Active Ingredients in Herbs

As indicated earlier, chemical ingredients/phytochemicals of herbal medicines can be accessed through several programs including TCMsp,16 Chem-TCM,14 TCMID,10 TCM Database@Taiwan,9 KEGG Genome, Drug-Environ,17 and hit.31 in order to combine herbs, phytochemicals, classifications, and potential therapeutic effects, the who monographs on selected medicinal plants, volumes 1-4 were used where the evidence for mechanism of action as well as the level of human evidence can be ascertained.34 Four of the Chem-TCM14 categories (Section 12.1.2) were selected based on the level of clinical evidence.

Wind Cold

  • • (WE) diaphoretic, antiviral, antibacterial
  • • (SS) chills, headache, body and neck pain, no to mild fever
  • • Representative herb: Ephedra sinica

Herba Ephedrae consists of the dried stem or aerial part of Ephedra sinica or other ephedrine-containing Ephedra species. Medical uses supported by clinical data include the treatment of nasal congestion due to hay fever, allergic rhinitis, acute coryza, common cold, and sinusitis. It is also used as a bronchodilator in the treatment of bronchial asthma. The mechanism for the pharmacological action is the sympathomimetic effects and the release of norepinephrine. Effects include bronchial muscle relaxation due to the activation of р-adrenoceptors. Primary active ingredients include ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

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