Background: Since ancient times, herbal medicine has been widely used worldwide. The advancement of pharmaceutical technology and pharmacotherapy has allowed the great expansion in the development of novel drug delivery systems.
Purpose: The use of these novel delivery systems has remarkable advantages over conventional ones including: improved drug solubility, bioavailability, biological effect, and stability, in addition to improved toxicological profile and decreased side effects. Most natural products suffer from low solubility, low bioavailability, instability, difficult administration, and unpleasant odor and taste leading to low compliance, which limits its use.
Methods: The exploration of novel drug carriers to incorporate plant actives and extracts can improve their use and administration producing a revolution in the pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical fields for the prevention as well as treatment of several diseases including infectious diseases. Different types of nanometric and micrometric delivery systems can be used; these comprise lipid-based, polymer-based, polysaccharide-based, surfactant-based, and cholesterol-based systems and nanoemulsions in addition to hybrid nanoparticles.
Conclusion: The present article focuses on the role of the novel carriers in the development and revival of herbal medicine. The types, composition, efficacy, and challenges of different new carriers are discussed.