This review titled “Tibetan Medicine: An Effective Botanical Supplement for Peripheral Vascular Circulation, authored by Vladimir Badmaev, MD, PhD, provides an instructive example of how a botanical and mineral formula known in the tradition of Tibetan medicine as Gabyr-Nirynga (camphor combination), denoted as formula No. 28, has evolved into a contemporary application through scientific research. This developmental pathway has led to a standardized nutraceutical with clinically proven efficacy in alleviating a form of atherosclerosis—peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The systematic scientific research begun in Switzerland in 1970s and resulted in five double-blind clinical studies conducted in various European countries on cardiovascular use of the formula.
The formula’s mechanism of action has been described in Tibetan tradition based on its three groups of botanical and mineral ingredients: (1) main active ingredients, (2) auxiliary ingredients, and (3) components that offset the action of the first two groups and facilitate gastrointestinal absorption of the formula. Based on preclinical and clinical studies, several mechanisms of action relevant to alleviation of the PAD have been discussed, such as an increase in threshold for platelet aggregation, lower total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and the prevention of blood lipid peroxidation. A study in an animal model of CNS inflammation, i.e. experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), has shown that No. 28 can exert action as a biological response modifier improving response of the organism to chronic inflammation. This latter mechanism may be particularly relevant to the clinical benefits with No. 28 in patients with PAD, in view of cardiovascular disease increasingly considered as an outcome of a chronic inflammatory process. The integration of traditional knowledge of a botanical formula with science-derived pharmacology is referred in this paper as the Interactive Nutrients process.