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ETHNO-PHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The scientific proof and clinical validation of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) require a rigorous approach that includes chemical standardization, biological assays, animal studies and clinical trials. To assess the experimental design of animal studies on the activity of CHM by selection and scrutinizing of a series of papers in some major disease areas. We have analyzed the English publications reported in MEDLINE (ISI web of knowledge). Our data showed that (i) research of CHM during the last 10 years had been highly intensified and become more accessible worldwide through increased publications in English, although still most authors had Chinese names; (ii) English journals publishing animal research of CHM were comparable to those publishing animal studies of non-Chinese phytotherapy in terms of impact factor; and (iii) published data on authentication and quality control of CHM, as well as research design of animal studies were far from sufficient to meet the criteria needed to support their reproducibility and reliability. The recent decade witnessed an increase in CHM research activities and CHM English publications. Based on common problems identified in publications on CHM animal studies, we have proposed a checklist that could help in preliminary selection of publications lacking the most common problems and thus would be useful for a quick search of reproducible CHM regimens that are likely to be effective in a given context. The second application of this checklist is to help avoid the most common problems when designing experiments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Noelia Tejedor Garcia, Laura Garcia Bermejo, Ana Belen Fernandez Martinez, Gemma Olmos Centenera, Rajendra Kumari, Qihe Xu, Xiaodong Cheng, Sue Watson, Francisco Javier de Lucio Cazaña. MEDLINE-based assessment of animal studies on Chinese herbal medicine. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2012 Apr 10;140(3):545-9

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PMID: 22353429

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