Pan SY, Chen SB, Dong HG, Yu ZL, Dong JC, Long ZX, Fong WF, Han YF, Ko KM
 Department of Pharmacology, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China.
 Department of Applied Biology & Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
 Hopital de la Tour, 1217 Geneva, Switzerland
 Center for Cancer and Inflammation Research, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, China
 Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, World Health Organization, China
 Department of Biochemistry, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China
Synthetic chemical drugs, while being efficacious in the clinical management of many diseases, are often associated with undesirable side effects in patients. It is now clear that the need of therapeutic intervention in many clinical conditions cannot be satisfactorily met by synthetic chemical drugs. Since the research and development of new chemical drugs remain time-consuming, capital-intensive and risky, much effort has been put in the search for alternative routes for drug discovery in China. This narrative review illustrates various approaches to the research and drug discovery in Chinese herbal medicine. Although this article focuses on Chinese traditional drugs, it is also conducive to the development of other traditional remedies and innovative drug discovery.