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THE PHARMA REVIEW (NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2013)

Standardization and Chemo-Profiling of Herbal Medicine Through Marker Analysis

Pulok K. Mukherjee, Ranjit K. Harwansh & Shiv Bahadur

Introduction: In recent years, plant derived products are being promoted as primary source for the healthcare including medicinal products, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. Herbal medicines widely used in health-care in both developed and developing countries which are complex chemical mixtures of medicinal plants. According to an estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80% of the world population still uses herbs and other traditional medicines for their primary health care needs1. Herbal formulations have reached widespread acceptability as therapeutic agents for diabetics, arthritics, liver diseases, cough remedies, memory enhancers, adoptogens etc. As per WHO definition, there are three kinds of herbal medicines namely raw plant material, processed plant material and medicinal herbal products. The use of herbal medicines has increased remarkably in line with the global trend of people returning to natural therapies. Herbal medicine products are dietary supplements that people take to improve their health and are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, extracts and fresh or dried plants2. Standardization of herbal formulations is essential in order to assess the quality of drugs, based on the concentration of active principles present therein. Quality evaluation of herbal preparation is a fundamental requirement of industry and other organizations dealing with Ayurvedic and herbal products3. The dramatically increasing the faith and use of herbal medicine by the public are forcing moves to assess the health claims of these agents and to develop standards of quality products. It is evident that the herbal industry needs to follow strict guidelines and such regulations are necessary. According to WHO guidelines, an herbal product needs to be standardized with respect to safety and efficacy before releasing it into the market4,5. 

 

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