Herbal Theranostics: Controlled, Targeted Delivery and Imaging of Herbal Molecules

Nanotheranostics. 2024 Mar 25;8(3):344-379. doi: 10.7150/ntno.94987. eCollection 2024.


Modern medicine relies on a small number of key biologics, which can be found in nature but require further characterization and purification before they can be used. Since the herbal remedy is given through a dated and ineffective method of drug administration, its effectiveness is diminished. The novel form of medicine delivery has the potential to increase the effectiveness of herbal substances while decreasing their side effects. This is the main idea behind utilising different ways of drug delivery in herbal treatments. Several benefits arise from novel formulations of herbal compounds as compared to their conventional counterparts. These include enhanced penetrating ability into tissues, constant delivery of effective doses, and resistance to physical and chemical degradation. Controlled and targeted delivery that include herbal components allow for more traditional dosing while simultaneously increasing their efficacy. Enhancing the biodistribution and target site accumulation of systemically administered herbal medicines is the goal of nanomedicine formulations. The field of nanotheranostics has made significant advancements in the development of herbal compounds by combining diagnostic and therapeutic functions on a single nanoscale platform. It is critically important to create a theranostic nanoplatform that is derived from plants and is intrinsically "all-in-one" for single molecules. In addition to examining the mechanistic approach to nanoparticle synthesis, this review highlights the therapeutic effects of nanoscale phytochemical delivery systems. Furthermore, we have evaluated the scope for future advancements in this field, discussed several nanoparticles that have been developed recently for herbal imaging, and provided experimental evidence that supports their usage.

Keywords: Herbal compounds; controlled and targeted drug delivery system; formulations; nanotheranostics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems* / methods
  • Nanomedicine / methods
  • Nanotechnology
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Tissue Distribution