Shahed University

Nine Steps to Discover New Medicines from Traditional Sources: The Example of Persian Medicine

Seyyed Ali Mozaffarpur | Gorji N | Akram Moradi Farahani | Hoda Shirafkan | Kamalinejad M | Shams MA | Memariani Z | Moeini R | Mohsen Naseri

Date :  2020/01/15
Publish in :    Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Link :
Keywords :drug discovery, herbal, medicine, traditional, complementary therapies

Abstract :
Objectives: Developing a new medicine is a costly and time-consuming process. This study presents a novel method to collate a new materia medica from previously documented traditional Persian medicine (TPM) references. A well-documented materia medica will facilitate a quick and easy process to find traditional medicine for specific symptoms or diseases. Materials and methods: A nine-step algorithm is proposed to collate a new materia medica by searching and matching descriptions and references stated in various traditional Persian literature: (1) finding the equivalent of traditional description of symptoms or diseases; (2) determining the keywords to search in the references of TPM, including The Canon of Medicine (Book by Avicenna); (3) determining the best references of TPM for the aim of the study; (4) weighing up the references (a) based on the prominence of the authors prominence (b) determining whether the references are the authors own clinical findings or has citation from other scholars been used, (c) the popularity of the book that the references feature in, among other later scholars of TPM, the geographical and historical span across which the book has been distributed; (5) searching the references using keywords of symptoms or diseases; (6) finding the synonyms of terminologies in the various materia medicas and categorizing the findings; (7) revision (of references found) to ensure that nothing is neglected; (8) scoring the findings based on the defined criteria; (9) prioritization: sorting the materia medica based on the total scores. Some important economic, cultural or historical factors cannot be included in the main process of prioritization during the initial searching of the TPM materia medica. Therefore, it is necessary to take these factors into account after discovering the medicine and before using in practice to ascertain that they are a good match of a specific treatment, disease or symptom. Conclusion: A process to compile a new materia medica has been proposed which will enable the quick and easy selection of herbal treatments for various signs and symptoms of illnesses.