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Discovery of Novel Animal-Based Medicinal Products with Therapeutic Potential in Evidence-Based Traditional Medicine

Call for Papers

In almost every culture, animals have been used as resources of traditional medicines for the treatment and alleviation of various illnesses. The traditional use of animals and their products for medicinal purposes has been documented since ancient times in civilizations from East Asia and Africa. In China, more than 1500 animals are used; in India, 15–20% of Ayurvedic medicines are based on animal-derived substances, whereas in Latin America, 584 medicinal animal species have been recorded. Ho Jun, a Korean court physician (1610 A.D.) wrote “Dongui Bogam”, which contains references to nearly 95 insects and their substances. Recently, there has been increased research focus on animal-based medicines, and several animals have been tested by pharmaceutical companies as potential sources of modern drugs.

Animal-based medicines are derived from body parts, products of the animal’s metabolism (e.g. corporal secretions and excrements), and non-animal materials (e.g. nests and cocoons). For example, several compounds from fish have been extracted and are employed as remedies in the over-the-counter drugs. Insects have also proven to be very important sources of drugs for modern medicine because these drugs have immunological, analgesic, antibacterial, diuretic, anesthetic, and antirheumatic properties. Toxins in snakes, spiders, and centipedes and the venom from other species have shown promise for the treatment of chronic pain, heart conditions, blood clots, and type 2 diabetes. However, such medicines are yet to be tested for efficacy.

To scale up production of such medicines at an industrial level, it is important to lay the scientific foundation to recognize them as potential therapeutics and to provide insights into their pharmacological activity and other relevant aspects; these studies may pave the way to develop new drugs that would potentially alleviate human suffering. Thus, new pharmacological therapeutic strategies, involving the use of animal-based medicinal products or compositions of multiple extracts, are being designed to specifically act on biochemical targets.

Hence, we invite researchers to contribute original research or review articles on pharmacological therapy via various bioactivities and the potential therapeutic effects of animals, including insects, of evidence-based traditional medicine. We are particularly interested in articles involving animal-based evaluations.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Screening of animal-based medicines for drug discovery using in vitro and in vivo systems
  • Animal-based medicines as treatment or preventive agents for various diseases
  • In vitro and in vivo studies on the effectiveness of animal-based medicines via mechanistic function
  • Metabolic profiling-based screen of active constituents from animals including insects
  • Use of animals and animal products in the traditional health care system
  • Toxicity evaluation after treatment with animals, including insects

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 10 May 2019
Publication DateSeptember 2019

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

Lead Guest Editor

  • Gunhyuk Park, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Guest Editors