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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 945824, 4 pages
Review Article

The Applications and Obstacles of Metabonomics in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resource and Compound Prescription of the Ministry of Education, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, No. 1 West Huangjia Lake Road, Hongshan District, Hubei, Wuhan 430065, China

Received 6 January 2011; Revised 26 May 2011; Accepted 27 June 2011

Academic Editor: Xiu-Min Li

Copyright © 2012 Ping Liu 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.


In the recent years, a wide range of metabonomic technologies are widely used in the modern research of traditional chinese medicine (TCM). At present, the most prevailing methods for TCM research are mainly nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). With these techniques, metabonomics will help to understand syndromes, efficacy and toxicity of TCM. However, every analytical technique has its advantages and drawbacks, and there exist some obstacles of its applications on TCM. So, we discuss metabonomics in TCM and analyze some problems of its applications to study TCM in recent years. We believe that with the further development of metabonomic analytical technology, especially multianalysed techniques, metabonomics will greatly promote TCM research and be beneficial to the modernization of TCM.