In India about 90 percent of raw material for herbal medicinal products is procured by the industry from wild sources, there is every possibility of vast variation of chemical constituents in the material collected from different geographical sources. In addition there is a possibility of deliberate adulteration or substitution in the genuine raw material. In such a scenario proper quality control of the herbal raw material as well as finished products becomes essential.
In an effort to address this problem, ICMR initiated work on Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants, involving laboratories of reputed institutes of the country to generate requisite data as per prescribed format for preparing monographs.
Each monograph is titled with botanical nomenclature and incorporates diagnostic macro- and microscopic features, phytochemical constituents, identification by chromatographic fingerprints (TLC GLC/HPLC/HPTLC), quantitative determination of the phytochemical marker using marker compound, information on pharmacological, clinical, toxicological aspects, dose, adulterants/ substitutes etc.
The present 12 volume in the series of the already published 11 volumes contains quality standards
of 35 plants. The present publication is an outcome of the ICMR programme under which work
was carried out at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, Maharashtra; Centre for Medicinal Plants
Research, Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal, Kerala; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai,
Maharashtra and Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi.
It is hoped that the current volume like the previous volumes will also be of interest to the herbal drug industry, pharmaceutical and Ayurvedic academic/research institutes, practitioners of the Indigenous systems of medicine and health professionals including regulatory authorities.
Preparation of the thirteenth volume in the series is in progress.
Medicinal plants play a significant role both in developed and developing countries in providing health benefits to human beings. Over the last few decades plant based medicines have been steadily gaining importance in the world. This has generated a multifaceted interest in the medicinal plants, including sourcing of raw material, preparation of formulations, multimarker based phytochemical evaluation for standardization, molecular target based assays, pharmacological, toxicological and clinical evaluation to establish safety and efficacy of single drugs as well as polyherbal formulations and their large scale manufacture and marketing. In such a scenario proper quality control of the herbal raw as well as the finished products becomes essential. This activity has necessitated the requirement of good quality of raw material, consequently it became important to establish quality parameters of the raw materials.
In response to this growing need, Indian Council of Medical Research took initiative in the year 2001 to lay down quality standards of important Medicinal plants as per WHO guidelines. The endeavour yielded very fruitful results evidenced by the publication of 11 volumes of Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants containing 379 monographs. Under this continuing programme, this twelfth volume of Quality Standards of another 35 Indian Medicinal Plants is being published.
Despite certain limitations that these standards may have, it is a step towards improving the quality of finished products.
I deeply appreciate the efforts of the chairman and the members of the various committees, viz., Scientific Advisory Group, the Task Force and the Technical Review Committee as well as investigators and the various Research Institutions who have contributed to the significant task of developing quality standard monographs.
Lack of quality standards of the raw material has been one of the major lacuna in the wider acceptance of plant based drugs. Medicinal Plants Unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research has initiated a programme for the preparation of quality standards for herbal raw materials involving several research institutes of Country to address this problem. This programme has resulted in publication of five volumes on "Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants" covering 170 plants. The present volume is 6 in this series and contain monographs on 35 plants.
The following major guidelines have been adopted in evolving the standards and preparation of the monographs.
The raw material of the plants is procured from the field, from at least three geographical locations and authenticated. The samples are worked out for their pharmacognostic and phytochemical features through experiments while the information on the distribution of the plants, vernacular names, chemical constituents. pharmacological activity, safety aspects, clinical studies if any, therapeutic claims and any other details are derived from the published literature and compiled in the form of a monograph, along with complete references of the work cited. The experiments conducted and the compiled data is subjected to careful scrutiny by the experts of the scientific committee. The information incorporated in the monographs is further supported by the photographs of the plant, the part/s of the plant used, microscopic details, the TLC details, chromatograms, etc.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Acupuncture & Acupressure (200)
Gem Therapy (21)
Original Texts (227)
Therapy & Treatment (149)
Tibetan Healing (126)
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