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Traditional Herbal Medicine Research Methods: Identification, Analysis, Bioassay, and Pharmaceutical and Clinical Studies

Traditional Herbal Medicine Research Methods: Identification, Analysis, Bioassay, and Pharmaceutical and Clinical Studies

Willow J.H. Liu (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-92266-8

Mar 2011

448 pages



This book introduces the methodology for collection and identification of herbal materials, extraction and isolation of compounds from herbs, in vitro bioassay, in vivo animal test, toxicology, and clinical trials of herbal research. To fully understand and make the best use of herbal medicines requires the close combination of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, and clinical science. Although there are many books about traditional medicines research, they mostly focus on either chemical or pharmacological study results of certain plants. This book, however, covers the systematic study and analysis of herbal medicines in general – including chemical isolation and identification, bioassay and mechanism study, pharmacological experiment, and quality control of the raw plant material and end products.



1. Introduction to Traditional Herbal Medicines and Their Study (Willow J.H. Liu).

1.1 Definition and Trends of Traditional Herbal Medicines.

1.2 Research and Development of Herbal Medicines.

1.3 Common Mistakes Seen in Research on Traditional Herbal Medicines.

1.4 Research on Traditional Herbs Should Refer to Theories and Clinical Application of Traditional Medicine.

1.5 Brief Introduction of Different Systems of Traditional Medicine.

1.6 Regulation of Herbal Medicines and Their Products.

1.7 Achievements and Challenges of Research on Chinese Herbal Medicines.


2. Collection and Identification of Raw Herbal Materials (Ping Li, Ling Yi, and Hui-Juan Liu).

2.1 Collection of Herbal Materials.

2.2 Methods for Species Identification of Herbal Materials.


3. Extraction and Isolation of Compounds from Herbal Medicines (Hong-Wei Liu).

3.1 Compounds in Plants and Their Structures and Properties.

3.2 Methods for Extraction of Herbal Medicines.

3.3 Methods for Isolation of Compounds from Herbal Extracts.

3.4 An Example of Extraction and Compound Isolation from Herbal Medicine.


4. Identification and Structure Elucidation of Compounds from Herbal Medicines (Xin-miao Liang, Yu Jin, Jia-tao Feng, and Yan-xiong Ke).

4.1 Structural Characteristics and Chemical Identification of Compounds in Herbal Medicines.

4.2 Brief Introduction of UV, IR, NMR, MS, and other Spectra.

4.3 Identification of Compounds by HPLC and TLC.

4.4 Identification of Compounds By Spectra.

4.5 Structure Elucidation of Unknown Compounds by Hyphenated Technique.


5. Bioassays for Screening and Functional Elucidation of Herbal Medicines (Willow J.H. Liu).

5.1 History of Screening Compounds from Natural Products for Drug Development.

5.2 Brief Introduction of Enzymes, Receptors, Cells, and Gene Expression.

5.3 Selection of Bioassay.

5.4 Evaluation of Bioassay Results of Herbal Samples.

5.5 Enzyme Binding Assay.

5.6 Receptor Binding Assay.

5.7 Gene Expression Assays.

5.8 New Technologies and other Bioassays for Screening and Mechanism Study.

5.9 Keys to Functional Mechanism Study of Herbal Medicines.

5.10 Example 1. Screening and Evaluation of Estrogenic Activity of Herbal Medicines.

5.11 Example 2. Functional Elucidation of Black Cohosh for Menopause Symptoms.


6. Functional Evaluation of Herbal Medicines by Animal Experiments (Chun-fu Wu, Fang Wang, and Chun-li Li).

6.1 Purposes and Significance of Pharmacological Research for Herbal Medicines.

6.2 Characteristics of Pharmacological Research of Herbal Medicines.

6.3 Design of Pharmacological Study on Herbal Medicines.

6.4 Examples of In Vivo Experiments for Herbal Extracts.


7. Safety Pharmacology and Toxicity Study of Herbal Medicines (Jing-yu Yang and Li-hui Wang).

7.1 Safety Pharmacology.

7.2 Acute Toxicity Study.

7.3 Chronic Toxicity Study.

7.4 Special Toxicity Study.

7.5 Examples of In Vivo Toxicological Experiments for Compounds or Extracts from Herbal Medicines.


8. Clinical Study of Traditional Herbal Medicine (Hong Yuan, Guo-ping Yang, and Zhi-jun Huang).

8.1 Introduction to Clinical Trials and Challenge of Clinical Trials on Herbal Medicines.

8.2 Essential Elements and Principles of Clinical Trial Design.

8.3 Design of Clinical Trials.

8.4 Examples of Clinical Trials.


9. Standardization and Quality Control of Herbal Extracts and Products (Jian-guo Zeng, Man-liang Tan, Xuan Peng, and Qi Luo).

9.1 Introduction of QA, QC, and GMP.

9.2 Standardizations and SOP of Herbal Extracts.

9.3 Equipment for Quality Control of Herbal Extracts and Products.

9.4 Qualitative Analysis of Herbal Extracts and Products.

9.5 Quantitative Analysis of Herbal Extracts and Products.


10. Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbs (Willow J.H. Liu).

10.1 Understanding TCM Theories with Modern Medical Terminology.

10.2 Chemicals are Fundamental Substances Refl ecting Functions of Chinese Herbs.

10.3 Brief Introduction to the Properties of Chinese Herbs.

10.4 Modern Pharmacology of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

10.5 Chinese Herbal Formulas.



""This book is neither a set of herbal monographs nor a cursory discussion of research mixed with rhetoric; instead it offers concrete and insightful discussion of research methodology in traditional herbal medicine. While it does not replace reference books containing complete scientific monographs on specific herbal medicines, it is complementary, providing the research framework required to develop scientifically sound, quality products. For this important role, it is highly recommended."" (Doody's, 5 August 2011)