Herbal drugs: standards and regulation

Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):462-71. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Feb 13.


The use of herbal drugs for the prevention and treatment of various health ailments has been in practice from time immemorial. Generally it is believed that the risk associated with herbal drugs is very less, but reports on serious reactions are indicating to the need for development of effective marker systems for isolation and identification of the individual components. Standards for herbal drugs are being developed worldwide but as yet there is no common consensus as to how these should be adopted. Standardization, stability and quality control for herbal drugs are feasible, but difficult to accomplish. Further, the regulation of these drugs is not uniform across countries. There are variations in the methods used across medicine systems and countries in achieving stability and quality control. The present study attempts to identify the evolution of technical standards in manufacturing and the regulatory guideline development for commercialization of herbal drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Contamination
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Pesticides
  • Phytotherapy / standards*
  • Plant Preparations / standards*
  • Reference Standards


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Pesticides
  • Plant Preparations