Quality Control of Herbal Drugs: Advancements and Challenges

  • Sharad Srivastava
  • Ankita Misra


Majority of population in the world (approximately 80%) relies on the herbal medicines for their primary healthcare needs, especially in the developing and underdeveloped countries. The herbal medicines had gained substantial acceptability as products in the market for treatment of various diseases like BGR-34 for diabetes, LIV-52 for liver ailments, etc. The shift towards the acceptance of this alternative system of medicine is due to the safety value of herbs even in cases of prolonged use, and thus the demand of herbal medicines in the market has increased dramatically in recent years. This increasing demand leads to shortage of raw material which ultimately resulted in unauthenticated practices of adulteration or substitution. Therefore, it is a compelling need of time to develop a quality assurance parameter(s) for single raw drug as well as combined formulation(s). Standardization is a set of essential protocols required for the establishment of pharmacognostical standards, chemical profile and biological activity for the maintenance of overall quality of product right from starting material up to formulation development.

The development of advanced analytical tools for precise, accurate and reproducible quantification of major and minor chemical constituents is a major boon for researcher and scientists engaged in field of natural/herbal product development. The fact has now been well evident that the pharmacological activities of medicinal plants are due to phytochemicals present in them, primarily secondary metabolites. The amount of phytomolecules in wildly available raw material/herbs are significantly controlled by various factors like genetic makeup, agroclimatic conditions of plant habitat, season, stage of growth and development of the plant, harvesting time, postharvest practices, storage conditions, etc. Therefore, it is essential to study the effect of these factors on secondary metabolites to observe standardized/controlled activity. The World Health Organization specifies some regulatory norms for evaluation and assurance of efficacy, quality and safety of herbal medicine as an essential need for acceptability at the global platform.


Medicinal plants Quality control Pharmacognosy 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharad Srivastava
    • 1
  • Ankita Misra
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology DivisionCSIR-National Botanical Research InstituteLucknowIndia

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