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Phytomedicine. 2019 Aug 29;64:153078. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2019.153078. [Epub ahead of print]

Combining the wisdoms of traditional medicine with cutting-edge science and technology at the forefront of medical sciences.

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Johannes Gutenberg University, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Mainz, Germany. Electronic address:
School of Life Science, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:
Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:



A central topic is to bring traditional medicine to a new horizon by integrating the latest advances in genomic, metabolomic, and system biological approaches, in order to re-examine the wisdom and knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and other traditional medicines.


A new consortium has been formed at a conference of the Harvard Medical School, Boston, on October 29-30, 2018. The main goal was to build a collaborative platform for the scientific investigation of traditional medicine with cutting edge sciences and technologies at the forefront of biomedicine.


Traditional medicines are largely experience-based, but the scientific basis is largely non-satisfactory. Therefore, the transformation from experience-based to evidence-based medicine would be an important step forward. The consortium covers three main fields: TCM diagnostics, acupuncture and TCM pharmacology. Diseases occur because of regulatory imbalances of holistic physiological display and genetic information/expression related to systems biology and energy consumption/release (e.g. cold and hot) within body. As organs are interconnected by meridians, affecting the meridians by acupuncture and medicinal herbs restores healthy organ function and body balance. There are two concepts in herbal medicine: The traditional way is based on complex herbal mixtures. The second concept is related to Western pharmacological drug development including the isolation of bioactive phytochemicals, which are subjected to preclinical and clinical investigations.


Development of collaborative scientific project to integrate the best of both worlds - Western and Eastern medicine into a "One World Integrative Medicine" for the sake of patients worldwide.


Integrative medicine; Systems biology; Traditional medicine

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