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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 352145, 8 pages
Research Article

Study on Incompatibility of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Evidence from Formula Network, Chemical Space, and Metabolism Room

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin 300192, China

Received 7 June 2013; Revised 12 August 2013; Accepted 2 September 2013

Academic Editor: Shao Li

Copyright © 2013 Wei Long 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.


A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula network including 362 TCM formulas was built by using complex network methodologies. The properties of this network were analyzed including network diameter, average distance, clustering coefficient, and average degree. Meanwhile, we built a TCM chemical space and a TCM metabolism room under the theory of chemical space. The properties of chemical space and metabolism room were calculated and analyzed. The properties of the medicine pairs in “eighteen antagonisms and nineteen mutual inhibitors,” an ancient rule for TCM incompatibility, were studied based on the TCM formula network, chemical space, and metabolism room. The results showed that the properties of these incompatible medicine pairs are different from those of the other TCM based on the analysis of the TCM formula network, chemical space, and metabolism room. The lines of evidence derived from our work demonstrated that the ancient rule of TCM incompatibility, “eighteen antagonisms and nineteen mutual inhibitors,” is probably scientifically based.