Medicinal plants constitute one of the richest bioresource for herbal drugs, food supplements, natural cosmetics, complimentary alternate medicines, phytoconstituents of industrial significance and lead molecules for the development of Allopathic drugs. A number of countries including Germany, France, Canada, USA, China, etc. are registering standardized medicinal plant extracts of proven clinical efficacy and safety as herbal drug preparations or food supplements Inspite of the fact that India has a vast resource of medicinal plants, we are unable to exploit the growing world market to the required extent because we do not have a very satisfactory system of their quality control and registration. Therefore, it becomes absolutely essential to have quality standards of the raw material.
In this direction, in the year 2000 the ICMR initiated work on quality standards of Indian medicinal plants, involving laboratories of reputed institutes of the country. Three volumes of "Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants" covering standards of 104 medicinal plants have already been published. We expect that this fourth volume like the earlier three volumes will also be of interest to the herbal drug industry, practitioners of the Indigenous Systems of Medicine, academicians, researchers, health professionals and regulatory authorities.
Resurgence of interest in the medicinal plants and their products all over the globe is evident from the rising figures of trade and marketing as well as extensive and intensive scientific publications in the national and international journals. In such a rising global market trend and scientific awareness of medicinal plant products, there exist many fold opportunities in various segments such as traditional medicines, home remedies, nutraceuticals, phytopharmaceuticals, natural drug molecules, gums, mucilages, natural dyes, insect repellants, insecticides, pesticides etc. There are a number of challenges in sustainable industrial exploitation of medicinal plants bioresource for all the segments mentioned. One of the major challenges is inadequacy of quality standards available for producing and maintaining quality and consistency of medicinal plant products. The Indian Council of Medical Research initiated the programme of developing quality standards of Indian medicinal plants in the year 2002. This endeavour yielded very fruit results evidenced by the publication of four volumes of Quality Standards of 136 medicinal plants. Under this continuing programme, this fifth volume comprising quality standards of another 34 Indian medicinal plants is being published. It's a commendable national effort at the appropriate time in the right direction. These quality standards will be of great help to all those engaged in developing various quality products from Indian medicinal plants.
The medicinal plants have not only been known to be the backbone of all systems of medicine but have been finding extensive place in household remedies, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. In view of the wider acceptance of medicinal plant based products and fast expanding market globally, the quality of the raw material used particularly in the herbal drugs assume special significance in context of experimental studies, clinical trials and therapeutics. Further, the TLC/GLC/HPLC fingerprint profile, as also quantification of the marker compound serve as guiding line to the phytochemical profile of the drug in ensuring the quality.
Medicinal Plants Unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research has been instrumental in developing quality standards of medicinal plants through participation of various reputed institutions, and bringing out a series of publication entitled "Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants". The present volume is 5 in this series and contain monographs on 34 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,
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Acupuncture & Acupressure (200)
Gem Therapy (21)
Original Texts (227)
Therapy & Treatment (149)
Tibetan Healing (126)
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