Integration strategy of network pharmacology in Traditional Chinese Medicine: a narrative review

J Tradit Chin Med. 2022 Jun;42(3):479-486. doi: 10.19852/j.cnki.jtcm.20220408.003.


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been extensively used as a mainstay for treating various pathologies. Combing the pharmacology and systems biology approaches, the network pharmacology (NP) approach was developed to predict the probable mechanism underlying the therapeutic effect of TCM. However, approaches solely based on NP cannot effectively elucidate the curative mechanism in a holistic and reliable manner due to limitations in NP-based methods and complexity of TCM components. Thus, integration strategies combining NP with other approaches are increasingly being used. Since the interdisciplinary research in TCM has received much attention in the advent of the big data era of which the NP-based integration strategy is broadly used, the strategy is clearly elaborated in the present review. We summarized several NP-based integration strategies and their applications in TCM studies, including multi-omics approach, gut microbiota study, chemical information analysis, data-mining, and network toxicology study.

Keywords: Chinese traditional; integration strategy; medicine; network pharmacology; review; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Data Mining
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Network Pharmacology


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal