Setting Standards of Safety & Efficacy of Herbal Drugs

Manila Bulletin, December 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

Setting Standards of Safety & Efficacy of Herbal Drugs


Byline: Magdalena C. Cantoria, Ph.D. Academician

NIYUG-NIYOGAN, ampalaya, lagundi, and sambong. These are just some of the herbal medicines that our ancestors used as traditional medicines. Now with long folkloric usage, accumulation of anecdotal evidence, and increasing documentation of scientific studies about their effectiveness, medicinal herbs are regaining wide public and scientific interest.

Herbal drugs consist of plant products that may be whole plants (nonwoody plants botanically referred to as "herbs") or parts of plants (like ulasimang bato herb, bayabas leaf, niyugniyogan seed, and luya rhizome). These may be parts of woody plants (barks of dita and duhat) or miscellaneous plant products such as secretions (gums, fixed and volatile oils), exudates (oleoresins and resins), and juices (of akapulko leaf and sabila). Herbal drugs are often used to treat chronic diseases or to attain or maintain improved health condition.

Herbal medicine, also referred to as traditional medicine, is practiced throughout the world and has developed into a science-based practice (termed phytotherapy) in some European countries. In Germany, herbal medicines have a special status beginning with the Imperial Decree of 1901 that permitted the trade of many botanical drugs outside pharmacies. Through the following years, drug laws were passed requiring a review of all conventional drugs as well as phytomedicines in the market at that time to assure that they met appropriate standards for quality and purity.

In 1978, Commission E, an expert committee composed of health professionals with expertise in their respective therapeutic areas, was established to review and evaluate the safety and efficacy of herbal drugs and preparations. Members of the committee actively collected bibliographic data on the herbal drugs being reviewed, including their traditional use, chemical data, experimental pharmacological and toxicological studies, clinical studies, field and epidemiological studies, patient records submitted from physiciansa files, and additional studies including unpublished proprietary data submitted by manufacturers.

By 1995, the Commission E had scientifically evaluated more than 300 herbs and about 400 herb preparations for safety and efficacy. The evaluation results, reviewed by the Commission members, other scientists, scientific associations, universities, and other experts, were published as monographs. The monographs, originally printed in German, were translated into English by the American Botanical Council (ABC) and published in 1998 under the title "The Complete German Commission E Monographs a" Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines." The ABC expanded the monographs of the most commonly used herbs in the United States and published these in 2000 under the title "Herbal Medicine a" Expanded Commission E Monographs."

The Commission E monographs are therapeutic monographs and do not detail standards for identity, purity, and quality found in pharmacopoeial monographs. Based on the safety and efficacy of each plant drug as supported by controlled clinical studies, the Commission E divided the herbs into "Approved" and "Unapproved" herbs.

World Health Organization monographs

In 1986, the World Health Organization (WHO) was requested by member states to compile a list of the most widely used and important medicinal plants in all WHO regions and prepare monographs establishing standards for their safe and effective use in national health care systems. WHO published the guidelines for assessing herbal medicines in 1991. Professors N.R. Farnsworth, H.H.S. Fong, and G.B. Mahady and pharmacognosists of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine at the College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois, drafted and reviewed the first volumes of monographs. The content of the monographs was obtained by a systematic review of scientific literature from 1975 to 1995 and reviewed by participants in the WHO Consultation on Selected Medicinal Plants held in Munich, Germany in 1996. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Setting Standards of Safety & Efficacy of Herbal Drugs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.