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Molecules 2017, 22(7), 1135;

How Can Synergism of Traditional Medicines Benefit from Network Pharmacology?

College of Pharmacy, Yanbian University; 977 Gongyuan Street, Yanji 133002, China
Key Laboratory of Natural Resources of Changbai Mountain & Functional Molecules, Yanbian University, Ministry of Education, Yanji 133002, China
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yanbian University; Yanji 133002, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Abstract: Many prescriptions of traditional medicines (TMs), whose efficacy has been tested in clinical practice, have great therapeutic value and represent an excellent resource for drug discovery. Research into single compounds of TMs, such as artemisinin from Artemisia annua L., has achieved great success; however, it has become evident that a TM prescription (which frequently contains various herbs or other components) has a synergistic effect in effecting a cure or reducing toxicity. Network pharmacology targets biological networks and analyzes the links among drugs, targets, and diseases in those networks. Comprehensive, systematic research into network pharmacology is consistent with the perspective of holisticity, which is a main characteristic of many TMs. By means of network pharmacology, research has demonstrated that many a TM show a synergistic effect by acting at different levels on multiple targets and pathways. This approach effectively bridges the gap between modern medicine and TM, and it greatly facilitates studies into the synergistic actions of TMs. There are different kinds of synergistic effects with TMs, such as synergy among herbs, effective parts, and pure compounds; however, for various reasons, new drug discovery should at present focus on synergy among pure compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional medicines; network pharmacology; synergistic effects; drug discovery; . traditional medicines; network pharmacology; synergistic effects; drug discovery; .

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Yuan, H.; Ma, Q.; Cui, H.; Liu, G.; Zhao, X.; Li, W.; Piao, G. How Can Synergism of Traditional Medicines Benefit from Network Pharmacology? Molecules 2017, 22, 1135.

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