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Basics of Evidences-Based Herbal Medicine

Hiroyasu Satoh (Author)

Herbal medicine has been used in principle as sole medicine from ancient time all over the world. At present, herbal medicine is included from healthy foods to medical drugs. In western medicine using modern clinical therapies, the drugs derived from herbal drugs are quite a few; for instance, digitalis, atropine, morphine, ephedrine, reserpine, curare, aspirin, and so on. Traditional herbal medicine is composed of a lot of herbs, and one herb (crude drug) possesses further many ingredients. Single compound as a major ingredient produced the significant effects. Mixture of herbs (formulation) as a whole also has the similar pharmacological effects. But the strength of the effects of herbal drug is not consistent with a sum of their effects induced by its ingredients.

 The ingredients cause the interactions each other after administration of herbal drug. Single compounds decrease the effects age-dependently. On the other hand, the mixture causes more effective for elder persons as compared with single compound. The increase in effectiveness along with ageing is dependent on the number of herbs (compounds) contained in herbal drugs. Japanese traditional medicine, called as Kampo, is based on Chinese traditional medicine. Although we recognize the effectiveness of herbal (Kampo) medicine, there is less or no information for the underlying pharmacological mechanisms.

Under the conditions, it is vague to prescribe an individual herbal formulation for a patient. In oriental medicine including Kampo medicine, specific (or unique) diagnosis is needed to doctors. According to the diagnosis, “sho”, in oriental medicine, Kampo formulation is prescribed. However, the Kampo formulations for patients may be quite different each by each, even if they suffer from the same symptoms.

Thus, it is very complicated to understand oriental (Kampo) medicine and is so much difficult to decide proper Kampo formulation for a patient. To ease these complex concepts, we believe that it is so much important to understand the basic pharmacological evidences of crude drugs and its ingredient. Unfortunately there is so far less clear information for the pharmacological mechanisms of herbal medicine. Especially, no report for metabolism of herbal drugs after administration and their pharmacokinetics exist. Up to now, the prescription has been performed just by clinical experiences for centuries. Now, recent studies exhibit many interesting evidences of the basic pharmacological mechanisms.

When herbal medicine is taken with other drugs together, we need to acquaint the interactions from pharmacological mechanisms with its pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. If so, it is possible to avoid and reduce the occurrence of the side effects as possible. In this book, reviews of the clinical effectiveness and the underlying pharmacological mechanisms for herbal medicine are described. We take account of the evidence-based medicine (EBM), but not an experience-based medicine. It is important for us to realize more scientific evidences of herbal medicine. As a result, we are able to use clinically herbal drugs with accuracy. Finally, I hope that this reviews book is helpful for your research and clinical therapy from now on.

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About the author

Hiroyasu Satoh

Hiroyasu Satoh, Department of Pharmacology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Japan. 1998-2009. Department of Pharmacology, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Nara Medical University, Nara 634-8521, Japan. 2000-2005.

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Bibliographic information

Title Basics of Evidences-Based Herbal Medicine
Format Hardcover
Date published: 16.04.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Research Signpost
Language: English
isbn 9788130804088