High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) as a Tool for Standardization of Complex Herbal Drugs

J AOAC Int. 2019 Jul 1;102(4):986-992. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0378. Epub 2018 Dec 17.


Background: Herbal formulations have reached tremendous acceptability as therapeutic agents for several diseases mainly due to the indiscriminate use of modern medicine such as antibiotics, steroids and other synthetic drugs. The increasing popularity in plant-based drugs is leading to a fast growing market for plant-based drugs pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, functional foods, and even cosmeceuticals. Objective: The development of authentic analytical methods for complex herbal drugs, especially poly herbal formulations which can reliably profile the phytochemical composition, including quantitative analyses of marker/bioactive compounds and other major constituents, is a major challenge to scientists. Standardization is an important step for the establishment of a consistent biological activity, a consistent chemical profile, or simply a quality assurance program for production and manufacturing of herbal drugs. Methods/Results: HPLC as a tool has been widely used in the standardization of complex herbal drugs because of its ability to estimate the presence of active (chemical or biological) markers both qualitatively and quantitatively. Conclusions: An overview of various HPLC techniques that can be used for standardization of herbal drugs has been presented.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Plant Preparations / analysis
  • Plant Preparations / standards*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Preparations