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 materials used in the herbal drugs assumes special significance particularly in context of conducting experimental studies, clinical trials and their therapeutic value.
In this backdrop, the Medicinal Plants Unit of ICMR took initiatives in the year 2000 for developing Quality Standards of medicinal plants for more widely used raw materials. Several reputed institutions were involved.
The monographs are on the pattem of WHO guidelines and incorporate the diagnostic features, phytochemical studies including marker compound, information on pharmacological, clinical, toxicological aspects, dosage. adulterants/substitutes etc. The fingerprint profile (TLC/GLC/HPLC), as also quantification of the marker compound may serve as guiding line to the phytochemical profile of the drug in ensuring the quality.
As part of this initiative, 5 volumes incorporating Quality Standards of 170 medicinal plants have been published. The present volume is 6" in this series and contains quality standards of another 35 plants. These monographs are outcome of the ICMR programme carried out at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, BV Patel Pharmaceutical Education and Research Development Centre, Ahmedabad; Captain Srinivasa Murti Drug Research Institute for Ayurveda, Chennai, Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal and National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.
It is hoped that the current volume like the previous volumes shall be useful to all those concerned with medicinal plants and their products.
There has been global emphasis on the importance of standardization of herbal drugs particularly for delivering improved health care. The need for standardization has been recognized time and again world over at different global forums by various national and international agencies including WHO. Inadequacy or lack of standardization of raw material has been one of the most constraining factors in our ability to exploit the fast growing world market of herbal drugs to the required extent, despite India being credited with unique heritage of abundant biodiversity. These plant based drugs would be much more widely used nationally and internationally. with wider acceptance, for enhanced health care if the standardization provides creditability to the quality of the medicine used. In the time to come, only those countries with well established standards of herbal drugs can hope to exploit the worldwide growth in the use of herbal products.
It becomes imperative, therefore to have quality standards of the raw material used in various plant based products.
The Council's initiative to develop Quality Standards of Indian medicinal plants with major focus on diagnostic features, chromatographic profile, markers and overview of multidisciplinary information/data, shall be of importance and relevance for the herbal drug industry, researchers, health professionals, regulatory authorities, policy makers and others interested in the area of medicinal plants. The initiative may eventually help in development of quality assured safe herbal drugs for health care.
I deeply appreciate the efforts of the Chairman, the members of the Scientific Advisory Group and the Technical Review Committee.
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 (22)
Original Texts (231)
Therapy & Treatment (144)
Tibetan Healing (131)
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