[Study on combination components and effectiveness of Chinese traditional herbal formulas].Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2006; 31(1):5-9ZZ
Chinese herbal prescriptions enhance the clinical curative effect through the use of multi-composition formulas, and the combined use of several components from herbal extracts is an enhanced mode of formulae organization and compatibility. The research with the combination components is under the guidance of the traditional Chinese medical theory which apply medical therapy following syndrome differentiation. The purpose is to enhance drug safety, clinical suitability, and to use drugs with clearer ingredients and mechanisms of action, with more stable and controllable product quality for commercial production. So the study of combination components must establish the methodology of combining standard components, confirming the main components through trial design, removing the poisonous components, and ascertaining dosage and ratios of all the components used. The mode of combination component has three forms: the one from the combined use of prepared medicinal herbs, the one from directly combined use of components, and the one from the standard ingredient composition of single herb. These three forms strictly follow the mechanisms of multi-component and multi-target medical intervention. The significance of using combined effective components is to ensure the accuracy and safety of clinical dosage, enhance the clinical effectiveness, reduce the use of medicinal herbs, decrease the side-effects, and to promote modern Chinese medicines that have clear ingredients and mechanisms. Our study on the chemistry and pharmacology of Chinese herbs provided scientific foundation to the combination effective components. Nowadays the modern medicine is faced with the complicated disease spectra, meanwhile, the single-ingredient chemical drug is not able to achieve satisfactory curative effect. So there is a need to develop new medicine with effective combination components to meet new opportunities and challenges. Therefore, it has becomes a new mode of developing combined components from effective traditional formulas and from single standard ingredient under traditional Chinese medicine theory, unlike the conventional way of clinic--experience based drug development. This new mode will promote the academic research and the industry development of traditional Chinese medicine.