacology, network toxicology, and bioinformatics, great progress has been made in understanding the efficacy, toxicity, and mechanisms of action and material basis of TCM.
Comparative study of traditional medicine in the world
May 19, 2022
Most nations in the world have their own traditional medical (TM) system, and the TM formation and development history, scientific connotations and contemporary characteristics vary among nations and from those of modern medicine. Comparative research studies on TM, from the perspective of traditional culture, natural resources, medical theory, drug use characteristics, curative effects, pharmacological mechanisms, and so on, will reveal similarities and differences among TMs as well as between TM and modern medicine.
Therapeutic effects of herbal medicines on neurological impairment and related mental disorders based on the evidence of clinical and basic studies
May 17, 2022
Neurological impairments and the resulting mental disorders are important threats to human health. Among them, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and drug abuse harm in various way the mental and nervous systems of people of all ages. However, due to the complex pathogenesis of these diseases, current treatments have limited efficacy. The clinical use of herbal medicines to treat the above diseases has a long history, and thus, these medicines provide new opportunities for new drug research and development with the goal of improving clinical efficacy. It is of great significance to further study the mechanisms of action of herbal medicines in relation to neurological impairments and related mental disorders and to evaluate their clinical efficacy.
Therapeutic strategies involving herbal medicines and bioactive ingredients for viral infections and secondary critical illness: interventions for inflammatory response and organ protection
May 13, 2022
Viral infections, including SARS CoV-2, influenza virus, and other viruses, poses a serious threat to global public health and safety. Secondary critical illness caused by viral infections is a major cause of death among patients receiving intensive care. Herbal medicines have been proven effective for treating viral infections and critical illness. However, high-level evidence and in-depth mechanistic research are still lacking, limiting the clinical application of such medicines.
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