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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 873185, 29 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/873185
Research Article

Establishment of a Comprehensive List of Candidate Antiaging Medicinal Herb Used in Korean Medicine by Text Mining of the Classical Korean Medical Literature, “Dongeuibogam,” and Preliminary Evaluation of the Antiaging Effects of These Herbs

1Division of Humanities and Social Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Republic of Korea
2Division of Meridian and Structural Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Republic of Korea
3Department of Korean Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University Korean Medicine Hospital, Yangsan 626-789, Republic of Korea

Received 10 September 2014; Revised 3 January 2015; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Shun-Wan Chan

Copyright © 2015 Moo Jin Choi 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.

Abstract

The major objectives of this study were to provide a list of candidate antiaging medicinal herbs that have been widely utilized in Korean medicine and to organize preliminary data for the benefit of experimental and clinical researchers to develop new drug therapies by analyzing previous studies. “Dongeuibogam,” a representative source of the Korean medicine literature, was selected to investigate candidate antiaging medicinal herbs and to identify appropriate terms that describe the specific antiaging effects that these herbs are predicted to elicit. In addition, we aimed to review previous studies that referenced the selected candidate antiaging medicinal herbs. From our chosen source, “Dongeuibogam,” we were able to screen 102 terms describing antiaging effects, which were further classified into 11 subtypes. Ninety-seven candidate antiaging medicinal herbs were selected using the criterion that their antiaging effects were described using the same terms as those employed in “Dongeuibogam.” These candidates were classified into 11 subtypes. Of the 97 candidate antiaging medicinal herbs selected, 47 are widely used by Korean medical doctors in Korea and were selected for further analysis of their antiaging effects. Overall, we found an average of 7.7 previous studies per candidate herb that described their antiaging effects.

1. Introduction

Recently, a number of studies have been conducted that pursue the active development of antiaging drugs. Many researchers develop novel drugs by exploring the antiaging constituents of herbs that are widely used in traditional medicine in many countries around the world. For example, in previous studies, preliminary data were identified by searching for candidate herbs in the traditional medicinal literature and then evaluating the antiaging effects of these candidates (e.g., [1, 2]). However, thus far, such studies have been conducted only within the traditional Chinese literature, while the Korean literature remains to be analyzed.

Therefore, we have reviewed a representative source of classical Korean medical literature as a means of providing useful preliminary data, as has been done previously with the Chinese literature. There are several justifications for selecting “Dongeuibogam,” which was published in 1613, for analysis in the present study; (1) it was published by the royal physicians, who were contemporary experts that strictly upheld the traditions of basic Korean medicine (KM); from ancient to present times, KM has been developed via exchange with adjacent countries such as China and Japan. Recently, this traditional medicinal science has contributed to academic development as well as to the improvement of human health through exchange with Western medicine; (2) “Dongeuibogam” is the comprehensive summary of all the traditional medicines of North-East Asia prior to the 17th century, because it is based on a rigorous selection of 189 of the major medicinal literature sources of the region [3]; (3) it had a significant impact not only on KM after the 17th century but also on medicinal practices in other surrounding countries (e.g., China and Japan) [4]; (4) except for minor content related to superstitions, which were contemporary standards at the time of publication, most of its content is still widely used in modern KM by Korean medical doctors (KMDs); and (5) the medicinal herbs which it describes constitute many of the major herbs prescribed in KM [5]. Taken together, it seems reasonable to conclude that “Dongeuibogam” is a principal piece of KM literature and summarizes all the achievements of traditional KM. Therefore, we determined that analyzing, screening, and organizing terms describing antiaging effects (TAE) in the “Dongeuibogam” is an efficient approach for creating lists of candidate antiaging medicinal herbs (CAMH). Furthermore, pursuing this approach may help to organize preliminary data for future experimental and clinical studies on the antiaging effects of previously investigated medicinal herbs.

2. Materials and Methods

The present study consisted of three steps. In the first step, TAEs were screened to construct lists of TAEs. In the second step, CAMHs were screened to construct lists of CAMHs. In the last step, previous studies of CAMHs were analyzed. TAEs and CAMHs were defined by analyzing various sources of the Northeast Asian medicinal literature; TAEs in “Dongeuibogam” were defined as terms describing potency for delaying/improving specific aging symptoms that are recognized by one’s human sense or others. In contrast, CAMHs were defined as medicinal herbs containing one or more TAEs in their medicinal potency [6]. Each step was performed as described in the following paragraphs.

2.1. First Step (Figure 1): Screening TAEs Found in the “Dongeuibogam” and Establishing a List of TAEs
Figure 1: 1st research process. Screening TAEs found in the “Dongeuibogam” and establishing a list of TAEs.
2.1.1. Selection of 928 Individual Medicinal Herbs (IMH) in the “Dongeuibogam”

Although there were 1,932 IMHs listed in the “Dongeuibogam,” overlapping items were excluded and 928 IMHs were ultimately identified. IMH files were selected if commercially accessible; selected items were revised per A New Enlarged Edition: A Translation Printed Side by Side with Original Dongeuibogam (Research team for classical Korean medical literature, 2012) prior to use.

2.1.2. Interpretation of 3,808 TAEs and Establishment of a List of Candidate TAEs

In order to meticulously interpret the TAEs of IMHs, TAEs were divided into simple descriptive units and 3,808 TAEs were identified. Each TAE was analyzed if it was related to antiaging concepts in modern science. As a result, 104 TAEs were selected as candidates. Overlapping and similar TAEs were combined, which resulted in a list of 11 subtypes.

2.1.3. Expert Survey and Establishment of the List of TAEs

Twenty-six experts were recruited for the present study. These experts were faculty members of formal institutes of KM and, concomitantly, were members of the Society of Korean Medical Classics, which consists of experts of the classical medical literature. We distributed questionnaires related to the lists of candidates and the selection criteria for TAEs in order to collect expert suggestions (period: 07.24.2014–08.10.2014). In the end, a TAE was selected only if more than 50% of respondents chose it and, hence, our data were narrowed to a list of 102 TAEs. The justification for setting the criteria at 50% was to retain a wider range of TAEs. The questionnaire was written by the authors and then finalized by an advisory panel consisting of basic KM researchers, clinical KM researchers, and biological science researchers ().

2.2. Second Step (Figure 2): Selection of CAMHs from the “Dongeuibogam” and Establishment of the List of CAMHs
Figure 2: 2nd research process. Selection of CAMHs from the “Dongeuibogam” and establishment of the list of CAMHs.
2.2.1. Selection of Preliminary 97 CAMHs

Utilizing TAEs from the first step, 97 CAMHs were selected, which contained at least one of the TAEs.

2.2.2. Establishment of a List of 94 CAMHs

Preliminary candidates from the first selection (i.e., 97 CAMHs) were filtered into 94 CAMHs. Two were excluded because they were not from a single source and another was filtered because it was clearly based on superstition. Following this exclusion, the final list of CAMHs was established.

2.3. Third Step (Figure 3): Preliminary Evaluation of the Antiaging Effects of CAMHs via Analysis of Previous Studies
Figure 3: 3rd research process. Preliminary evaluation of the antiaging effects of CAMHs via analysis of previous studies.
2.3.1. Selection of Medicinal Herbs for Preliminary Evaluation of the Candidate Lists

Of the 94 CAMHs, the authors included medicinal herbs that are commonly used by KMDs. Following discussion with the advisory panel, 47 candidates were selected (i.e., 43 plant-derived and 4 animal-derived) for further preliminary evaluation. Ginseng Radix and honey were excluded despite their common use as medicinal ingredients because of an excessively broad range of applications.

2.3.2. Selection and Analysis of Previous Studies regarding Antiaging Effects

We searched for 47 different medicinal herbs in the previous studies and identified relevant studies concerning several major hypotheses of aging (e.g., the free radical theory [319], oxidative stress theory [320], molecular inflammation hypothesis [321, 322], neuroendocrine theory [323], wear and tear theory [324], waste accumulation theory [325], Hayflick limit theory [326], and the telomerase theory [327]). Additional studies were included after discussion with the advisory panel. Next, studies were specifically divided into in vitro studies, in vivo studies, clinical studies, and reviews, and then analyzed again for research performance status.

2.3.3. Searching the Database

In addition to commonly used scientific databases (such as PubMed, Cochrane, and Scopus), Korean databases (Ndsl, Oasis, and Riss) were used since we were searching specifically for studies related to KM. The starting period for these study searches was not defined; however, July 31, 2014 was set as the final time point.

2.3.4. Searching Keywords

We used the following terms for the searches: “scientific names of CAMH + aging, age” and “names of herbal medicines of CAMH + aging, age.”

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. List of TAEs from the “Dongeuibogam”

The TAEs of 928 IMHs in the “Dongeuibogam” were divided by simple descriptive units to achieve 3,808 TAEs. In the first step, TAEs for disease treatments were excluded, resulting in 593 TAEs. Of this subset, overlapping TAEs were combined into a singular TAE list containing 333 TAEs. In the second step, 299 TAEs were excluded as they described general health. Thus, 104 TAEs specifically related to aging were selected. In order to validate the above processes, we consulted a survey of experts. Ten out of 11 respondents agreed with the validity of the first step, while one respondent disagreed (90.9% versus 9.1%). With regard to the validity of the second step, 8 out of 10 respondents agreed (80% versus 20%) (Table 1).

Table 1: Results of survey regarding study methods.

TAEs selected through the processes described above were further divided into 11 types of lists: 21 skin-related TAEs, 15 hair-related TAEs, 15 musculoskeletal TAEs, 14 sensory organ-related TAEs, 12 TAEs related to the extension of life span, 13 cognitive function-related TAEs, 5 tooth-related TAEs, 5 sexual function-related TAEs, 2 urination-related TAEs, 1 oral health-related TAE, and 1 respiratory function-related TAE. Classified TAEs were further assessed for proper categorization via questionnaires. In the end, depending upon the TAE, the agreement ratio for validation of each type ranged from 38.5% to 100%. Two TAEs were excluded as these lists had less than 50% agreement on the validation and, therefore, 102 TAEs were finalized for further analysis. In order to avoid overlapping TAE lists, they are summarized with the lists of CAMHs as follows.

Total of 102 TAEs and 94 CAMHs Divided into 11 Subtypes (Some Items Were Medicinal Herbs Containing One or More TAEs and Were Excluded)

TAE/The Number of Respondents for “Validity” = /CAMHs

(i) Skin-Related: 21 TAEs and 22 CAMHsSkin becomes glossy/9 (69.2%)/Ginseng RadixRemoves the wrinkles even from an old man/13 (100%)/Endocarpium Castaneae MollissimaeAdds sheen to the face of the age/12 (92.3%)/Suis UnguisAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Leonuri HerbaAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Benincasae SemenAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Batryticatus BombyxAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Lithar GyrumImproves complexion/10 (76.9%)/Leonuri HerbaAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/MargaritumRemoves wrinkles/12 (92.3%)/Cervi CornuFattens, whitens, and brightens the person/9 (69.2%)/Human milkImproves facial complexion/9 (69.2%)/Rubi FructusRestores luster to a person/10 (76.9%)/Schisandrae FructusMakes the facial skin smoother/10 (76.9%)/Cervi CornuMakes the face look young/12 (92.3%)/Poria SclerotiumAdds smoothness to the face/11 (84.6%)/HoneyAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Trichosanthis Radix, Persicae Flos, and AdepsSelenarcti et UrsiRemoves wrinkles on the hands and face/12 (92.3%)/Trichosanthis RadixAdds sheen to the face/10 (76.9%)/Ligustici Tenuissimi Rhizoma et Radix and Angelicae Dahuricae RadixMakes the face younger/13 (100%)/Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba) and Polygonati RhizomaImproves facial complexion/9 (69.2%)/PersicaeFlos, Benincasae Semen, Rubi Fructus, Cinnabaris, and Margaritum.

(ii) Hair-Related: 15 TAEs and 12 CAMHsReinforces the teeth and the hair/10 (76.9%)/Zanthoxyli PericarpiumThe hair becomes black again/11 (84.6%)/Sasemi SemenThe beard and hair do not become white/11 (84.6%)/Sophorae FructusThe beard will turn black/11 (84.6%)/Oil of the Juglandis Semen and Root of Musa basjooSieb. et ZuccThe white hair will turn black again/11 (84.6%)/Siegesbeckia HerbaBlackens the hair/11 (84.6%)/Mori Fructus and Ecliptae HerbaChanges the white hair to black/11 (84.6%)/Mori FructusThe hair will become longer/10 (76.9%)/Adeps Selenarcti et UrsiMakes the hair and beard black, glossy and shiny/12 (92.3%)/Oil of the Juglandis SemenThe white beard will be dyed black/12 (92.3%)/Juglandis SemenMakes the hair and beard grow and changes white hair to black/13 (100%)/Ecliptae HerbaMakes the hair grow/8 (61.5%)/Root of Musa basjoo Sieb. et Zucc and Sasemi SemenMakes the hair grow and become black/13 (100%)/Adeps Selenarcti et UrsiPrevents the hair from becoming white/12 (92.3%)/Achyranthis RadixBlackens the hair/12 (92.3%)/Sophorae Fructus, Rehmanniae Radix (Rehmanniae Radix Crudus, Rehmanniae Radix Preparata), and Polygoni Multiflori Radix.

(iii) Musculoskeletal-Related: 14 TAEs and 23 CAMHsCures the weakness of legs/5 (38.5%)/exclusionStrengthens the bones/9 (69.2%)/MagnetitumStrengthens the muscles and bones/9 (69.2%)/Acanthopanacis CortexMakes the body feel light/11 (84.6%)/ChrysanthemiFlos, Euryales Semen, Lycii Fructus, Colophonum, Nelumbinis Semen, Acanthopanacis Cortex, Rehmanniae Radix (Rehmanniae Radix Crudus, Rehmanniae Radix Preparata), Acori Gramineri Rhizoma, Asparagi Tuber, Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), Cuscutae Semen, Pini Koraiensis Semen, Sasemi Semen, Polygonati RhizomaStrengthens the muscles and bones/9 (69.2%)/Siegesbeckia HerbaStrengthens the muscles and bones/9 (69.2%)/Chaenomelis FructusStrengthens the muscles and bones/9 (69.2%)/Eucommiae CortexStrengthens the muscles/8 (61.5%)/Animalis Nervus; exclusionStrengthens the power/7 (53.8%)/Rubi FructusStrengthens the muscles/7 (53.8%)/Chaenomelis FructusHelps one gain power/7 (53.8%)/Epimedii Herba, Rehmanniae Radix (Rehmanniae Radix Crudus, Rehmanniae Radix Preparata)Gives strength/7 (53.8%)/Rubi FructusStrengthens the muscles and bones/8 (61.5%)/Chrysanthemi Flos, Cervi Parvum Cornu, Schisandrae FructusStrengthens the muscles/7 (53.8%)/Polygoni Multiflori RadixTreats a general lack of enthusiasm/7 (53.8%)/Lycii Fructus.

(iv) Related to the 5 Sensory Organs: 14 TAEs and 47 CAMHsEnhances eyesight/9 (69.2%)/Brassica Rapae Radix Seu Folium, Natrii Chloridum, Galla Rhois, Naemorhedi JecurEnhances eyesight and hearing abilities/10 (76.9%)/Acori Gramineri RhizomaEnhances eyesight/9 (69.2%)/Chrysanthemi Flos, Canitis Fel, Cassiae Leaves, Cassiae Semen, Azuritum, Sophorae Fructus, Malachitum, Brassica Rapae Radix Seu Folium, Equiseti Herba, Rubi Fructus, Serpentis Periostracum, Haliotidis Concha, Asiasari Radix et Rhizoma, NatriiChloridum, GallaRhois, BovisJecur, Human milk, Suis Testis, Gapsellae Bursa-pastoris Semen, Citrus Unshius Pericarpium, Xanthii Fructus, Naemorhedi Jecur, Sal, AtractylodisRhizoma AtractylodisRhizoma Alba, LepiJecur, Cuscutae Semen, Phellodendri Cortex, and Coptidis RhizomaEnhances eyesight and cures weak vision/9 (69.2%)/Sophorae Fructus, Vespertilii Excrementum, and Naemorhedi JecurTreats blurred vision/9 (69.2%)/Viticis FructusTreats blurred vision/9 (69.2%)/Cicadae PeriostracumTreats blurred vision/9 (69.2%)/Galli Mas Os Nigri FelThe vision is unclear/7 (53.8%)/Lutrae FelBrighten the eyes/9 (69.2%)/Siegesbeckia HerbaEnhances the vision/9 (69.2%)/Citrus Unshius PericarpiumImproves the eyesight/9 (69.2%)/Serpentis Periostracum and Human milkCures the weak vision/9 (69.2%)/MirabilitumCures the weak vision/9 (69.2%)/Lepi JecurMakes the hearing and the vision better/10 (76.9%)/Euryales Semen.

(v) Related to Extension of Life Span: 12 TAEs and 37 CAMHsLengthens the life/13 (100%)/Poria SclerotiumKeeps one young/13 (100%)/Chrysanthemi Flos, Euryales Semen, Poria Sclerotium, Nelumbinis Semen, and Acanthopanacis CortexElongates the life/13 (100%)/Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba)Keeps one young/12 (92.3%)/Euryales SemenKeeps one young/13 (100%)/Cervi Parvum CornuEnsures a long life/12 (92.3%)/Nelumbinis SemenEnsures a long life/12 (92.3%)/Lycii FructusKeeps one young/13 (100%)/Cervi Parvum Cornu, Mori Fructus, Colophonum, Rehmanniae Radix (Rehmanniae Radix Crudus, Rehmanniae Radix Preparata), Acori Gramineri Rhizoma, Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), Polygoni Multiflori Radix, Pini Koraiensis Semen, Sasemi Semen, and Polygonati RhizomaElongates the life/12 (92.3%)/Thujae Orientalis Folium, Poria Sclerotium, Colophonum, Nelumbinis Semen, Acanthopanacis Cortex, Acori Gramineri Rhizoma, Asparagi Tuber, Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), Cuscutae Semen, Polygoni Multiflori Radix, Pini Koraiensis Semen, and Sasemi SemenElongates the life/13 (100%)/Human milkElongates the life/13 (100%)/Chrysanthemi Flos, Thujae Orientalis Folium, Acori Gramineri Rhizoma, Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), and Polygoni Multiflori RadixEnsures a long life/12 (92.3%)/Euryales Semen, Sophorae Fructus, Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba), Sasemi Semen, and Multae Flores; exclusion.

(vi) Cognitive Functions-Related: 12 TAEs and 9 CAMHsCures forgetfulness/10 (76.9%)/Calculus, Polygalae Radix, Hominis Placenta, Suis Cordis, and Aranea Ventricosa Cobwe (exclusion)Cures forgetfulness/10 (76.9%)/Ginseng RadixMakes one smart/9 (69.2%)/Acori Gramineri RhizomaCures forgetfulness/10 (76.9%)/Hoelen cum RadixCures forgetfulness/10 (76.9%)/Aranea Ventricosa Cobwe; exclusionNurtures the spirit/9 (69.2%)/Nelumbinis SemenMakes one smart/9 (69.2%)/Polygalae Radix, Alpiniae Oxyphyllae Fructus, and Ginseng RadixMakes one smart/9 (69.2%)/Acori Gramineri RhizomaMakes one smart/9 (69.2%)/Polygalae RadixMakes one smart/8 (61.5%)/Acori Gramineri RhizomaCures forgetfulness/10 (76.9%)/CalculusMakes one’s mind feel cool/8 (61.5%)/Nelumbinis SemenCools the head and eyes/6 (46.2%)/exclusion.

(vii) Tooth–Related: 5 TAEs and 9 CAMHsReinforces the teeth and the hair/11 (84.6%)/Zanthoxyli PericarpiumReinforces the teeth/9 (69.2%)/Bovis DensReinforces the teeth/9 (69.2%)/Drynariae Rhizoma, Sophorae Fructus, Cervi Parvum Cornu, Natrii Chloridum, and Tribuli FructusStrengthens the teeth/9 (69.2%)/Ashes of a sheep’s Tibia, SalStimulates the growth of teeth/8 (61.5%)/Cervi Parvum Cornu.

(viii) Related to Sexual Functions: 5 TAEs and 7 CAMHsStrengthens the sexual function/7 (53.8%)/Passeris CaroCures the impotence/9 (69.2%)/Bombyxmori L.Strengthens the sexual function/8 (61.5%)/Passeris CaroCures the impotence/9 (69.2%)/Canitis Penis et Testis, Rubi Fructus, Otariae Testis et Penis, Achyranthis Radix, Epimedii HerbaCures the impotence/9 (69.2%)/Canitis Penis et Testis.

The following 4 TAEs are for disease treatment. But they were selected as TAEs because they have the words, “the elderly.”

(ix) Urination-Related: 2 TAEs and 2 CAMHsCures the abnormal urination of the elderly/8 (61.5%)/Corni FructusCures the enuresis of the elderly/8 (61.5%)/Achyranthis Radix.

(x) Oral Health-Related: 1 TAE and 1 CAMHCures the canker sore of the elderly/8 (61.5%)/Human milk.

(xi) Respiratory Function-Related: 1 TAE and 1 CAMHCures the chronic cough of the elderly/8 (61.5%)/Armeniacae Semen.

3.2. Lists of CAMHs in the “Dongeuibogam”

Ninety-seven medicinal herbs associated with at least one TAE were selected from the “Dongeuibogam.” Among these herbs, three items were excluded because “Multae Flores” and “Animalis Nervus” stand for various flowers and multiple animals’ muscles, respectively. In addition, the unreasonable item, “Aranea ventricosa cobweb,” was also excluded. Therefore, 94 CAMHs were finally selected. These candidates were divided into categories for either internal or external use, and were then subdivided into plant-derived, animal-derived, and mineral-derived medicinal herbs as follows.

CAMHs were Divided into Categories for Either Internal or External Use, Subdivided into Plant-Derived, Animal-Derived, and Mineral-Derived Medicinal Herbs

(i) 69 CAMHs for Internal Use

45 Plant-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Acanthopanacis Cortex/Achyranthis Radix/Acori Gramineri Rhizoma/Alpiniae Oxyphyllae Fructus/Armeniacae Semen/Asiasari Radix et Rhizoma/Asparagi Tuber/Atractylodis Rhizoma (Atractylodis Rhizoma Alba)/Brassica Rapae Radix Seu Folium/Cassiae Leaves/Chaenomelis Fructus/Chestnut/Chrysanthemi Flos/Citrus Unshius Pericarpium/Colophonum/Coptidis Rhizoma/Corni Fructus/Cuscutae Semen/Ecliptae Herba/Epimedii Herba/Equiseti Herba/Eucommiae Cortex/Euryales Semen/Gapsellae Bursa-pastoris Semen/Ginseng Radix/Hoelen cum Radix/Lycii Fructus/Mori Fructus/Nelumbinis Semen/Persicae Flos/Phellodendri Cortex/Pini Koraiensis Semen/Polygalae Radix/Polygonati Rhizoma/Polygoni Multiflori Radix/Poria Sclerotium/Rehmanniae Radix (Rehmanniae Radix Crudus, Rehmanniae Radix Preparata)/Rubi Fructus/Sasemi Semen/Schisandrae Fructus/Siegesbeckia Herba/Sophorae Fructus/Thujae Orientalis Folium/Viticis Fructus/Xanthii Fructus.

20 Animal-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Bombyx mori L./Bovis Calculus/Bovis Jecur/Canitis Fel/Canitis Penis et Testis/Cervi Cornu/Cervi Parvum Cornu/Cicadae Periostracum/Haliotidis Concha/Hominis Placenta/Honey/Human milk/Lepi Jecur/Naemorhedi Jecur/Otariae Testis et Penis/Passeris Caro/Serpentis Periostracum/Suis Cordis/Suis Testis/Vespertilii Excrementum.

4 Mineral-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Azuritum/Cinnabaris/Magnetitum/Malachitum.

(ii) 25 CAMHs for External Use

13 Plant-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Angelicae Dahuricae Radix/Benincasae Semen/Cassiae Semen/Drynariae Rhizoma/Endocarpium Castaneae Mollissimae/Galla Rhois/Juglandis Semen (Oil of the Juglandis Semen)/Leonuri Herba/Ligustici Tenuissimi Rhizoma et Radix/Root of Musa basjoo Sieb. et Zucc/Tribuli Fructus/Trichosanthis Radix/Zanthoxyli Pericarpium.

7 Animal-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Adeps Selenarcti et Ursi/Batryticatus Bombyx/Bovis Dens/Galli Mas Os Nigri Fel/Lutrae Fel/Suis Unguis/Tibia of a sheep’s ashes.

5 Mineral-Derived Medicinal Herbs. Lithar Gyrum/Margaritum/Natrii Chloridum/Natrii Sulfas/Sal.

Lastly, these were classified utilizing TAEs as well (since there were medicinal herbs possessing one or more TAEs, some items overlapped; as explained previously).

3.3. Preliminary Evaluation of the Antiaging Effects of CAMHs via Analysis of Previous Studies

Through discussion with advisory panels, the authors selected 47 kinds of CAMHs (i.e., 43 plant-derived kinds and 4 animal-derived kinds) that are commercially available and widely utilized by KMDs. A total of 3,146 studies of 47 CAMHs were found; of these, 363 studies were concerned with antiaging effects, resulting in an average of 7.7 publications per candidate herb (Table 2).

Table 2: Preliminary evaluation of the antiaging effects of 47 CAMHs via analysis of previous studies.

As depicted in Table 2, 43 kinds of CAMHs were studied and their antiaging activity was corroborated by more than one research study (except Equiseti Herba, Gapsellae Bursa-pastoris Semen, Poria Sclerotium, Siegesbeckia Herba, Sophorae Fructus, and Viticis Fructus). Among these publications, there were medicinal herbs assessed in multiple studies with various references to their potency against aging. For instance, there were 58 publications found for Lycii Fructus, 25 for Epimedii Herba, 24 for Polygoni Multiflori Radix, and 23 for Mori Fructus. In contrast, only one relevant study each was found for Euryales Semen, Thujae Orientalis Folium, and Xanthii Fructus. However, regardless of the number of previous studies, the finalized list of CAMHs should be investigated for their antiaging potency because these CAMHs were carefully selected by TAE criteria that were agreed upon by the consultation and agreement of experts.

Since the present study was performed with a focus on the selection and cataloging of an entire candidate group of antiaging medicinal herbs written about in the “Dongeuibogam,” the characteristics of each medicinal herb were not analyzed in detail during both the discovery processes from the classical Korean medical literature and the analysis processes of preceding studies. This constitutes a limitation of the present study but is also an advantage because the scope of this study is comprehensive. This part will be included in a follow-up study on the verification of the antiaging effects of each CAMH.

Furthermore, additional investigation is warranted for the “Compound formulae” (mixture of medicinal herbs) identified in “Dongeuibogam” as an expansion of the present study that limited putative candidates to IMHs.

4. Conclusions

In the present study, we finally selected 47 CAMHs from the “Dongeuibogam” and reviewed the results of previous studies regarding antiaging effects in order to provide a comprehensive list of Korean medicinal herbs that may harbor antiaging potential. Even though further investigations are needed in regard to the medicinal herbs included in these lists, the present study may be an important step towards the development of experimental and clinical studies with the aim of discovering new drugs or novel antiaging constituents.

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that there are no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Acknowledgment

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2013R1A1A2060970).

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