Arun H S. Kumar
Editor in Chief, Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
Natural products are widely used globally in various formats for preventive and therapeutic health care. Although the use of natural products for several health conditions is supported by only a limited number of rigorous scientific tests, they continue to be used by majority of the population due to extensive trust in them imparted by time-tested traditional medicine practices and folklore. Natural products have also severed as foundations to the development of many currently used synthetic drugs. The expansion of synthetic drugs industry had such an enormous commercial and health gains that it eventually became the mainstream of drug discovery, with exclusive focus on active ingredient-based approach. This target and target-unlock/lock-based approach has been the paradigm of therapeutics for the past several decades with variable outcomes. Such an approach was also a considerable deviation from the traditional medicine practices, which used natural products in a combinatorial way with multiple active/inactive ingredients, which would most likely be influencing multiple targets and in most cases achieving better outcomes. Despite natural products being preamble to drug discovery, they never became the mainstream of therapeutics, probably due to commercial, technical, resourcing, and logistic factors. Read more…