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    Clinical experiences of herbal medicine (HM) have been used to treat a variety of human intractable diseases. As the treatment of diseases using HM is characterized by multi-components and multi-targets, it is difficult to determine the bio-active components, explore the molecular targets and reveal the mechanisms of action. Metabolomics is frequently used to characterize the effect of external disturbances on organisms because of its unique advantages on detecting changes in endogenous small-molecule metabolites. Its systematicity and integrity are consistent with the effective characteristics of HM. After HM intervention, metabolomics can accurately capture and describe the behavior of endogenous metabolites under the disturbance of functional compounds, which will be used to decode the bioactive ingredients of HM and expound the molecular targets. Metabolomics can provide an approach for explaining HM, addressing unclear clinical efficacy and undefined mechanisms of action. In this review, the metabolomics strategy and its applications in HM are systematically introduced, which offers valuable insights for metabolomics methods to characterizing the pharmacological effects and molecular targets of HM. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Zhibo Wang, Sifan Guo, Ying Cai, Qiang Yang, Yan Wang, Xiaodan Yu, Wanying Sun, Shi Qiu, Xiancai Li, Yu Guo, Yiqiang Xie, Aihua Zhang, Shaojiang Zheng. Decoding active compounds and molecular targets of herbal medicine by high-throughput metabolomics technology: A systematic review. Bioorganic chemistry. 2024 Mar;144:107090

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    PMID: 38218070

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