Testing of medicinal herbs and their derivatives like extracts, phytochemicals, oleoresins etc has all along been a difficult and controversial subject due to the complex nature of the active constituents of the medicinal herbs found wild or cultivated in various regions of the world. An effort is on to include, at least some testing methods, in various pharmacopoeias but there is still a wide gap between the medicinal herbs and their testing methods. This book containing 25 monographs of medicinal herbs fills that gap in knowledge base with detailed, ready to use and validated extraction processes and methods of testing to be performed in a well-equipped testing laboratory.
Volume I with 25 monographs was published in 2002 which was perhaps one of the very few books providing specifications and testing methods for various types of herbal extracts like soft extracts, dry extracts and phytochemicals. Most of the data provided was based on the hands-on experience of the author Dr. V. Rajpal who has been constantly associated with the testing as well as processing of medicinal herbs and their derivatives since 1976 in an industrial setting. His experience of providing consultancy for setting up herb processing and testing laboratories led to his in-depth knowledge of problems faced by the herb processing factories and quality control laboratories.
Since 2002 Dr. V. Rajpal had been working on 25 other commonly used medicinal herbs in India as well as other countries. He has collected all the data with latest national and international references to make the all-new 25 monographs complete and up-to-date. As in Volume I each monograph provides the following information:
• Distribution and description of the plant
• Chemical constituents and chemical structures
• Extraction processes
• Specifications of extracts and phytochemicals
• Testing procedures
• Biological activities
• Toxicity and safety aspects
• Properties and uses
• Therapeutic indications
Standardization of Botanicals Volume I has found wide acceptance in over 8C countries including developed and developing countries. It is now expected that Volume 2 of this book will also be eagerly awaited as it contains 25 all different medicinal herbs.
Quantitative standards have been provided for some of the extracts and phytochemicals in terms of acceptable limits for various parameters. These have been taken from normal industrial usage and may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It may be noted however, that the criteria included in the monographs will not indicate the presence or absence of certain possible contaminants, either chemical or biological. More specialized techniques may be required and the nature or frequency of testing will depend on various factors, which may be batch related or historical.