E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Herbal Remedies Meet Modern Day Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 July 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hala Gali-Muhtasib

Department of Biology and Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cancer; anticancer; herbal medicine; drug delivery; cell death mechanisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For a long time, herbal medicine has been prepared, synthesized, and used as therapeutics, based on generations of indigenous practices. The upsurge of herbal remedies today has been largely driven by public demand, and billions of dollars are spent annually on herbal medications. The response of the healthcare sector to this issue has been varied: Some reject it because of unidentified toxicological repercussions, while others believe we need to be open-minded, yet critical, about the use of herbal medicines. It is important to document the effectiveness of herbal medicines, their potential adverse side effects, and drug–drug interactions with orthodox pharmaceuticals. We are all responsible to promote both the rational and safe use of folk herbals remedies, and we are responsible for the consequences. This Special Issue aims to highlight evidence-based research on herbal medicines with an emphasis on all aspects, including legal, medical, research, and economic aspects, in order to tackle challenges associated with herbal remedies and to provide greater opportunities for their future use.

Prof. Dr. Hala Gali-Muhtasib
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • herbal remedies
  • folk medicines
  • safety and toxicity
  • evidence-based research
  • policies on herbal medicine
  • drug-drug interactions
  • side effects of herbals

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Effects of Refined Xiaoyaosan on Depressive-Like Behaviors in Rats with Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress through Neurosteroids, Their Synthesis and Metabolic Enzymes
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1386; doi:10.3390/molecules22081386
Received: 9 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
PDF Full-text (2748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: To observe the effects of refined Xiaoyaosan (XYS) on the depressive-like behaviors in rats with chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), and to explore the relationship between the changes of neurosteroids and mRNA expressions of their synthesis and metabolic enzymes, and
[...] Read more.
Abstract: To observe the effects of refined Xiaoyaosan (XYS) on the depressive-like behaviors in rats with chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), and to explore the relationship between the changes of neurosteroids and mRNA expressions of their synthesis and metabolic enzymes, and the mechanism of XYS in the treatment of depression. Methods: Eighty-four healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into normal group, model group, XYS group and fluoxetine group. The latter three groups were subjected to 21 days of CUMS to prepare the stress depression model. Rats in the XYS group, and fluoxetine group were given intragastric administration with refined XYS and fluoxetine, respectively. The behavioral changes of the rats were observed after 21 days. The contents of pregnenolone (PREG), progesterone (PROG) and alloprognanolone (ALLO) in the plasma of rats were measured by ELISA. The levels of PREG, PROG and ALLO in the hippocampus and amygdala tissues were measured by LC-MS/MS. The mRNA expressions of 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSD), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD), cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) and 5α-reductase (5a-R) in the hippocampus and amygdala were detected by RT-qPCR methods. Results: There were changes in the model rats. The contents of PREG, PROG and ALLO changed similarly, which reflected in the decrease of PROG and ALLO, and the increase of PREG. The mRNA expression of P450scc was increased, and the mRNA expressions of 3α-HSD, 3β-HSD and 5a-R were decreased. Refined XYS could improve the behaviors of rats and the biological indicators. Conclusions: There is a neurosteroid dysfunction in the brain region of depression rat model animals, and the mechanism of refined XYS depression treatment may be related to the regulation of the control of mRNA expression of related synthesis and metabolic enzymes in the hippocampus and amygdala, further affecting the contents of neurosteroids. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Time-dependent Inhibition of CYP2C8 and CYP2C19 by Hedera helix Extracts, A Traditional Respiratory Herbal Medicine
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1241; doi:10.3390/molecules22071241
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
PDF Full-text (1621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The extract of Hedera helix L. (Araliaceae), a well-known folk medicine, has been popularly used to treat respiratory problems, worldwide. It is very likely that this herbal extract is taken in combination with conventional drugs. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects
[...] Read more.
The extract of Hedera helix L. (Araliaceae), a well-known folk medicine, has been popularly used to treat respiratory problems, worldwide. It is very likely that this herbal extract is taken in combination with conventional drugs. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of H. helix extract on cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme-mediated metabolism to predict the potential for herb–drug interactions. A cocktail probe assay was used to measure the inhibitory effect of CYP. H. helix extracts were incubated with pooled human liver microsomes or CYP isozymes with CYP-specific substrates, and the formation of specific metabolites was investigated to measure the inhibitory effects. H. helix showed significant inhibitory effects on CYP2C8, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 in a concentration-dependent manner. In recombinant CYP2C8, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 isozymes, the IC50 values of the extract were 0.08 ± 0.01, 0.58 ± 0.03 and 6.72 ± 0.22 mg/mL, respectively. Further investigation showed that H. helix extract has a positive time-dependent inhibition property on both CYP2C8 and CYP2C19 with IC50 shift value of 2.77 ± 0.12 and 6.31 ± 0.25, respectively. Based on this in vitro investigation, consumption of herbal medicines or dietary supplements containing H. helix extracts requires careful attention to avoid any CYP-based interactions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evodiamine Exerts an Anti-Hepatocellular Carcinoma Activity through a WWOX-Dependent Pathway
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1175; doi:10.3390/molecules22071175
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
PDF Full-text (1600 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evodiamine is one of the main components isolated from Evodia rutaecarpa, and it has been reported to exert inhibitory effects on cancers by anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing activities. Although the anti-cancer activity of evodiamine has been identified, the precise mechanisms of this action
[...] Read more.
Evodiamine is one of the main components isolated from Evodia rutaecarpa, and it has been reported to exert inhibitory effects on cancers by anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing activities. Although the anti-cancer activity of evodiamine has been identified, the precise mechanisms of this action remain obscure. While previous studies indicated that evodiamine exerts anti-tumor effects through inhibiting β-catenin activity, and WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) regulates β-catenin accumulation in cytoplasm, the effects of evodiamine on the expression of WWOX are still unknown. In this study, we provide evidence that evodiamine dose- and time-dependently inhibits both Mus musculus and Homo sapiens hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, as well as Hepa1-6 and HepG2 cell proliferation. We further tested the therapeutic effects of evodiamine in Hepa1-6 hepatoma-bearing mice, and we found that treatment of evodiamine by oral gavage significantly decreased the tumor size of the mice. Moreover, the expressions of WWOX were dose-dependently increased in HCC cell lines as well as in Hepa1-6 hepatoma-bearing mice after the treatment with evodiamine. Knockdown of WWOX in HepG2 and Hepa1-6 cells diminished the effects of evodiamine on the inhibitory effect of cancer cell growth, indicating that evodiamine induced anti-cancer activity through a WWOX-dependent pathway. As such, evodiamine activated WWOX to exert an anti-HCC activity, and might be a potential therapeutic or preventive candidate for HCC treatment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Osteoprotective Effect of Radix Scutellariae in Female Hindlimb-Suspended Sprague-Dawley Rats and the Osteogenic Differentiation Effect of Its Major Constituent
Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1044; doi:10.3390/molecules22071044
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of medicinal herbs have demonstrated therapeutic effects for the prevention and treatment of disuse-induced osteoporosis. As a common ingredient in proprietary traditional Chinese medicines, the anti-osteoporosis effects of Radix Scutellariae extract (RSE, 50 mg/kg/day) were evaluated in a hindlimb suspended rat
[...] Read more.
A number of medicinal herbs have demonstrated therapeutic effects for the prevention and treatment of disuse-induced osteoporosis. As a common ingredient in proprietary traditional Chinese medicines, the anti-osteoporosis effects of Radix Scutellariae extract (RSE, 50 mg/kg/day) were evaluated in a hindlimb suspended rat model. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the micro-architecture observed by MicroCT assay with bone biomechanical properties evaluated by a three-point bending test. To elucidate potential mechanisms, the osteogenic differentiation effect of baicalin as the most abundant ingredient in RSE was investigated in rat bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSC). After drug administration for 42 days, tibia-BMD was significantly increased to 0.176 ± 0.007 and 0.183 ± 0.011 g/cm2 and f-BMD was enhanced to 0.200 ± 0.017 and 0.207 ± 0.021 g/cm2 for RSE and ALE treatment, respectively, whereas tibia-BMD and femur-BMD of the HLS group were 0.157 ± 0.009 and 0.176 ± 0.008 g/cm2. Deterioration of bone trabecula microstructure was improved by RSE and ALE with increased morphological parameters such as bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, and trabecular number, as well as connectivity density compared to the HLS group (p < 0.01). A three-point bending test suggested that bone mechanical strength was also enhanced by RSE and ALE treatments with increased maximum stress, young’s modulus, maximum load, and stiffness compared to those of the HLS group (p < 0.05). Besides, serum TRACP levels were significantly suppressed by RSE and ALE treatments. Furthermore, in vitro studies demonstrated that baicalin significantly increased ALP activities and the formation of mineralized nodules in rBMSC. Conclusively, supplementation of RSE could significantly prevent weightlessness induced osteoporosis, which might attribute to the osteogenic differentiation enhancement effect of baicalin. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hochu-ekki-to Treatment Improves Reproductive and Immune Modulation in the Stress-Induced Rat Model of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 978; doi:10.3390/molecules22060978
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
PDF Full-text (2452 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The traditional herbal medicine, Hochu-ekki-to, has been shown to have preventive effects on viral infection and stress. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effects of Hochu-ekki-to on two stress-related rat models of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control
[...] Read more.
The traditional herbal medicine, Hochu-ekki-to, has been shown to have preventive effects on viral infection and stress. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effects of Hochu-ekki-to on two stress-related rat models of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and treatment groups, the latter of which were subjected to stress induced by exposure to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or cold temperatures. After these stress inductions, rats were orally treated with dissolved Hochu-ekki-to once per day for 7 days. Rats subjected to the two different stressors exhibited upregulation of steroid hormone receptors (in ovaries) and reproductive hormones (in blood), and consequent stimulation of abnormal follicle development accompanied by elevation of Hsp 90 expression (in ovaries). Treatment with Hochu-ekki-to for 7 days after stress induction increased immune functions, reduced the stress-induced activation of Hsp 90, and normalized the levels of the tested steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones. Our findings suggest that stress stimulations may promote the activation of Hsp 90 via the dysregulation of steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones, but that post-stress treatment with Hochu-ekki-to improves reproductive and immune functions in the ovaries of stressed rats. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Levo-Corydalmine Alleviates Neuropathic Cancer Pain Induced by Tumor Compression via the CCL2/CCR2 Pathway
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 937; doi:10.3390/molecules22060937
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
PDF Full-text (7110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Tumor compression-induced pain (TCIP) is a complex pathological cancer pain. Spinal glial cells play a critical role in maintenance of cancer pain by releasing proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. In this study, we verified the role of levo-corydalmine (l-CDL)
[...] Read more.
Background: Tumor compression-induced pain (TCIP) is a complex pathological cancer pain. Spinal glial cells play a critical role in maintenance of cancer pain by releasing proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. In this study, we verified the role of levo-corydalmine (l-CDL) on TCIP. Methods: Spontaneous pain, paw withdrawal threshold and latency were assessed using TCIP mouse model. Immunofluorescence was used to identify the reactions of glia. RT-PCR and western blot or ELISA were used to determine mRNA or protein expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interlukin-1β (IL-1β), CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) and chemotactic cytokine receptor 2 (CCR2) in vivo and in vitro. Results: l-CDL significantly attenuated TCIP hypersensitivity, accompanying with downregulation of TNF-α and IL-1β expression levels and declined astrocytes and microglial activation. It also significantly decreased the expression of the mRNA and protein level for CCL2 and CCR2. Further, l-CDL could suppress TNF-α-induced astrocytes activation and IL-1β expression through downregulating the CCL2/CCR2. Besides, CCL2-induced BV-microglia activation and inflammatory factors secretion were suppressed by l-CDL via CCR2. Conclusions: Suppression of CCL2/CCR2 by l-CDL may contribute to alleviate TCIP, offering an alternative medication for TCIP. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Gubenyiliu II Inhibits Breast Tumor Growth and Metastasis Associated with Decreased Heparanase Expression and Phosphorylation of ERK and AKT Pathways
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 787; doi:10.3390/molecules22050787
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (8885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gubenyiliu II (GYII), a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula used in our hospital, has shown beneficial effects in cancer patients. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of GYII on murine breast cancer models. GYII showed significant inhibitory
[...] Read more.
Gubenyiliu II (GYII), a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula used in our hospital, has shown beneficial effects in cancer patients. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of GYII on murine breast cancer models. GYII showed significant inhibitory effects on tumor growth and metastasis in the murine breast cancer model. Additionally, GYII suppressed the proliferation of 4T1 and MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. A better inhibitory effect on 4T1 cell proliferation and migration was found in the decomposed recipes (DR) of GYII. Moreover, heparanase expression and the degree of angiogenesis were reduced in tumor tissues. Western blot analysis showed decreased expression of heparanase and growth factors in the cells treated with GYII and its decomposed recipes (DR2 and DR3), and thereby a reduction in the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and serine-threonine kinase (AKT). These results suggest that GYII exerts anti-tumor growth and anti-metastatic effects in the murine breast cancer model. The anti-tumor activity of GYII and its decomposed recipes is, at least partly, associated with decreased heparanase and growth factor expression, which subsequently suppressed the activation of the ERK and AKT pathways. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Network-Based Pharmacology Study of the Herb-Induced Liver Injury Potential of Traditional Hepatoprotective Chinese Herbal Medicines
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 632; doi:10.3390/molecules22040632
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Herbal medicines are widely used for treating liver diseases and generally regarded as safe due to their extensive use in Traditional Chinese Medicine practice for thousands of years. However, in recent years, there have been increased concerns regarding the long-term risk of Herb-Induced
[...] Read more.
Herbal medicines are widely used for treating liver diseases and generally regarded as safe due to their extensive use in Traditional Chinese Medicine practice for thousands of years. However, in recent years, there have been increased concerns regarding the long-term risk of Herb-Induced Liver Injury (HILI) in patients with liver dysfunction. Herein, two representative Chinese herbal medicines: one—Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang (XCHT)—a composite formula, and the other—Radix Polygoni Multiflori (Heshouwu)—a single herb, were analyzed by network pharmacology study. Based on the network pharmacology framework, we exploited the potential HILI effects of XCHT and Heshouwu by predicting the molecular mechanisms of HILI and identified the potential hepatotoxic ingredients in XCHT and Heshouwu. According to our network results, kaempferol and thymol in XCHT and rhein in Heshouwu exhibit the largest number of liver injury target connections, whereby CASP3, PPARG and MCL1 may be potential liver injury targets for these herbal medicines. This network pharmacology assay might serve as a useful tool to explore the underlying molecular mechanism of HILI. Based on the theoretical predictions, further experimental verification should be performed to validate the accuracy of the predicted interactions between herbal ingredients and protein targets in the future. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Molecules Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Molecules Edit a special issue Review for Molecules
logo
loading...
Back to Top