Evidence-based evaluation of therapeutic preparations from the fields of phytotherapy and anthroposophical medicine: From bench to bedside
It is now common to use plant-based medicine to treat disorders arising from an overactive immune system. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that approximately 30% of patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and excessive immune responses choose alternative intervention methods, so as to avoid potential unwanted side effects. Of these, ingestible herbal supplements are most commonly used.
This aspect of the research is crucial, as the Group plans in the future to continue and extend its previously established research activities. To this end, we have created within the last few years a broad base comprising numerous preclinical models, all of which can now be followed up and deepened. For these studies, the use of plant-based medicinal products was decided based on the following criteria. (I) While they should complement European medical concepts, they have not been studied previously in cell culture or animal models or in clinical research. (II) They had to be available in concentrations that contain substantial amounts of herbal ingredients. Homeopathic preparations were excluded under criterion (II), as they were not expected to induce a pharmacological effect.
The current study focuses, among other things, on the mechanism of action of plant-based extracts and the isolation and characterization of individual bioactive substances. The results of these examinations should serve as a basis for undertaking proof-of-concept studies of promising candidates, to determine whether clinical efficacy can be achieved.