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Open AccessCommentary

Pharmacological Activities of Phytomedicines: A Challenge Horizon for Rational Knowledge

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacy Faculty, University of Alcalá, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
2
Pharmacy Faculty, University of Alcalá, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2018, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe9010015
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
Herbal drugs have been widely used throughout the course of history. Traditional knowledge based on religious beliefs and/or experience has been transmitted orally between generations. First attempts to provide scientific evidence came in the 19th century when potent compounds were first isolated. Since then, modern pharmacology theory has been assumed by phytotherapy. Scientists have tried to elucidate the molecular mechanism of each compound and, for a pharmacological indication, propose an effective and secure dose. Stepwise, clinical trials confirm the benefits of herbal drug use in therapeutics, especially for chronic diseases. However, herbal drugs exert pleiotropic effects, and there is still a need for a complete, rational, and widely accepted theory that can explain phytotherapy efficacy. The “-omics” might help with this matter. Studies of modification in the gene expression profile, the metabolome, and the physiopathological state after the administration of a herbal extract could provide relevant information that verifies herbal therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytotherapy; mechanism of action; ethnopharmacology; rational pharmacology; “-omic“ technologies phytotherapy; mechanism of action; ethnopharmacology; rational pharmacology; “-omic“ technologies
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Rodríguez Villanueva, J.; Martín Esteban, J.; Rodríguez Villanueva, L. Pharmacological Activities of Phytomedicines: A Challenge Horizon for Rational Knowledge. Challenges 2018, 9, 15.

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