Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 803–826 | Cite as

Paradigm shift in natural product research: traditional medicine inspired approaches

  • Pulok K. Mukherjee
  • Shiv Bahadur
  • Ranjit K. Harwansh
  • Sayan Biswas
  • Subhadip Banerjee


The development of traditional medicine with the perspectives of safety, efficacy and quality would help not only to preserve the traditional heritage but also to rationalize the use of herbal medicine in the human healthcare. Nature is considered as a compendium for templates of new chemical entities. The medicinal plants mentioned in the different ancient texts worldwide may be explored with the modern scientific approaches for better leads in the healthcare. Drugs from medicinal plants are unique for their chemical and biological features, and are gaining global acceptance because they offer natural ways to treat diseases and promote healthcare. Natural products are the best sources of chemical diversity for finding new drugs and leads. Globalization of traditional medicine is necessary for health care with assessment of its safety, efficacy, therapeutic and clinical evidence. Evidence based validation of the ethnopharmacological claims on traditional medicine is necessary for its promotion and development. Applications of techniques such as marker analysis, DNA bar coding, plant metabolomics, network pharmacology etc. are being taken into account for the validation and documentation of medicinal plants. This can be achieved by the scientific exploitation of the established facts from ancient systems through proper validation of the claims based on pharmacological and phytochemical assessments.


Traditional medicine Paradigm shift Plant metabolomics Network pharmacology Natural products 



Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy


Absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination


Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry


High performance liquid chromatography


High performance thin layer chromatography


High-throughput screening


Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry


New chemical entities


Novel drug delivery system


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Traditional medicine




World Health Organization



The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi, for financial support through Tata Innovation Fellowship (D.O. No. BT/HRD/35/01/04/2014) to P.K.M.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pulok K. Mukherjee
    • 1
  • Shiv Bahadur
    • 1
  • Ranjit K. Harwansh
    • 1
  • Sayan Biswas
    • 1
  • Subhadip Banerjee
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical TechnologyJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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