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Pharmacogenomics Implications of Using Herbal Medicinal Plants on African Populations in Health Transition

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Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pathology & Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South African
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School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
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ICGEB, Cape Town component, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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Division of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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Division of Medical Virology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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Division of Chemical Pathology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Observatory 7925, South Africa
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Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(3), 637-663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8030637
Received: 2 August 2015 / Revised: 10 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
The most accessible points of call for most African populations with respect to primary health care are traditional health systems that include spiritual, religious, and herbal medicine. This review focusses only on the use of herbal medicines. Most African people accept herbal medicines as generally safe with no serious adverse effects. However, the overlap between conventional medicine and herbal medicine is a reality among countries in health systems transition. Patients often simultaneously seek treatment from both conventional and traditional health systems for the same condition. Commonly encountered conditions/diseases include malaria, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, tuberculosis, and bleeding disorders. It is therefore imperative to understand the modes of interaction between different drugs from conventional and traditional health care systems when used in treatment combinations. Both conventional and traditional drug entities are metabolized by the same enzyme systems in the human body, resulting in both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics interactions, whose properties remain unknown/unquantified. Thus, it is important that profiles of interaction between different herbal and conventional medicines be evaluated. This review evaluates herbal and conventional drugs in a few African countries and their potential interaction at the pharmacogenomics level. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbal medicine; conventional medicine; CYP450; malaria; HIV/AIDS; hypertension; bleeding disorders; pharmacogenetics herbal medicine; conventional medicine; CYP450; malaria; HIV/AIDS; hypertension; bleeding disorders; pharmacogenetics
MDPI and ACS Style

Thomford, N.E.; Dzobo, K.; Chopera, D.; Wonkam, A.; Skelton, M.; Blackhurst, D.; Chirikure, S.; Dandara, C. Pharmacogenomics Implications of Using Herbal Medicinal Plants on African Populations in Health Transition. Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8, 637-663.

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