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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 403709, 11 pages
Review Article

New Perspectives on Chinese Herbal Medicine (Zhong-Yao) Research and Development

1Department of Pharmacology, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102 , China
2Department of Applied Biology & Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
3Hôpital de la Tour, 1217 Geneva, Switzerland
4Center for Cancer and Inflammation Research, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
5Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, World Health Organization, China
6Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, China

Received 12 August 2009; Accepted 20 April 2010

Copyright © 2011 Si-Yuan Pan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Synthetic chemical drugs, while being efficacious in the clinical management of many diseases, are often associated with undesirable side effects in patients. It is now clear that the need of therapeutic intervention in many clinical conditions cannot be satisfactorily met by synthetic chemical drugs. Since the research and development of new chemical drugs remain time-consuming, capital-intensive and risky, much effort has been put in the search for alternative routes for drug discovery in China. This narrative review illustrates various approaches to the research and drug discovery in Chinese herbal medicine. Although this article focuses on Chinese traditional drugs, it is also conducive to the development of other traditional remedies and innovative drug discovery.