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Established in the year 2007 with the sole aim of making the information on
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About OMICS Group Conferences
OMICS Group International is a pioneer and leading science event
organizer, which publishes around 400 open access journals and
conducts over 300 Medical, Clinical, Engineering, Life Sciences,
Phrama scientific conferences all over the globe annually with the
support of more than 1000 scientific associations and 30,000
editorial board members and 3.5 million followers to its credit.
OMICS Group has organized 500 conferences, workshops and
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“The Value of Dereplications in
Understanding the Worth of
Traditional Pharmacopeias
AJTCAM (2011) 8(S):13-26; J Ethnopharmacology (2012) 140(3).
Memory Elvin-Lewis, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Professor of Biomedicine in Microbiology and Ethnobotany
Adjunct Professor of Biology
Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Where can ethnomedical
information be found?
Where primary data is still available
among populations where knowledge
remains as exclusive know-how and must
be protected to ensure optimal benefit.
From secondary sources in the public
What is an herbal remedy/ botanical?
 Traditional or serendipitous
 Varies in formulation & preparation
 Unreliable as to plant identification
 Not medically validated as to efficacy
 Varies in dosage and treatment regimens
 Potency and toxicity frequently moderate
 May contain many ubiquitous bioreactive compounds
 If one plant may be evolved through chemofingerprinting into a standardized phytopharmaceutical
 Few medicinal plants possess a compound unique and
potent enough to merit pharmaceutical development.
The value of medical primary
ethnobotanical data
Depends upon the expertise of those collecting the information?
– With sufficient knowledge of the regional flora, local languages &
medical systems?
– With an understanding of the nature and epidemiology of important
regional diseases?
– With the ability to review available secondary data to help them identify
the uniqueness of the information they are collecting?
– With an understanding that ethical issues related to protecting traditional
knowledge, benefit sharing and national genetic resources must be
– According to the recently evolved Nagoya protocol in 2010 eliciting
prior informed consent and obtaining consensus on access to benefits
resulting from subsequent use is now international law. Its objective is to
ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the
utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity. It is an extension of the Convention
of Biodiversity Treaty of 1992. Unlike the vast majority of nations the US
has ratified but not as yet signed this treaty.
Critical Data Required
• Botanical:
• Vouchered specimens for appropriate botanical identification
• Details of how the plants are collected, appropriately
processed or used.
• Information on the nature of the remedy, if plants are used
alone, sequentially or as a mixed formulation.
• What are favored substitutions and why.
• Medical:
• If there are preferences of one plant remedy over another
• What are the parameters of safety and efficacy
• Which remedies, pivotal to the health and well being of the
population serve the needs of treating diseases of local or
regional importance.
• Utilization of secondary data:
• To determine any novelty of these data
• To prevent duplication of studies already conducted
Is the investigation of a pharmacopeia
justified from what is already known?
Is there a local, regional, global need?
Does anecdotal information suggest that there
are remedies worthy of study? Might they be
Is there scientific evidence to suggest that
regional plants have a therapeutic potential?
Have therapeutic agents already been derived
from local taxa?
What methods in the field and laboratory can further
optimize a pharmacopeias’ therapeutic value
 Ethnomedical focusing: popularity in regional or cosmopolitan
sense, provides safety and efficacy clues which can be affirmed by
identifying specific bioreactivies and conducting appropriate
allopathic verifications.
 Conventional medical verification in the context of use can
identify the parameters of use as well as the appropriate formulation
when taken as a botanical.
 By their Phylogenetic amplification: related plant taxa, disease
entities and/or their etiological taxa can share common
denominators related to bioreactive composition or drug sensitivities.
Types of Dereplication Databases
Free and For Fee
Clinical Studies
Chemical and Patent
What are secondary sources of
botanically derived ethnomedical data?
• Herbals, floras, pharmacopoeias, herbarium
sheets, theses, dissertations, books, published
pamphlets, poster presentations, verbal
presentations, electronic data bases, internet
sources etc.
• Information in local languages can limit its
• Indexing of some of this information may be
Value of Ethnobotanical/Ethnomedical
• For identifying a remedy’s:
– Possible ethnic specificity
– Derivation: local, regional or widespread
– Formula variability:
• If used as one plant or in a mixture
• If used for one purpose or many
– Clues to its medicinal value.
– Worthiness for further investigations?
• For identifying alternate sourcing of bioreactive molecules by finding
related taxa with similar medicinal uses worldwide e.g., Taxus
brevifolia for paclitaxel (taxol) and related baccitins from T.
walachiana and T. baccata.
• Identifying related taxa used to treat diseases caused by related
etiological agents e.g., malaria and apicoplexan protozoa causing
AIDS-associated diseases such as Cryptosporidium.
Ethnobotanical Data Bases
Ningthoujam et al, 2012. Review. Challenges in developing medicinal plant databases for sharing
ethnopharmacological knowledge. J. Ethnopharmacology. 141: 9-32
• Free
Worldwide: EthnobotDB, ETHMED, HERBMED, Plants for a future, SEPASAL
Regional: SW and SE U.S.A., Peruvian Amazon, Africa (Prelude, PROTA), SE Asia, USDA
Plants Database.
National: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Dusan, Belgium, Canada, China,
Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latin
America and the Caribbean, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New
Guinea, Portugal, The Netherlands, Samoa, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,
Russia, Thailand, Tibet, Turkey, USA.
Ethnic Groups: Australian Aboriginal, Canada- Gwich’in, First Nations, Maya, QuijosQuichua, Moari-Nga Tipu Whakaoranga, Oceania- Bishop Museum Hawaii.
US. Government: ARICOLA, IBIDS, USPTO, Duke’s phytochemical and ethnobotanical
American Academy of Science: TEK*PAD
• For Fee, Membership, ebooks and CD Rom
Regional: Africa (AHA), Asia Pacific (AHEAD), Caribbean & Latin America (TRAMIL),
(CABI medicinal plant, Hom-Inform, Green Medicine (Chinese Herbal Medicine), USA
(HerbMedPro, Biosis Previews, MANTIS, HERBALIST, TCM & Pharmacology).
Chinese Data Bases: TCM
Barlow et al. 2012. In-silico studies in Chinese herbal medicines’ research: Evaluation of in-silico methodologies and
phytochemical data sources, and a review of research to date. J. Ethnopharmacology 140: 520-534; Tai-Ping et al., 2012. Future
Development of global regulations of Chinese herbal products. J. Ethnopharmacology 140(3)56-586; Ouedraogo,M. et al. 2012.
Review of current and “omics” methods for assessing the toxicity, teratogenicity and nephrotoxicity of herbal medicines and
mushrooms. 140(3): 49-512; Buriani A et al., 2012. Omic techniques in systems biology approaches to traditional Chinese
medicine researc: Present and future. J. Ethnophamracology 140(3) 53-544; Pelkonen O et al., 2012. Omics and its potential
impact on R&D and regulation of complex herbal products. J. Ethnopharmacologyh 140 (3) 58-593
TCM Database@Taiwan
China Natural Products Data Base (CNPD)
3D Structure Database of Components
from Chinese Herbs.
Comprehensive Herbal Medicine Information
System for Cancer (CHMIS-C)
Chinese herbal constituents database
(CHCD) and Bioactive compounds (BPCD)
Dictionary of Chinese Herbs
Traditional Chinese Medicine Information
Database (TCM-ID)
Traditional Chinese Medicine Integrated
TCM Knowledge Based Grid (Tibet)
dictionary. Htm
Botanical Dereplication
• Understanding the nature of a traditional
pharmacopeias through access to
professional resources:
– Identifying known and related taxa and their
correct names.
– Appreciating their distribution patterns.
– Identifying unknown taxa and having these
determined by experts knowledgeable of the
family and/or genus.
Botanical Databases and Other Sources
Reference to professional botanical literature for relevant check lists,
floras, and monographs can provide baseline data.
Reference to local or national herbaria is essential to understanding
the distribution of taxa within a nation and adjacent countries.
Large herbaria of about 5-9 million collections have comprehensive
worldwide and specialty collections:
Conservatoaire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève (Switzerland).
Harvard University Herbaria (Cambridge Mass., USA)
Komarov Herbarium (St Petersburg, Russia)
Missouri Botanical Garden: Tropicos (St. Louis, MO, USA)
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France)
Nationaal Herbarium Nederland (Leiden, The Netherlands)
National History Museum (London, England)
NY Botanic Garden’s CV Starr Virtual Herbarium (New York City, NY, USA).
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (London, England)
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC, (USA)
Reference to the International Plant Names Index (www.ipni.org/)
Pharmacognosy and Biomedical
• Identifying bioreactive phytochemicals:
– Depends upon biodirected isolation techniques used.
• Broad screening assays, using functional screens are unlikely to
provide as many bioreactive compounds as those identified from
ethnomedically targeted plants matched to specific mechanistic
– Compounds may be novel or ubiquitous, complex or simple,
have single activity or multiple activities.
– May represent a family of related bioreactive compounds or
– Identifying additional studies associated with range of
bioreactivity potentials.
– Identifying related semi-synthetic molecules with improved
solubility, lowered toxicity, increased efficacy and/or additional
medicinal uses.
Major Website/URL Addresses on
Biomedical/Pharmacognosy Subjects.
NIH: Pubmed: 1959-present over 24 million references from 5,000 journals,
Pubchem: structure search
Pharmacognosy network: Caspur, DOAJ, google Scholar, Indix Copernicus,
OpenJGate, Primo Central,SCOLAR, SIIC, Summon by Serial Solutions, & Ulrich’s
International Periodical Directory, Dictionary of Natural Products, NuBBEdb (Brazil).
Unpublished theses and dissertations on pharmacognosy
By subscription but free to users:
EBSCO, Excerpta Medica/EMBASE over 28 million citations, Natural Standard
ProQuest, Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry, PharmaPendium, SCOPUS, Web of Science
/ Web of Knowledge.
For Fee:
Qigong Database
Sheridan et al., 2012. The potential of metabolic fingerprinting as a tool for the modernisation of TCM preparations. J.
Ethnopharmacology 140(3) 48-91
• Therapeutic Target Database (TTD)
• Potential Drug Target Database(PDTD)
• Protein Data Bank
• Metabolite-Plant Species Database:
• Metabolomics Japan Wiki with Kampo Medicine:
Clinical Aspects:
Free URL or Website Addresses
CUGH (Consortium of Universities for Global Health )
CenterWatch (Global Search for Clinical Trials Information)
Cochran Library Central Collaboration (An international network of more than 28,000 dedicated
people from over 100 countries who utilize the best available research evidence to prepare,
update and promote the Cochran Reviews so as to help health care providers, policy-makers,
patients, their advocates and care-givers to make well-informed decisions about health care).
Cochran CAM Field (Focusing on Complementary Medicine)
U.S. Government
• NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
• CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects funded by NIH)
• NLM (National Library of Medicine – world’s largest medical library)
• FDA Poisonous Plant Database
• PUBMED (Biomedical Literature from Medline)
• TOXNET (Environmental Health & Toxicology)
• ClinVar, MedGen ( National Center for Biotechnology Information)
• OMIM (Mendilian Inheritance in Man)
United Kingdom
• Bandolier (Evidence-based Thinking about Health Care- Research & Clinical Trials)
• CISCOM (Centralized Information Service for Complementary Medicine-Therapies and
Clinical Trials)
• DATADIWAN (Holistic Medicine and Frontier Sciences-Patient Information for Natural
Clinical Studies: For Fee or CD-ROM
• ACUBSE: Bibliothèque Univesitatire de Médicine de
Nimes (17,000 French, English and TCM references).
• AltHealthWatch of EBSCO
• AMED (British Library Health Care Information
Service: Allied and Complementary Medicine Data Base
• Natural Standard
• Poisonous Plants in Britain and Ireland
Bioreactive Compounds in
Medicinal Plants
Can vary in both quantity and quality
depending on:
environmental factors (soil, climate, etc.)
plant part
methods of collection
Chemical and Patent Databases
• Supernatural: a searchable database of available natural compounds
• Chapman and Hall/CRC Chemical Database: represents the complete
text of several chemical dictionaries from Chapman and Hall. CHCD is a source
database of chemical identification, physical-chemical properties, use, hazard, and
key reference data to the world's more important chemical substances
ChemnetBase: a structured database holding information on chemical
STN:CAS' STN databases offer the largest collection and depth of chemical and
related information compared to other commercial web based databases. In addition,
CAS is the only company that has a unique, proprietary, chemical structure searching
capability using its STN Express software. No other source can successfully meet the
United States Patent and Trademark Office requirements.
BNPD (Bioactive Natural Products Database): A free comprehensive database
on natural products
WIPO : Provides access to online intellectual property databases hosted by the
World Intellectual Property Organization and member states.
WTMPO: World Traditional Natural Medicine Patent Database
• China TCM Patent Database: Covers bibliographic data related to TCM
• Numerous data bases are available to adequately
understand a pharmacopeia’s worth in terms of:
• The degree of its exclusivity in terms of traditional knowledge, the plants that
are used and the bioreactive compounds which have been found.
• The distribution of these medicinal plants regionally and worldwide.
• By applying techniques of phylogenetic amplification to satisfy sourcing
needs of a particular compound or its allies, or by identifying new target
diseases with cross sensitivities
• Through appropriate clinical evaluations the therapeutic potential as
• The identification of bioreactive compounds, their relationship to others
known to nature or chemically derived.
• Their therapeutic potential as phytopharmaceuticals or pharmaceuticals.
• Knowledge of how these have been incorporated into various forms of
• How new technologies like “omics” and “in silico” can be applied to
understanding the safety and worth of polyherbal remedies.
With Thanks
• With the context of the original 2011 article:
Dr. Walter Lewis for providing unpublished preliminary data elicited in our laboratories.
To the NIAID Screening Labs
• John Gerin: Viral hepatitis, Georgetown University
• Saul Pzipori: Cryptosporidium, Tufts
• Fausto Araui: Toxoplasma, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Dr. J. Cardellina: NCI-AIDS, Fort Dietrick
Drs. Edward Kennelly, Lehman College SUNY; Steve Caspar, FDA; Robert McGill, Missouri
Botanical Garden for providing valuable insights in the evolution of the paper.
• To Washington University Librarians, 2014:
Angela Hardia, Clinical Resources Librarian, WUSM
Lauren Todd, Engineering Subject Librarian in the Department of Chemistry
Let Us Meet Again
We welcome you all to our future
conferences of OMICS Group
Please Visit:

The Value of Dereplications in Understanding the Worth of