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Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Jan 8;47(D1):D976-D982. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky987.

ETCM: an encyclopaedia of traditional Chinese medicine.

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Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China.
National Resource Center for Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China.
State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.
China Minority Traditional Medical Center, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081, China.
Key Laboratory of Genetic Networks, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is not only an effective solution for primary health care, but also a great resource for drug innovation and discovery. To meet the increasing needs for TCM-related data resources, we developed ETCM, an Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicine. ETCM includes comprehensive and standardized information for the commonly used herbs and formulas of TCM, as well as their ingredients. The herb basic property and quality control standard, formula composition, ingredient drug-likeness, as well as many other information provided by ETCM can serve as a convenient resource for users to obtain thorough information about a herb or a formula. To facilitate functional and mechanistic studies of TCM, ETCM provides predicted target genes of TCM ingredients, herbs, and formulas, according to the chemical fingerprint similarity between TCM ingredients and known drugs. A systematic analysis function is also developed in ETCM, which allows users to explore the relationships or build networks among TCM herbs, formulas,ingredients, gene targets, and related pathways or diseases. ETCM is freely accessible at We expect ETCM to develop into a major data warehouse for TCM and to promote TCM related researches and drug development in the future.

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