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Pharmacol Ther. 2000 May;86(2):191-8.

Traditional Chinese medicine: an approach to scientific proof and clinical validation.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, 1109 Microbiology Building, College Park, MD 20817, USA.


The classical Chinese pharmacopoeia describes a large number of herbal formulations that are used for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases. This therapeutic approach is ignored by many and considered to be an alternative to conventional medicine by others. The scientific proof and clinical validation of these herbal formulations require a rigorous approach that includes chemical standardization, biological assays, animal models, and clinical trials. Such Western methodologies need to take into consideration the complex mixture of chemicals and how they are to be used in humans. This review examines relevant studies on the use of traditional Chinese medicines for the treatment of such diseases as bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. An interdisciplinary approach to traditional Chinese medicine may provide a platform for the discovery of novel therapeutics composed of multiple chemical compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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