Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials
World Health Organization (WHO)
MetadataShow full item record
Plant materials are used throughout developed and developing countries as home remedies, over-the-counter drug products and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, and represent a substantial proportion of the global drug market. It is therefore essential to establish internationally recognized guidelines for assessing their quality. The World Health Assembly - in resolutions WHA31.33 (1978), WHA40.33 (1987) and WHA42.43 (1989) - has emphasized the need to ensure the quality of medicinal plant products by using modern control techniques and applying suitable standards. This manual describes a series of tests for assessing the quality of medicinal plant materials. The tests are designed primarily for use in national drug quality control laboratories in developing countries, and complement those described in The international pharmacopoeia,' which provides quality specifications only for the few plant materials that are included in the WHO Model List of Essential Drugs.' This manual does not constitute a herbal pharmacopoeia, but a collection of test procedures to support the development of national standards based on local market conditions, with due regard to existing national legislation and national and regional norms. Publications containing relevant specifications and standards, including those related to the food industry, are listed in the References and Bibliography.