In India almost 90 per cent of the 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, the 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), quantitative determination of the phytochemical marker using marker compound, information on pharmacological, clinical, toxicological aspects. dose, adulterants/substitutes etc.
The present 8th volume in the series of already published 7 volumes contains quality standards of 35 plants. The present Monographs are outcome of the ICMR programme carried out at Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, B. V Patel Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development Centre, Ahmedabad, Captain Srinivasa Murti Drug Research Institute for Ayurveda, Chennai; Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal; National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, School of Natural Product Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata; University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
It is hoped that the current volume like the previous 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.
Medicinal plants play a significant role both in the developed and developing countries in providing health benefits to human beings. Over the last few decades alternative medicine, which is essentially plant based, has experienced a remarkable and steady increase all over the world. This has generated a multifaceted interest in the medicinal plants, which includes the sourcing of raw material (through cultivation or from wild populations), preparation of formulations, multimarker based phytochemical evaluation for standardization, molecular target/cell/enzyme based assays, pharmacological, toxicological and clinical evaluation to establish efficacy and safety, 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 for the herbal raw material.
Indian Council of Medical Research has taken the initiative to lay down quality standards of important medicinal plants, as per WHO guidelines. Reputed institutes have been involved to evolve these standards. Vital data generated at these institutes and compilation of the requisite information from literature has resulted in the production of this volume, which is the eighth in the series and deals with 35 medicinal plants.
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. The work would not have been possible but for the important role played by the collaborative Institutions.
Despite certain limitations, that these standards may have, it is a step towards improving the quality of finished products. Better quality would inevitably help in raising the acceptance of Indian plant based health care products. These quality standards will be of great help to all those engaged in developing various quality products from Indian medicinal plants.
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 (226)
Therapy & Treatment (150)
Tibetan Healing (128)
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