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Traditional Medicine in a Global Environment

Call for Papers

Traditional medicine, both codified (e.g., Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Unami) and noncodified, has become a global movement with rapidly growing economic importance. In many Asian countries, traditional medicine is widely used, even though Western medicine is often readily available. The number of visits to providers of traditional medicine in the US now exceeds by far the number of visits to primary care physicians. Many medicinal plant species are easily available in online trade, often without correct scientific identification, and possible contamination, which creates large safety concerns. In developing countries, uncodified traditional medicine is often the only accessible and affordable treatment available.

The globalization of traditional remedies, in particular from noncodified traditional pharmacopoeia, leaves many questions unanswered: does the use of traditional medicine reflect major health issues? Some plants may have beneficial properties, while others can cause adverse reactions. Even when the herbal ingredients themselves have proven benefits and no known safety concerns, some of the administration methods may be harmful. Importantly, how can safety concerns associated with traditional medicines and practices be identified, monitored, and communicated to users and other stakeholders, and how can the safety and sustainability of the global supply of medicinals be ensured?

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will help to understand the changing role and possible dangers and advantages of traditional medicine in a more and more globalized environment. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Risks and benefits of wide distribution of traditional preparations in a global environment
  • Adverse reactions to traditional medicines
  • Economy and access to traditional medicine–differences between North and South
  • Pharmacological properties and quality control of traditional medicine
  • Changing national and international markets of traditional medicine
  • Ethics in management of traditional knowledge
  • Traditional formulation out of their context: the problem of the Western use of traditional medicines
  • Safety and standardization of traditional medicines
  • Dangers of large-scale online availability of herbs and traditional preparations
  • Sustainability of traditional medicine in a global market
  • Traditional medicine in migrant populations

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 15 November 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 7 February 2014
Publication DateFriday, 4 April 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Rainer W. Bussmann, WLBC, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299, USA

Guest Editors

  • Wendy Applequist, WLBC, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299, USA
  • Narel Paniagua, Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia