Ethnopharmacy and natural product research: multidisciplinary opportunities for research in the metabolomic age

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Heinrich, M 2008, 'Ethnopharmacy and natural product research- multidisciplinary opportunities for research in the metabolomic age', Phytochemistry Letters, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-5.

The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytol.2007.11.003


Phytochemical techniques are developing fast and we now have tools available which allow us to analyse complex mixtures in novel ways. The 'omics' (r)evolution allows a systematic investigation of such complex mixtures and specifically to link phytochemical analysis with other strategies (such as in vitro or in vivo screening for biological activity or toxicity, morphological plant diversity and ecological parameters). Specifically as it relates to the study of medicinal and food plants, the main challenge is to understand the complex effects of such extracts. Since most of these research activities are linked to plants used in traditional and local cultures, this requires an ethnopharmaceutical approach. The potential of such an approach and its potential benefits for phytochemically oriented research are discussed. © 2007 Phytochemical Society of Europe.

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