Healing herbs chart

Healing herbs chart DEFAULT


abortifacient– induces abortion, miscarriage, or premature removal of a fetus

adaptogen– works through the endocrine system to modulate the physical, mental, and emotional effects of stress and increase resistance to physiological imbalances and disease by strengthening the immune system

adjuvant– aids the action of a medicinal agent

alterative– strengthens and nourishes the body, often through the removal of metabolic wastes

amphoteric– normalizes function of an organ or body system

analeptic– restorative or stimulating effect on central nervous system

analgesic– relieves pain

anaphrodisiac– reduces capacity for sexual arousal

anesthetic– induces loss of sensation or consciousness due to the depression of nerve function

antianemic– prevents or helps with anemia

antibacterial– destroys or stops the growth of bacteria

antibilious– eases stomach stress

anticatarrh– reduces inflamed mucous membranes of head and throat

antidepressant– acts to prevent, cure, or alleviate mental depression

antidiabetic– prevents or relieves diabetes

antidiarrhetic–prevents or treats diarrhea

antiemetic– stops vomiting

antifungal– destroys or inhibits the growth of fungus

antihemorrhagic– controls hemorrhaging or bleeding

anti-infectious– counteracts infection

anti-inflammatory– controls inflammation, a reaction to injury or infection

antimalarial– prevents or relieves malaria

antimicrobial– destroys microbes

antioxidant– prevents or inhibits oxidation

antipruritic– prevents or relieves itching

antipyretic– reduces fever (febrifuge)

antirheumatic– eases pain of rheumatism, inflammation of joints and muscles

antiseptic– produces asepsis, removes pus, blood, etc.

antispasmodic– calms nervous and muscular spasms or convulsions

antitussive– controls or prevents cough

antiviral– opposes the action of a virus

anxiolytic– reduces anxiety

aperient– relieves constipation; mild laxative

aperitive– stimulates the appetite for food

aphrodisiac– increases the capacity for sexual arousal

aromatic– a herb containing volatile oils, fragrant odor and slightly stimulating properties

asepsis– sterile; free of germs, infection, and any form of life

astringent– constricts and binds by coagulation of proteins

aquaretic– increases blood flow to the kidneys without increasing sodium and chloride resorption, thereby retaining electrolytes while increasing urine output; increases intravascular fluid volume which increases vascular resistance and blood pressure

bitter– stimulates appetite or digestive function

bronchial–relaxes spasms or constriction of the bronchi or upper part of the lungs, thereby improving respiration

carcinostatic–halts or inhibits the development or continued growth of cancer, carcinomas, or malignant tumors

cardiotonic– increases strength and tone (normal tension or response to stimuli) of the heart

carminative-- causes the release of stomach or intestinal gas

catarrhal– pertains to the inflammation of mucous membranes of the head and throat

cathartic– produces bowel movements

caustic– contains acidic compounds that have an escharotic or corrosive action that is capable of burning or eating away living tissues

cholagogue– increases flow of bile from gallbladder

cicatrizant– aids formation of scar tissue and wound healing

counterirritant– produces an inflammatory response for affecting an adjacent area

demulcent– soothes and protects inflamed and irritated mucous membranes both topically and internally

deobstruent– removes obstructions to clear or open natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body

dermatitis– inflammation of the skin evidenced my itchiness, redness, and various lesions

detergent– cleanses wounds and sores of infected or damaged tissue

diaphoretic– increases perspiration (synonym: sudorific)

digestive– promotes or aids the digestion process

disinfectant– destroys pathogenic microbes, germs, and noxious properties of fermentation

diuretic– increases urine flow

ecbolic– tends to increase contractions of uterus, facilitating childbirth

emetic– produces vomiting and evacuation of stomach contents

emmenagogue– regulates and induces normal menstruation

emollient– softens and soothes the skin

errhine–stimulates sneezing, increasing flow of mucus in nasal passages

escharotic– a caustic substance that destroys tissue and causes sloughing

estrogenic– causes the production of estrogen

euphoriant– produces a sense of bodily comfort; temporary effect and often addictive

expectorant– facilitates removal of mucus and other materials

febrifuge– reduces or relieves fever

galactagogue– promotes the flow of milk

hemagogue– promotes the flow of blood

hemostatic– controls or stops the flow of blood

hepatic– having to do with the liver

herpetic– treats skin eruptions relating to the herpes virus

hypertensive– raises blood pressure

hypnotic– strong-acting nervous system relaxant (nervines) that supports healthy sleep

hypoglycemant– lowers blood sugar

hypotensive– lowers blood pressure

lactifuge– reduces the flow of milk

laxative– loosens bowel contents

lithotriptic– a substance that causes kidney or bladder stones to dissolve

masticatory– increases flow of saliva upon chewing

mucilaginous– polysaccharide-rich compounds that coat and soothe inflamed mucous membranes

narcotic– induces drowsiness, sleep, or stupor, and lessons pain

nephritic– has a beneficial influence on the kidneys

nervine– a nerve tonic

nootropic – enhances memory, improves cognitive function and mood, reduces oxidative and eschemic damage to the brain

nutritive– a herb containing nutrients required to nourish and build the body

orexigenic– stimulates or increases the appetite

parturfaciant– induces contractions of labor at childbirth

purgative– causes the evacuation of intestinal contents; laxative

refrigerant– relieves thirst with its cooling properties

relaxant– tends to relax and relieve tension, especially muscular tension

renal–strengthens, cleanses or treats imbalance or disease states affecting the kidneys

resorbent– aids reabsorption of blood from bruises

rubefacient– reddens skin, dilates the blood vessels, and increases blood supply locally

sedative– exerts a soothing, tranquilizing effect on the body

sialagogue– increases the production and flow of saliva

soporific-- induces sleep

stimulant– increases body or organ function temporarily

stomachic– aids the stomach and digestive action

sudorific– increase perspiration

tonicstimulates energy and increases strength and tone

trophorestorative– nourishes and restores balance to the body. Trophorestorative herbs typically have a strong affinity for an organ or organ system and correct deficiency and weakness not only through temporary stimulation but by deeply nourishing that organ or organ system.

vermifugeexpels worms from the intestines

vulnerary– aids in healing wounds (top)

Sours: https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/terminology-page/

Medicinal Plants in COVID-19: Potential and Limitations


The emergence of a new coronavirus, known as the SARS-CoV-2 has initiated a pandemic of COVID-19 (World Health Organisation, 2020b). More than 31 million infections with at least 960,000 COVID-19 associated deaths were reported by September 23, 2020 (World Health Organisation, 2020c). Since its first reported case in Wuhan, China in December 2019 (World Health Organisation, 2020c), new discovered evidence by both clinicians and researchers globally have helped shed some light on the disease pathogenesis and the nature of the virus itself. The availability of new information subsequently fed policy changes on transmission prevention strategies as well as development of preventative vaccines and therapeutic drug candidates. Enforced physical distancing, hand hygiene, and arguably proper usage of personal protective equipment including wearing a surgical mask remains the most effective way of controlling the spread of the disease, with most countries which adopted such measures reporting some success in curbing the disease spread (Chu et al., 2020; Sardar et al., 2020). However, several challenges remain in maintaining these drastic measures of enforced physical distancing for long periods of times. Resurgences of infection waves were reported in few countries after the relaxation of rules. In addition, the economic impact of prolonged lock down on social issues such as loss of income and increased poverty, especially for the low and middle-income countries, is evident (Bonaccorsi et al., 2020; United Nations Development Programme, 2020).

As the world looks towards science in search of an effective drug or vaccine, a few countries, such as China and India, with long histories of traditional medicine use (Li et al., 2020; Rastogi et al., 2020), have also started exploring the role of traditional and complementary, alongside conventional treatment. The Malaysian community, coming from a tropical multi-racial country rich in flora and fauna, also appears to be interested in venturing towards the use of herbal and complementary medicine, some of which are based on local traditional knowledge. During the Movement Control Order implemented by the Malaysian Government in March 2020 in attempts to curb the disease spread, the herbal medicine research arm of biomedical research institute in Malaysia has received numerous queries on the potential use of complementary remedies including single medicinal plants, traditional remedies, finished herbal products, supplements, food products, and medical devices against COVID-19. These queries were mainly submitted directly by the general public and persons with readily available herbal products, or identified through highly circulated messages on several social media platforms. From March to September 2020, 22 interventions of interest were reviewed through searches conducted on electronic databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar; as well as hand searching of grey literature, including books on herbal and traditional medicine available in institutional library resources. The predetermined search terms used are ‘COVID-19’, ‘antiviral’, ‘anti-inflammatory’, ‘immune system’, ‘immunomodulatory’, ‘safety’, ‘toxicity’, in combination with the name of the main intervention of interest or its synonyms. From these evidence summaries, five were single medicinal plants including Azadirachta indica A. Juss, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, Nigella sativa L., Gymnanthemum amygdalinum (Delile) Sch. Bip. (or Vernonia amygdalina Delile), and Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) Havil (Figure 1).


FIGURE 1. Selection of single medicinal plants as interventions of interest.

Of the five individual medicinal plants, this review presents and discussed the available evidence of four selected plants (A. indica, E. longifolia, N. sativa, and V. amygdalina), considering their efficacy evidence as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents for use in COVID-19 management; as well as completeness of quality and safety data to be incorporated into human trials. M. speciosa was not further discussed here due to established reports on toxicity and dependance (Meireles et al., 2019). M. speciosa is also currently listed as a prohibited ingredient in natural products in Malaysia (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency, Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2020). Although public interest in the use of the selected four medicinal plants (A. indica, E. longifolia, N. sativa, and V. amygdalina) for COVID-19 seemed strong, there are concerns on their efficacy and safety. As research in COVID-19 treatment intensifies, exploring the potential roles of medicinal plants, lobbying and extrapolating from known scientific evidence on safety and efficacy, can be beneficial.

Medicinal Plants in COVID 19: Efficacy, Safety, and Research Gaps

In the research of phytomedicine, it is common to observe multiple pharmacological properties from a single plant. It is now well understood that a single plant may contain a wide range of phytochemicals, making ethnopharmacology research both full of possibilities yet challenging (Süntar, 2019). Overall, these selected interventions of interest discussed here can be broadly categorised into those with 1) antiviral, 2) anti-inflammatory, 3) immunomodulatory effects, and more often 4) a combination of these effects, based on available evidence for efficacy (Table 1). Details on quality, efficacy, and safety of individual studies is presented in Supplementary Table S1. On top of exhibiting direct antiviral effects, medicinal plants with reported anti-inflammatory activities may have pleiotropic roles in COVID-19 management as the elevation of inflammatory markers such as interleukin (IL)-6, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) has been associated with severe disease with worse outcomes among COVID-19 patients, most likely related to cytokine storm (Zeng et al., 2020).


TABLE 1. Pharmacological properties and safety evidence of selected herbs and supplements (Koley and Lal, 1994; Talwar et al., 1995; Talwar et al., 1997; Badary et al., 1998; Hore et al., 1999; Salem and Hossain, 2000; Petrovsky, 2006; Bamosa et al., 2010; Datau et al., 2010; Iyyadurai et al., 2010; Momoh et al., 2010; Salem et al., 2011; Schumacher et al., 2011; Venugopalan et al., 2011; Aljindil, 2012; Choudhary et al., 2012; Momoh et al., 2012; Abdel-Moneim et al., 2013; Li et al., 2013; Mishra and Dave, 2013; Saalu et al., 2013; Adedapo et al., 2014; Nabukenya et al., 2014; Tran et al., 2014; Ulasli et al., 2014; Yee et al., 2014; Gholamnezhad et al., 2015; Majdalawieh and Fayyad, 2015; Ashfaq et al., 2016; George et al., 2016; Im et al., 2016; Omoregie and Pal, 2016; Rehman et al., 2016; Zakaria et al., 2016; Onasanwo et al., 2017; Salem et al., 2017; Tavakkoli et al., 2017; Asante et al., 2019; Onah et al., 2019; Ruan et al., 2019; Borkotoky and Banerjee, 2020; Dwivedi et al., 2020).

According to our evidence summaries, N. sativa (black cumin) seed was among one of the medicinal plants with most published positive evidence. Ethanolic extracts of N. sativa seeds demonstrated antiviral properties by decreasing viral load, alpha fetoprotein, and improved liver function parameters among hepatitis C infected patients (Abdel-Moneim et al., 2013). In animal studies, N. sativa seed oil presented both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects against cytomegalovirus, reducing viral loads to an undetectable level. It can also enhance the immune response by increasing CD3 and CD4 counts, as well as up-regulating interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) release from Natural Killer T-cells and macrophages (Salem and Hossain, 2000). In cell studies, ethanolic extracts of N. sativa seeds also demonstrated inhibitory activity against coronavirus species MHVA59 (mouse hepatitis virus-A59) replication by downregulating gene expressions of various leukocyte transient receptor proteins (TRP) such as the TRPA1, TRPC4, TRPM6, TRPM7, TRPM8 and TRPV4 genes (Ulasli et al., 2014). Traditionally, N. sativa is used for a diverse range of indications including in respiratory diseases such as asthma (Al-Jauziyah, 2003). The benefits of N. sativa supplementation (details of formulation unclear) in improving asthmatic symptoms have also been reported in a clinical trial, and is thought to be partially due to the anti-hypersensitivity and potentially anti-inflammatory properties (Salem et al., 2017). Positive preclinical and clinical evidence of N. sativas immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects have been collectively concluded in three separate review papers (Gholamnezhad et al., 2015; Majdalawieh and Fayyadet, 2015;Tavakkoli et al., 2017). More interestingly about N. sativa and its bioactive compound thymoquinone, is their immunomodulatory effects reported in respiratory diseases, including those of infectious origin. An in vitro study has reported that thymoquinone enhances survival of antigen-activated CD8+ cells, highlighting the potential for adoptive T-cell therapies (Salem et al., 2011). The potential of N. sativa to modulate B cell-mediated immune response while balancing Th1/Th2 ratio to potentiate T cells-mediated immune response merits further investigation. This activity can be explored as an adjunct to potential vaccine candidates to mediate meaningful and sustained immune response post vaccination (Petrovsky, 2006), which is one of the main challenges with current potential COVID-19 vaccines in development (Sahin et al., 2020). As for safety, long-term consumption (up to three months) of N. sativa seeds at 3 g/day in humans reported no significant adverse effects on both liver and kidney functions (Bamosa et al., 2010; Datau et al., 2010). However, precautions should be paid towards thymoquinone as animal toxicity studies at high doses of 2–3 g/kg have resulted in hypoglycaemia and hepatic enzyme derangements (Badary et al., 1998).

Another plant that has shown immune enhancing effects as adjunct to vaccines is G. amygdalinum, more commonly known as V. amygdalina or bitter leaf. This plant was reported to be traditionally used to relieve fever, diarrhoea, cough, and headache (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa, PROTA, 2004). Aqueous extracts of G. amygdalinum showed positive effects in enhancing immune response by increasing the levels of white blood cells and CD4+ (Momoh et al., 2010; Momoh et al., 2012; Im et al., 2016). With the capability to increase the CD4+ cell counts, this extract was reported to be adjuvant to antiretroviral therapy in HIV positive patients (Momoh et al., 2012). In addition, the aqueous extract also demonstrated potential immune augmenting effects as adjuvant to Hepatitis B vaccine by increasing levels of surface antigen of the Hepatitis B virus (rHBsAg)-specific antibodies immunoglobulin M, immunoglobulin G sub class 1, and immunoglobulin A (Onah et al., 2019). As a plant with various phytochemicals with the potential to exhibit multimodal mechanism of actions, ethanol, methanol, and acetone extracts also reported anti-inflammatory activity in laboratory animals via modulation of levels of inflammatory cytokines and mediators including the pro-inflammatory (prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2, nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, nitric oxide, CRP) and anti-inflammatory markers (Adedapo et al., 2014; Omoregie and Pal, 2016; Onasanwo et al., 2017; Asante et al., 2019). Despite the reported potent activity of this plant in regulating the immune and inflammation responses, its toxicity profile remains be ascertained. Although no mortality was reported in an acute toxicity study in animals (Zakaria et al., 2016), subacute administration of the aqueous extract (200 and 600 mg/kg body weight) in rats caused kidney congestion (Nabukenya et al., 2014) while testicular toxicities was reported with an ethanol extract (300 and 600 mg/kg) (Saalu et al., 2013). Currently, there is insufficient direct evidence on the efficacy of V. amygdalina in COVID-19, despite various reported antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects.

The leaves of neem (A. indica), a popular Indian plant, is traditionally boiled and consumed for treatment of fever (Burkill, 1935), with reported anti-inflammatory effects in animal studies (Schumacher et al., 2011). In vitro and in silico docking studies demonstrated that neem leaves extracts and its phytochemicals such as flavonoids and polysaccharides have direct antiviral effects against various viruses including dengue (Dwivedi et al., 2020) and Hepatitis C Virus (Ashfaq et al., 2016). Specific to SARS-CoV-2, molecular docking studies have demonstrated that the neem derived compounds nimbolin A, nimocin, and cycloartanols have the potential to bind to envelope (E) and membrane (M) glycoproteins of the SARS-CoV-2 and act as inhibitors (Borkotoky and Banerjee, 2020). As for immunomodulatory effects, both neem seeds and leaves reported positive effects in enhancing immune response in animals (Venugopalan et al., 2011; Aljindil, 2012). In mice vaccinated with Brucella Rev-1 vaccine, neem seed extract given subcutaneously enhanced the production of IFN-γ post vaccination (Aljindil, 2012). However, the main issue with exploring neem’s potential for COVID-19 is its safety profile. Although neem leaves have been used traditionally for a long time, well documented safety records are still insufficient. Several animal toxicity studies have reported variable adverse effects including arrhythmia, hypoglycaemia, and blood pressure reduction at high doses of neem leaf extracts (Koley and Lal, 1994; Hore et al., 1999). Human cases of acidosis and renal injury have also been reported on neem seed oil consumption (Iyyadurai et al., 2010; Mishra and Dave, 2013). In pregnant women, neem seed extracts should be avoided as animal studies have shown its abortifacient effects (Talwar et al., 1997) while human trials have reported its anti-human chorionic gonadotropin effects (Talwar et al., 1995). That being said, the traditional use of neem for medicinal purposes is largely focused on leaves consumption, boiled in water and drank (Mustapha et al., 2017). In view of safety concerns, studies establishing safe doses of neem leaves specific to the formulation intended for use is required prior to further investigations on efficacy.

The main challenges of phytopharmaceutical development for therapeutic claims is quality control, identification, and standardisation of the bioactive compounds of a plant-based product. Due to the inherent nature of natural products containing multiple bioactive and chemical markers, the quality control process to meet stringent regulatory standards of safety considerations is time consuming and lengthy (Tan et al., 2020). Tongkat Ali, or E. longifolia, a popular Malaysian plant traditionally used for improving men’s health (Rehman et al., 2016) is among one of the few natural products with established standardisation and safety data available. Acute, subacute, and subchronic toxicity studies of the powdered root of E. longifolia in rats reported a calculated acceptable daily intake of up to 1.2 g/adult/day in humans (Li et al., 2013). Safety assessment of the standardised aqueous extract of E. longifolia (acute, subacute, and 90 days subchronic general toxicity studies) conducted according to the relevant Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines reported no toxic effects in rats (Choudhary et al., 2012). Specific toxicity studies of the same extract also reported low mammalian mutagenicity with no genotoxic effects (Yee et al., 2014). Although no direct antiviral effects were reported with standardised aqueous extract of E. longifolia, clinical data have shown its positive effects in enhancing immune response in the aging population by improving the CD4+ counts, with a safe dose of 200 mg/day (George et al., 2016). Preclinical evidence of the anti-inflammatory properties of E. longifolia are also available. Among the potential bioactive anti-inflammatory compounds isolated from E. longifolia include eurycomalactone, 14,15β-dihydroklaieanone, and 13,21-dehydroeurycomanone with potent NF-κB inhibitory effects (Tran et al., 2014). Several phenolic compounds isolated from the roots of E. longifolia were also reported to significantly reduce expression of IL-6 in lipopolysaccharide stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage (Ruan et al., 2019). Given its well established safety profile, future investigations on the potential anti-inflammatory effects of E. longifolia may be explored in the context of COVID-19. However, as many of the published studies were industrial sponsored (Choudhary et al., 2012; Yee et al., 2014; George et al., 2016), the potential for bias remains to be ascertained.

Perspective: Developing Herbal Medicine for COVID-19

One year into the pandemic, it has become apparent that developing an effective antiviral against the SARS-CoV-2 is challenging due to the virus infectivity and disease course. Viral life cycle modelling studies suggested that early administration of a highly potent antiviral is needed to effectively curb the infection and preserve host cells. This number also coincides with the average number of days for peak viral load to occur and symptoms onset, making it a challenge for timely administration of antivirals in community spreading (Goncalves et al., 2020). Though there have been many claims on antimicrobial properties of the selected medicinal plants discussed here, only one medicinal plant, neem, demonstrated preliminary in silico evidence of antiviral effects specific towards the SAR-CoV-2 (Borkotoky and Banerjee, 2020). Currently, the antiviral remdesivir is approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 based on positive data from clinical trials (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2020). Although remdesivir improved clinical symptoms, there is insufficient evidence to support its benefits on mortality (Dyer, 2020). Remdesivir is thought to act via early termination of viral RNA synthesis hence inhibiting replication (Eastman et al., 2020). Based on viral kinetics modelling, a combination of various antivirals targeting multiple stages of the viral life cycle of infecting the host is suggested as a plausible strategy to effectively curb infection (Dodds et al., 2020). Hence, future investigations on the effects of compounds identified from neem such as nimbolin A, nimocin, and cycloartanols through a different targeted pathway (inhibition of E and M glycoproteins) (Borkotoky and Banerjee, 2020) from remdesivir may provide additional benefits.

Instead of antiviral properties, most of the medicinal plants discussed here demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects supported by in vivo preclinical evidence. At present, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents such as corticosteroids and IL-6 receptor antagonist are being utilised in the management of COVID-19 related cytokine storm associated with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, in hopes to improve survival (Prescott and Rice, 2020; Saha et al., 2020). Medicinal plants such as V. amygdalina and E. longifolia demonstrated suppression effects on specific pro-inflammatory cytokines correlated with worsened COVID-19 outcome such as the IL-6 (Adedapo et al., 2014; Omoregie and Pal, 2016; Onasanwo et al., 2017; Asante et al., 2019; Ruan at al., 2019; Zeng et al., 2020). However, considering the treatment of cytokine storms are administered to patients who are severely ill, a majority of them on mechanical ventilation (Prescott and Rice, 2020), the administration of medicinal plant or an herbal formulation via the oral route will be challenging in intubated patients. Compatibility and potential of herbal formulations adsorption on nasogastric tubes also needs to be evaluated. Furthermore, as some medicinal plants such as the E. longifolia also reported immune-stimulating activity in older adults (George et al., 2016), the risk of worsening an existing cytokine storm needs to be evaluated. Consideration on optimal timing of administration during different disease stages to modulate the immune system is crucial to maximise the benefits versus risks of such agents (Nidadavolu and Walston, 2020; Nugraha et al., 2020). From a different perspective, it will be interesting to explore the potential role of medicinal plants with anti-inflammatory properties in post SARS-CoV-2 infection complications related to chronic inflammation such as lung fibrosis and neuropsychiatric symptoms (Fraser, 2020; Paterson et al., 2020), given the existing adverse effects associated with long term steroids use (Liu et al., 2013). As post COVID-19 complications remains a new field of study at present, investigation on long-term safety profile and pharmacokinetics of potential medicinal plants can be beneficial.

The time and processes required to develop an herbal medicine of high enough quality and consistency for therapeutic use with sufficient safety data is extremely protracted. This is due to the nature of medicinal plants containing multiple phytochemicals, which are also easily affected by agronomic factors (Süntar, 2019). In addition, identifying, isolating, and producing reference standards required for the standardisation of medicinal plants is challenging, compared to synthetic chemical entities, which are more straight forward. Standardisation of herbal products based on bioactive markers remains important to ensure batch-to-batch consistency and efficacy (Sachan et al., 2016). Due the variation in the formulations available for individual medicinal plants, adequate toxicity studies specific to the formulation of interest are required to ensure its safety (World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 1993). As a result of these challenges, it is highly unlikely to develop new products from scratch in time for emergency use during crises like the current COVID-19 pandemic. In times of emergency, accelerated approvals for therapeutic candidates of proven safety with minimal risk, as well as having the potential for benefits are often considered (Van Norman, 2020). These considerations drive the bulk of research to favour repurposing existing drugs, including remdesivir (Singh et al., 2020). The same concept may be applied to natural products, keeping in mind that each individual formulation and product though containing the same plant, is unique on its own. Although ideally the development of a most potentially efficacious agent is desired, in the case of considering herbal medicine for emergency use, the availability of a well-developed standardised herbal product with sufficient safety data is equally valuable. Compared to published reviews on herbal medicine in COVID-19 (Huang et al., 2020; Nugraha et al., 2020), some of the medicinal plants mentioned here including E. longifolia and V. amygdalina were not identified in previous reviews. Among the four medicinal plants reviewed here, it appears that only one (E. longifolia) had extensive safety data on a marketed aqueous extract to be considered for a clinical trial. However, in these individual papers, the quality data on chemical fingerprinting and quantitative assessment were not reported (Choudary et al., 2012; Yee et al., 2014; George et al., 2016). Apart from quantitative assessment of phytochemical markers and intrinsic toxicity, additional quality assessments on the risk of extrinsic toxicities from external contaminants and adulteration are also important (Posadski et al., 2013).

In these unprecedented times where the pandemic has affected people worldwide in ways unimaginable, advancing science in herbal medicine for therapeutic claims should be included as an important contribution towards research in COVID-19. As part of the efforts in strengthening science and contribution of traditional herbal medicine in the current pandemic, the World Health Organisation, with the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs have recently endorsed a protocol for conducting clinical trials on herbal medicine in COVID-19 (World Health Organisation, 2020a). For the medicinal plants discussed here, in addition to requiring more direct evidence of their role in COVID-19 management, other concerns that remains to be addressed include identification of bioactive ingredients, safe dose specific to formulations, and potential drug-herb interaction prior to entering a clinical trial. Innovative ways to utilise the antimicrobial properties of medicinal plants beyond systemic absorption, such as development of medicinal plant-coated antimicrobial mask (Wang et al., 2017), can be further examined.

Herbal Medicine Research Centre (HMRC) COVID-19 Rapid Review Team

Murizal Zainol, Siti Hajar Muhd Rosli, Adlin Afzan, Hussin Muhammad, Suganthi Jeyabalan, Mohd Ridzuan Mohd Abd Razak, Hemahwathy Chantira Kumar, Nor Azlina Zolkifli, Nor Azrina Norahmad, Muhammad Nor Farhan Sa'at, June Chelyn Lee, Elda Nurafnie Ibnu Rasid, Puspawathy Krishnan, Norfarahana Japri, Raja Nazatul Izni Raja Shahriman Shah, Nur Salsabeela Mohd Rahim, Nurmaziah Mohammad Shafie, Noorashikin Haleem, Ida Farah Ahmad, Ami Fazlin Syed Mohamed


In conclusion, the four medicinal plants (A. indica, E. longifolia, N. sativa, and V. amygdalina) discussed here collectively exhibited pleiotropic effects which can potentially provide a multimodal approach via antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects in COVID-19 management. At present, it is evidently challenging to pool data from published studies due to variation in extracts selection and a lack of well-reported standardisation data of the investigated formulations. Still, it is quite clear that there is insufficient evidence of direct antiviral effects specific to the SARS-CoV-2. Further investigations on differential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects as well as quality and safety of herbal medicines are required to ascertain their role in COVID-19 management.

Author Contributions

XL is the first and corresponding author. XL, BT, and TT conceptualised the manuscript. XL, TT, and the HMRC COVID-19 Rapid Review Team contributed towards search strategy, literature search, and data interpretation of individual evidence summaries. XL, BT, and TT further extracted and interpreted the overall data based on individual evidence summaries, drafted, edited, reviewed, and approved of the final article to be published.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


We would like to thank the Director General of Health Malaysia, Deputy Director General of Health Malaysia (Research & Technical Support), Director of Institute for Medical Research, Head Centre of Herbal Medicine Research Centre for their support and permission to publish this article.

Supplementary Material

The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.611408/full#supplementary-material.


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Keywords: complementary therapy, ethnopharmacology, COVID-19, coronavirus, medicinal plants, herbs

Citation: Lim XY, Teh BP and Tan TYC (2021) Medicinal Plants in COVID-19: Potential and Limitations. Front. Pharmacol. 12:611408. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.611408

Received: 29 September 2020; Accepted: 09 February 2021;
Published: 24 March 2021.

Copyright © 2021 Lim, Teh and Tan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Xin Yi Lim, [email protected]

Sours: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.611408/full
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From Medicinal Plant Raw Material to Herbal Remedies

Open access peer-reviewed chapter

By Sofija M. Djordjevic

Submitted: June 15th 2016Reviewed: October 27th 2016Published: March 15th 2017

DOI: 10.5772/66618


The use of medicinal plants is old as the existence of mankind. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, about 80% of world population are using products based on medicinal herbs. Phytotherapy is based on the use of herbal drugs and medicinal products for the purpose of prevention and treatment. Rational phytotherapy is a modern concept of herbal medicines using, which are made of standardized herbal extracts. The quality of each final product is guaranteed by the use of raw materials of a standard quality, defined process of production, and validated equipment. Quality control of herbal drugs and herbal isolates (tinctures, extracts, and essential oils) is done according to the requirements of Pharmacopoeia and other relevant regulations. The scope of phytopreparation quality control depends on its pharmaceutical form. The formulation of a new phytopreparation is a process that has strictly defined phases: from analysis of literature and market, through defining recipes, validation of the production process, quality control of a final product to the preparation of technological and registration documents. The aim of this chapter is to present the process of herbal preparations production from selecting plant raw materials to herbal remedies (on the examples of making tea, tea mixture, drops, gels, and capsules).


  • medicinal plants
  • medicinal plant raw material
  • quality control
  • formulation of phytopreparation
  • regulations

1. Introduction

Since ancient times, medical plants and simpler herbal remedies have been used in all parts of the world for the treatment and alleviation of various ailments. Although the use of medicinal plants is as old as mankind itself, their controlled application, the isolation and characterization of active substances, started only in the early nineteenth century. It is a known fact that the extractive plant isolates and isolated active substances played a major role in the development of modern pharmacotherapy. Many of the isolated compounds are still used today, or they have served as a model for the synthesis of a large number of drugs [1].

The use of plants as medicines has a long history in the treatment of various diseases. Plants especially those with ethnopharmacological uses have been the primary sources of medicine for early drug discovery.

Herbal remedies, from simple to complex forms, should be made of the raw materials required for quality, because only then they could be safe and effective for use. The Pharmacopoeia monographs, Monographs European Medicinal Evaluation Agency (EMEA), which encompasses monographs World Health Organization (WHO), European Scientific Cooperative on Phythotherapy (ESCOP), and Commission E (The German Commission E is a scientific advisory board of the "Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte" formed in 1978. The commission gives scientific expertise for the approval of substances and products previously used in traditional, folk, and herbal medicine) national regulations, precisely defined parameters of control quality.

The process of drafting a new herbal remedies is very complex and strictly defined phase. Each step in the process is important, from the initial idea, market analysis, selecting high-quality plant material and ancillary pharmaceutical raw materials, recipe formulation, production preparation, quality control of product, preparation of documentation, protection of intellectual property rights, to the introduction of herbal drug in regular production. The drafting process must be validated and secure documentation.

In modern pharmacotherapy, despite the widespread use of drugs obtained by chemical synthesis, the importance of herbal medicines in the treatment and prophylaxis is still large. According to the latest WHO researches, 11% of the 252 basic medicines are in fact herbal preparations [1].


2. Development and manufacturing of herbal preparations

2.1. Use of medicinal plants through history

The use of medicinal plants in the prevention and treatment of various diseases is known since ancient times. Documents of exquisite value show that herbs were extensively used by human population throughout the history. Since ancient times, people have sought safety and relief for their health problems in medicines from nature. Prehistoric men have dared to use particular medicinal plants, based on careful observation of the behavior of animals who have been using them [2, 3]. Over time, the use of herbal medicines and other natural products has developed on the basis of both positive and negative experiences. The collected rich experiences have gradually developed into folk medicine, such as traditional European medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda, Japanese Kampo, or traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine. They consist, not only of herbal remedies but also of other types of drugs, for example, from minerals or animals, or physical procedures [3].

Material evidence on the use of medicinal plants in the distant past is kept by many ethnographic and archaeological sources. The oldest of these sources are clay tables, discovered in Mesopotamia (2600 BC), which in addition to the description showed also therapeutic application and galenical form in which the plants were to be used. In those ancient times, medical plants mentioned were castor oil, grapes, coffee, oils of cedar and cypress, licorice, myrrh, and poppy juice [4, 5]. The ancient Egyptian papyrus, Ebers Papyrus (1550 BC), represented some kind of first Pharmacopoeia. Egyptians were known for their skill of embalming, distilling scented water, and making perfume of aromatic plants, and for those they were using many medicinal plants that are still in use today (aloe, peppermint, plantain, poppy seeds, and coriander) [6]. The first written records about the use of medical herbs in Chinese traditional medicine date from the third millennium BC. Emperor Shen Nung made a collection of wild medicinal plants. He is credited with the discovery of tea and many of which are used nowadays: cinnamon, ephedra, rhubarb, camphor, and great yellow gentian [6, 7]. The Indian holy books provide many examples of the treatments using medical plants, widespread in that country. A large number of aromatic herbs and spices that are still in use nowadays throughout the world, such as pepper, cloves, nutmeg, originate from India. According to data from the Bible and the holy Jewish book, the Talmud, during various rituals accompanying a treatment, aromatic plants were utilized such as myrtle and incense [7].

With comprehensive development of science in ancient Greece, the pharmacy also receives a special place. The most famous doctor of ancient Greece, which is considered to be the "father of medicine," is Hippocrates (460–377 BC). He was the first to systematize overall medical and pharmaceutical experience and publish them in the capital work Corpus Hyppocraticum. The most ancient botanist Theophrastus (371–286 BC) together with his students founded the first botanical garden in Athens. He described more than 500 most important medicinal plants. Among others, he referred to cinnamon, iris rhizome, false hellebore, mint, pomegranate, cardamom, fragrant hellebore, monkshood, and so on. In the description of the plant, its toxic action was also stated [4, 7]. The founder of the European pharmacognosy, a Roman doctor of Greek origin, Dioscorides, who lived in the first century BC., described medicinal plants which were used in the ancient world, in his capital work De Materia Medica. Dioscorides' most appreciated domestic plants were as follows: willow, camomile, garlic, onion, marsh mallow, ivy, nettle, sage, common centaury, coriander, parsley, sea onion, and false hellebore. The strong influence of Hippocrates and Dioscorides was notable in the school of Alexandria, where some of the major breakthroughs in medicine were made. Unfortunately, a great fire has destroyed the vast library with approximately two million books, and at the same time all the knowledge of medicinal plants of that era [4, 7]. By the Roman conquest of Greece, Romans took over all the medical and pharmaceutical knowledge and certainly the most important mind in this area was the Roman statesman and military leader Pliny, the Elder (23–79). He is the writer of the capital work Historia naturalis. The most famous Roman doctor and a pharmacist is well-known Galenius-Galen, who lived from 131 to 201 and is considered to be the father of galenic pharmacy. In his writings on the development of complex preparations or galenic preparations, he described 304 drugs of plant origin [4].

The Arabs preserved a large amount of the Greco-Roman knowledge during the Dark and Middle ages (i.e., fifth to twelfth centuries), and complemented it with their own medicinal expertise, and with herbs from Chinese and Indian traditional medicines [8]. The treatments during the Middle Ages were conducted in the restricted environment of monasteries. Skills of cultivation and collection of herbal medicines, as well as making simple herbal remedies, were reserved for doctors-monks. They used the different herbs: mint, sage, tansy, anise, fenugreek, savory, and so on [7].

At the time of Charles V, the famous medical school of Salerno was founded and started its rise by introducing and applying experiences of Arab medicine and pharmacy. Benedictine monks played an important role in the preservation of the Greco-Roman tradition. Their legacy was large botanical gardens where mainly medicinal plants were grown [4]. The Arab world has promoted many sciences including medicine and pharmacy. Certainly, the most famous Arabic doctor was Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and his famous book, The Canon of Medical Science, has been translated into Latin and other languages, and has been used in Europe for many years.

In medieval Europe, the level of medical knowledge was quite low. Arab medicine, starting from the twelfth century, began to penetrate into Europe, through Spain and Sicily. The Arabic books were translated into Latin medicine, and in this sense also the Arabic translations of ancient Greek and Roman books. Paracelsus (during the late Middle Ages) argued that the salubrity of plant originates from chemical compounds that are represented in it [4]. In the eighteenth century, Swedish botanist Carl von Linné (1707–1778) created the Latin nomenclature for each plant (the name of the genus and species), and a botanical system for determining the species, which due to its transparency and convenience is used even nowadays. Scientific pharmacy began only after the French Revolution, and with it the development of the science of medicinal plants. In this area, the most distinguished pharmacists became Lavoisier in France, Scheele in Sweden, Priestley in England, and so on. [4]. The turning point in the approach and the use of herbal medicines is considered to be the beginning of the nineteenth century, when a German pharmacist Sertürner managed to isolate the alkaloid of morphine in its pure form, from poppy (1806). In the period from 1817 to 1820, French scientists isolated a whole series of alkaloids: caffeine, emetine, quinine, cinchonine, and strychnine. Improvements of instrumental analytical methods have allowed further detection of other groups and complexes of active substances, such as heterosides, saponosides, tannins, vitamins, and so on [7].

In the twentieth century, a large number of synthetic drugs were created and it represented the beginning of commercial production of a large number of allopathic medicines, which significantly led to neglect the use of herbs in pharmacotherapy.

2.2. Plants are valuable sources of drug discovery

As already mentioned, herbal medicines have been an extremely important source for the discovery of many drugs. Morphine, which was the first purely natural product to be isolated, was introduced in pharmacotherapy in 1826 (Merck). The first semisynthetic pure substance of aspirin, salicylic acid-based, was isolated from the bark of willow and was produced in 1899 (Bayer). This was followed by the isolation of active compounds from old herbal drugs, such as digitoxin, codeine, pilocarpine, quinine, and many others, some of which are still in use today. Many herbal remedies, emerged after extensive scientific tests of "old and well-known" medicinal plants, were introduced in the therapy. Silymarin, extracted from the seeds of , is used as a hepatoprotective, Paclitaxel from the bark of in the treatment of lung, ovarian, and breast cancer, and Artemisinin from herb to combat multiple-resistant malaria [1].

In recent years, many herbal medicines have found their way into the official medicine. Some of them are Dronabinol and Cannabidiol isolated from , Tiotropium derivative of atropine from for combating obstructive and chronic bronchitis, Galantamine, alkaloid from which is used to relieve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, and Apomorphine, which is a semisynthetic compound based on morphine from and is intended for people suffering from Parkinson's disease [1]. We can certainly say that a large number of medicinal plants, which in the past, were used and represent an important raw material for the production of herbal medicines, or have served as a model for similar synthesis of new molecules.

Given that man is an integral part of nature, the human body is compatible with medicines coming from nature. Nature, much like a flawless, perfect complex of laboratories, has created a variety of sophisticated active compounds contained in herbal medicines, which have a huge range of remedial action. Perhaps, this fact will speed up serious research of old manuscripts related to herbal medicines and brings out the "old drugs" of pure historical curiosity [8].

2.3. Basic terms related to herbal medicines

Phytotherapy, as a complementary part of pharmacotherapy, has an important place in many areas of modern medicine. It represents a system of treatments based on the use of natural medicinal resources (drugs) and herbal remedies (herbal remedies) in the purposes of prevention and treatment.

Herbal drug is the whole or grained, dried part of a plant, algae, fungi, or lichen, which is used for its medicinal properties. In addition to the plant organs (above-ground part of the blooming plant as flower, leaf, root, bark, fruit, and seed), plant exudates can also be considered as a drug (resins, balsams, and rubber). Herbal medicines, herbal remedies, or herbal medicinal products (HMPs) contain as active ingredients exclusively herbal drugs or herbal drug preparations. Herbal drug preparations are obtained from drugs, with the procedures of distillation, extraction, filtration, and so on. This concept does not include powdered forms of drugs, essential oils, fatty oils, tinctures, and extracts [9, 10].

Rational phytotherapy is a modern concept of use of herbal medicines, which was designed in Germany at the end of the last century and soon widely accepted in other European countries. It was created from the need to improve phytotherapy, in order for herbal preparations to be more efficient, safer, and their use based on the results of clinical trials. Herbal medicines, which are used in rational phytotherapy, are prepared from standardized herbal extracts, the chemical nature of their active principles is known, they exhibit dose-dependent therapeutic effect, their adverse effects and contraindications are known, and their pharmaceutical quality is well defined and standardized [11, 12].

Herbal medicines are used preventively, in the treatment of milder forms of a disease, or as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of chronic diseases. Most commonly, they are applied with the dysfunction of the respiratory, digestive, urogenital tract, mild, and medium forms of anxiety and depression, as well as of different lesions of the skin and mucous membranes. Their healing effects accrue gradually, so that the maximum effect manifested 2–3 weeks after the application.

2.4. Regulations

According to the WHO, preparations based on medicinal herbs are used by 80% of the world population. Medical use of medicinal plants has a long tradition in Europe, while in some parts of the world (e.g., China and India), herbal remedies still represent a central link in the chain of health services [13].

Extractive isolates of herbal medicines and herbal preparations are extremely complex multicomponent mixtures, as opposed to synthetic drugs that are most commonly a single pure compound. In the production of herbal remedies, certain actions and procedures are needed to be undertaken (collecting medicinal plants from spontaneous flora and plantation cultivation, obtaining extractive isolates, and their characterization), which do not precede the production of synthetic drugs. Fortunately, the procedures of making herbal medicines are largely modernized and defined in all segments. There are a number of guidelines that prescribe standards in all aspects of making herbal medicines: The European Medicines Agency guidelines for the quality of herbal medicines, the WHO guidelines provide standards and guidelines for good agricultural practices, good laboratory practices, and so on. The development of new, sophisticated analytical, and technological methods and procedures within the development and characterization of extractive isolate has greatly improved the quality of the final plant products. On the other hand, the process of harmonization of the quality system for the production and herbal drugs control is present in many countries. But globally speaking, more effort is yet to be made in order to revive the prescribed guidelines and regulations in practice [3]. The main goal of the Committee for herbal products (Herbal Medicinal Product Committee—HPMC) is to prepare a detailed list of monographs and processed herbal substances and preparations, which are in medical use for long enough time that their use is safe under normal conditions. The monograph contains the professional opinion of the Committee on a particular plant products based on scientific data or traditional use within the European Union (EU). For each plant, the substances are stated indications, speed, usage, and other relevant data concerning its safe use or composition that contains it. List and versions of monographs are available for public consultation [14]. In Europe, companies can apply for three different types of market authorization of an herbal medicinal products (HMPs):

  1. Full implementation. Manufacturer of a herbal drug must provide documentation proving its efficiency and safety, and studies are identical to those submitted for the registration of a synthetic drug.

  2. Well-established use. Manufacturer of a herbal drug may be permitted to register, on the basis of the submitted detailed scientific literature, stating that the herbal medicinal preparation is in use for medical purposes not less than 10 years in Europe and has recognized efficiency and an acceptable level of safety.

  3. Traditional use. Efficiency and safety of a herbal drug can be accepted on the basis of long experience. Herbal remedies can be registered, if the documents prove their use in mitigating certain ailments, not less than 30 years, with at least 15 years in Europe.

The registration procedure for herbal medicines, at all levels of the European Union (EU), is done according to European Directive 2004/24/EC, which introduces simplified, but strictly defined procedures and affects the harmonization of existing national legislative regulations. Regarding the registration in the non-EU countries, despite the efforts made within the framework of national legislation and harmonization in larger systems, a limited number of herbal medicines have been registered. Therefore, the identification of problems and discrepancies and the systematic plan for overcoming them represent a major challenge for the presence of these herbal drugs on the market of EU countries [15].

In Republic of Serbia, legislation on plant products is harmonized with recommendations of The European Directive 2004/24/EC. Law on medicines and medical devices (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 30/2010), Regulation on health safety of dietary products (Official Gazette of RS No. 45/2010), Guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practice, Annex 7- Manufacture of herbal medicines, are all in effect. According to the Law on medicines and medical devices, Herbal medicine, is each drug whose active ingredients are exclusively one or more substances of vegetable origin or one or more herbal preparations, or one or more substances of vegetable origin in combination with one or more herbal preparations. Traditional herbal medicine may be based on scientific principles and is the result of tradition or other traditional therapeutic approaches. The active components of a herbal medicine/traditional herbal medicine are herbal drugs and herbal preparations and their combinations, and this is widely accepted in all European and national documents. In the context of food supplements (dietary supplements), a new the Regulation defines the notion of herbal dietary supplements. These are supplements that contain medicinal plants, their parts or preparations and their quantity in a daily dose of the product should not be less than 15% and greater than 65% compared to a known therapeutic dose of these plant materials or preparations.

2.5. Parameters of quality and quality control

The quality of each final product is ensured by the standard quality of raw materials, the application of validated production processes and procedures on validated equipment. It is similar with herbal remedies, which are made of high-quality herbal raw materials, extractive preparations (extracts and tinctures) and isolates (essential oil and fatty oil). The latest European Pharmacopoeia Ph Eur 8 comprises 270 Monographs on herbal drugs and herbal drug preparations [16]. Monographs define parameters of quality control.

2.5.1. Quality control of herbal drugs

The basis of high-quality herbal remedies is the plant material of a standard quality. Many factors affect the quality of plant material. Regardless of whether the medicinal plants are grown or collected from the wild, biogenetic factors are certainly important (species, variety, chemotype, and sorta). The following are the conditions in which a plant grows as air, climate, land, then agro-technical measures that are applied during the large-scale production (proper sowing, irrigation, fertilization, control against weed and pests), and then collection from the wild or harvest of the plantation, transport, proper storage, drying, and grinding. It is very important to educate people how to deal with the collection of herbal raw materials from spontaneous flora, as well as those who grow the plants, whether they are doing so in the conventional conditions or organic conditions of medicinal plants production. Quality control of herbal raw materials is strictly defined and traceable. First, the identification of plant raw materials is approached. Responsible and expert persons in laboratories for the pharmaceutical control or in other relevant institutions, conduct identification, and categorization under a certain number.

Table 1 gives a list of parameters of quality control of herbal drugs by Ph Eur 8.0, based on whose defined border values the quality of herbal drugs can be determined. For all the aforementioned parameters, Pharmacopoeia prescribes the procedure. Any organization deals with herbs, forming his specs-attests that rely on the requirements of the applicable European Pharmacopoeia, standards, national regulations, and internal regulations. Definition includes biological source of drug, the Latin name of the genus and species, and the minimum amount of essential oil in the case of aromatic drugs or the minimum quantities of active substances to which the drug is declared. Characteristics define appearance, odor, taste, and solubility. Identification in addition to macroscopic analysis (organoleptic inspection), which includes appearance, color, odor, and microscopic analysis, is carried out for certain herbal drugs, followed by chemical analysis (specific chemical reactions and thin-layer chromatography (TLC)). Predicted tests include water, loss on drying, total ash, foreign matter, swelling index, microbiological purity, bitterness value, starch, and broken drug. Assay includes essential oils, tannins, declared active substance (gas chromatography (GC), GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), liquid chromatography (LC), and UV-VIS spectroscopy). For the evaluation of herbal raw materials quality, in addition to the determination of microbiological safety, complete analysis of the health safety is often performed, according to the current regulations (which includes not only the results of physical, physicochemical, and chemical tests but also organoleptic findings, preservatives, sweeteners, mycotoxins, metals and metalloids, pesticide residue, microbiological tests, and radioactivity).

1. Definition: the name of the herbal drugs and content of active substances
2. Characters: appearance, taste, odor, solubility
3. Identification: macroscopic and microscopic examination, TLC
4. Tests: water, loss on drying, total ash, foreign matter, insoluble matter, extractable matter, swelling index, microbial contamination, bitterness value, broken drug
5. Assay: essential oils, tannins, declared active substances (GC, LC, UV/VIS)

1. Definition: standardized dry extract prepared from..., content of active substances
2. Production: method of extraction and solvents
3. Characters: appearance
4. Identification: TLC
5. Tests: loss on drying, total ash, microbial contamination
6. Assay: declared active substances (LC)

1. Definition: liquid extract produced from …, and content of active substances
2. Production: method of extraction and solvents
3. Characters: appearance, taste, odor
4. Identification: TLC
5. Tests: ethanol, methanol and 2-propanol, loss on drying, microbial contamination
6. Assay: declared active substances (LC, UV/VIS)

1. Definition: tincture produced from…, and content of active substances
2. Production: method of extraction and solvents
3. Characters: appearance, taste, odor
4. Identification: TLC
5. Tests: ethanol, methanol and 2-propanol, dry residue, microbial contamination
6. Assay: declared active substances (LC, UV/VIS)

1. Definition: essential oil obtained by …, and content of dominant components
2. Production: method of extraction and solvents
3. Characters: appearance, odor, solubility
4. Identification: TLC and chromatographic profile (GC and GC-MS)
5. Tests: relative density, refractive index, optical rotation, chromatographic profile

Table 1.

Parameters of quality control of herbal drugs and herbal preparations (Ph Eur 8).

2.5.2. Quality and quality control of extracts

The extracts are one of the most widely used herbal preparations. The extracts can be liquid, semi-solid, or solid consistency. They are most commonly made of dried and grained plant material. For the extract production various processes may be applied: maceration, percolation, extraction of the continuous, and so on. Nowadays, the procedure for extracting plant material by super critical fluids is increasingly in use [17−20]. Tinctures are extractive products which are usually obtained by the method of maceration.

The most often used extragents are ethanol, water, mixtures of water, and ethanol. The choice of solvent depends on the nature of ingredients that need to pass into the extract. In the product declaration, the ratio of components of the solvent mixture used for extraction must always be given. The quality of obtained extract depends on the plant material, the solvent, the drug/solvent ratio, and the extraction process technology. The process of extracts standardization is common. After the quantitative analysis, the extract is adjusted in order to contain a particular amount of an active compound or the group of compounds (or a marker compound) using an inert material or another extract [21]. Parameters of quality control of extracts are shown in Table 1. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the essential oils are carried out by methods GC and GC-MS according to regulation Ph Eur or modified method [22].

2.5.3. Quality and quality control of phytopreparations

When it comes to their quality matches the one defined for the individual drugs (Table 2). Quality control refers to the verification of the identity, the declared weight of packaging, and microbiological safety. In the case of their control refers to the verification of the identity of each herbal drug on the recipe, checking the declared weight relationship of the components and microbiological purity.

1. Identification
2. Appearance
3. Verification of components, declared mass ratio of components
4. Verification of package weight
5. Microbial contamination

(liquid extracts, tinctures, and mixtures of extracts or tinctures)
1. Identification
2. Appearance
3. Loss on drying
4. Content of ethanol
5. Relative density
6. Refractive index
7. Verification of package weight
8. Qualitative and quantitative analysis
9. Microbiological contamination and/or complete health safety control
1. Identification
2. Appearance
3. Verification of package weight
4. pH value
5. Microbiological contamination and/or complete health safety control
1. Identification
2. Appearance
3. Declared mass of single-dose preparations
4. Disintegration
5. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the declared active
6. Microbiological contamination and/or complete health safety control

Table 2.

Parameters of quality control of phytopreparation.

When a herbal remedy represents a , it is usually difficult to perform the quantitative analysis of active ingredients for each individual extract. For these preparations, the content analysis of active substances for which the preparation is declared is conducted (LC, UV-VIS spectroscopy, GC and GC-MS spectrometry, infrared (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), etc.). Also, in principal, a manufacturer appends the typical fingerprint of chromatogram, spectrum, or some other physical parameter, of the preparation ingredient, which may be used by a control laboratory for identification. This approach can also be used for the quantitative analysis of the preparation.

(herbal gel, cream, and ointment) are checked for authentication, filling, pH, and microbiological purity. For (capsules, tablets, etc.), a control is performed for each individual dose. Control for these forms of herbal remedies includes authentication, appearance, the declared weight of the package, or of the each individual dose of the preparation. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the declared active components, or a marker compound, of the preparation, are obligatory. For this analysis, similar (or appropriately modified) methods to the analysis of herbal drugs or extractive preparations are applied (if not according to Pharmacopoeia, these methods must be validated by the CPMP/ICH/281/95)s.

2.5.4. Monitoring of phytopreparation stability

Medicinal herbs and products based on medicinal herbs are very sensitive to external influences—the presence of elevated temperatures, moisture, and direct light. They are prone to reactions of oxidation, degradation, hydrolysis, and evaporation, so during the preparation of herbal remedies special attention must be placed to a number of factors that can affect the quality of the final product. In order to determine the stability of a product, to define storage conditions, and durability, stability tests are carried out, which include the investigation of the environmental factors effect on the change in the final product quality. Stability tests are performed at different stages of development and production. During the period of investigation, the first stress test is carried out, in order to select the most optimal, compatible excipients, and the best formulation. All raw materials used, excipients, active ingredients, and extraction products, are subject to stability testing and durability defining, for appropriate packaging and under certain environmental conditions. Stability is defined as the period during which the product remains within the set quality limits of the prescribed specification. In accordance with the requirements of the EMEA, various specific stability tests are placed for different herbal [23].

2.6. Planning and development of new herbal preparation

The formulation of a new herbal products is a process that has strictly defined phases and includes the work of several sectors of the company that is developing products based on medicinal herbs. The dynamics of the process is divided into stages, and they are completed by performing a multitude of necessary activities. Of course, the scope of new product development depends on the complexity of the galenic form of the new herbal preparation. All steps are defined in the documents of quality standards and other regulations of the company (Figure 1).

Furthermore, the procedures of developing a new herbal preparation will be explained on the example of the development of herbal remedies in the Institute for Medicinal Plant Research "Dr Josif Pancic," Belgrade, Republic of Serbia (the Institute).

Stages in the development of new herbal products have their logical sequence. Administration, management, the sales department, and the demand of patients expressed through visits to our herbal pharmacies may suggest the need for a new preparation, to the department of pharmaceutical research and development. Management gives the order to the department of pharmaceutical research and development, to create a team that will be allocated to the project and appoint a project manager.

Project manager, who is usually a doctor of pharmaceutical sciences in the field of pharmacognosy, forms a team, writes, and presents a plan for a new product development. The plan, according to the system of quality management, must contain general information: project name, the subject of research, description of development activities, the aim of the research, the necessary equipment, an indication of the place of realization of activities, project duration, and start time of the applicability of the project results. The second segment is represented through dynamic activities (through phases) and the engagement of researchers (throughout activities phases). The third segment is the planning of all material costs for the development of a new herbal remedy. When management of the Institute approves the presented plan for developing a new product, project manager starts with its execution.

The beginning phase represents preformulation studies. Market analysis and the review of relevant literature are very complex. It covers the activities of the Institution’s herbal pharmacies that collect patients' requirements, commercial department, which collects data on herbal remedies from the observed therapeutic groups in the domestic and foreign markets. Analysis of relevant literature includes search for relevant directives and monographs, scientific, technical papers, patents, and so on.

When all relevant data are collected, an expert research team approaches the formulation of a recipe. The recipe for herbal remedies and the content of active substances, which will be declared in the preparation, depends on the plan for a herbal product registration. In addition to the selection of galenical form, auxiliary materials are also selected at this stage. Of course, the recipe is subject to small corrections during the production process.

Further on, laboratories are included in the process of preparations formulation. Analysis of active substances in the selected plant raw materials and quality control prescribed by Pharmacopoeia or other relevant document are performed. Then, the quality control of semi-final product is conducted. In the case of capsules, the analysis of the active substance in dry extract is performed, and also the analysis of other parameters that define its quality, and that is defined by Pharmacopoeia monographs or summarized in an internal specification or a certificate.

Afterwards, the preparation formulation is conducted (formulation of teas or herbal drops, herbal creams, capsules, etc.). In addition to the main plant raw materials, secondary raw materials are selected, which will synergistically facilitate the functioning of the dominant plant drugs, and auxiliary pharmaceutical raw materials are selected. Auxiliary raw materials are used as the basis for semi-solid galenic forms (creams, ointments, and gels), and capsule fillers (for the preparation of granules—mass for the capsule filling).

When the herbal remedy is designed, all laboratory examinations are carried out, as prescribed in specifications. The determination of the average capsule weight is performed, also the determination of active ingredients per capsule, stability testing for active substances per capsule, the capsule dissolution testing, and testing of complete health safety.

From the Intellectual Property Office, the search “recharge” is required and then the protection of the preparation name. The proposal for the primary and secondary packaging graphic layout is carried out. Technological documentation gets completed (processes specifications, recipes, and norms). After the test production of capsules, the production of capsules is introduced into regular production. The validation of technological processes, the validation of equipment, and the validation of laboratory methods are performed. Registration documentation, report writing, and the presentation of results are being prepared.

When the preparation is produced and packed in its primary and secondary packaging, quality testing of the final product is conducted (tea blends and herbal drops, ointments, and capsules). Quality testing is conducted according to the attest or the specification of the final product. It is necessary to examine the complete health safety of the preparation. The stability of the active substance is also monitored, to determine and define the expiration date.

Along with a new preparation production, the writing of technical documentation that represents the preparation file is carried out. The specifications of raw materials, semi-final products, and auxiliary materials are written. In order to define the dose for preparations, it is necessary to determine the range of content of the active substance. This is achieved by validation of the process, on the validated equipment.

Finally, the registration documents are prepared. The scope of the documentation is correlated with the desired herbal remedies group for registration (herbal medicine, traditional herbal medicine, or dietary supplement). If it is planned to register a new product as a herbal medicine or a traditional herbal medicine, then the instructions of the EMEA monographs need to be followed. If it is planned to register a new product as a dietary supplement, then the dose needs to be below 65% of the therapeutic dose.

Development of different galenic form of herbal remedies is presented in the following examples.

2.6.1. Mono-component tea

Herb yarrow L. is highly regarded medicinal and aromatic plant and has a long traditional use. According to WHO monograph, yarrow exhibits antibacterial, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, antispasmodic, and antiviral activity. According to the Commission E monograph and the EMEA, yarrow is traditionally used only for temporary loss of appetite, mild spasmodic complaints of the digestive organs, bloating, flatulence, and externally as a bath with problems in the lower abdomen in women, and with superficial wounds [24].

The process of making mono-component tea from yarrow takes place in the following stages:

  1. Purchase of high-quality herbal material (overground top part of the blooming herb), which meets the quality parameters as prescribed by Pharmacopoeia.

  2. Grinding the herb up to a prescribed degree of fragmentation. Grinded herbal drug as a semi-final product is controlled on the microbiological safety, which is performed in accordance with the relevant regulations for tea and Pharmacopoeia requirements.

  3. Following the positive results obtained from the pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories, chopped herbal drug is placed in packaging.

  4. Final product, mono-component yarrow tea, is sent for the control to pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories. Pharmaceutical laboratory confirms the authentication and filling volume.

  5. When a controlled product receives the confirmation that corresponds to the standard quality, it is dispatched to the warehouse of final products and further distributed to pharmacies and other places.

The user manual is adapted to the prescribed use as a traditional herbal medicinal: as a means of relieving complaints of the digestive system, improve appetite, eliminate gases, regulating the secretion of bile, pains and cramps in the stomach, with the amenorrhea.

2.6.2. Tea for weight loss in filter bags (1.5 g)

For this indication, herbal drugs that have diuretic and laxative effect have been selected on one hand, and on the other hand, we have drugs that aid digestion and herbal drugs rich in polyphenols as potent antioxidants and vitamin C. The following herbal drugs are included in equal parts (ana partes) in the mixture composition: , and . The mixture of herbs whose active ingredients regulate digestion and excretion of urine, stimulate metabolism, and facilitate the breakdown of fat, and thus contribute to the cleansing and detoxification of body. Its is recommended as a supplement in weight loss diets and for helping to reduce and maintain a desired weight.

The process of making tea for weight loss in filter bags is as follows:

  1. Purchase of high-quality individual herbal material and quality control of parameters as prescribed by Pharmacopoeia.

  2. Grinding the herb up to a prescribed degree of fragmentation. Grinded herbal drugs are controlled on the microbiological safety and Pharmacopoeia requirements (appearance, moisture content, content of essential oils, impurities, and degree of fragmentation).

  3. Following the positive results obtained from the pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories, homogeneous mixing of grinded herbal drugs is carried out, and then in the machine for tea bags, bags are filled with the contents. Afterwards, they are placed in special filter bags and packaging.

  4. Final product, herbal mixture in filter bags, is sent for the control to pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories. Pharmaceutical laboratory confirms the authentication and filling volume of tea bags and the number of tea bags in a packaging.

  5. When a controlled product receives the confirmation that corresponds to the standard quality, it is dispatched to the warehouse of final products and further distributed to pharmacies and other places.

2.6.3. Herbal drops for weight loss

Herbal drops, meant to regulate body weight, represent a combination of tinctures and herbal extracts, whose active ingredients stimulate the metabolism, have a beneficial impact on digestion, and eliminate the excess fluids from the body. The composition of herbal drops includes .

The process of making herbal drops at the Institute, takes place as follows:

  1. Purchase of high-quality individual herbal material and quality control of parameters as prescribed by Pharmacopoeia.

  2. Grinding the herb up to a prescribed degree of fragmentation. Grinded herbal drugs are controlled on the microbiological safety and pharmacopoeia requirements.

  3. Following the positive results obtained from the laboratories, homogeneous mixing tinctures and extract, filtered, and then filled into glass bottles.

  4. Final product is sent for the control to pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories.

  5. When a controlled product receives the confirmation that corresponds to the standard quality, it is dispatched to the warehouse of final products and further distributed to pharmacies and other places.

2.6.4. Herbal cream with extract of comfrey: Comfrey gel

The root of comfrey represents a very important medicinal herb raw material. According to the Commission E monograph, it is used for blunt injuries. According to EMEA, the traditional use of herbal preparations, it is used in semi-solid-dosage forms for cutaneous use. Traditional herbal medicinal remedy is also used for the symptomatic treatment of minor sprains and bruises. Gel with 10% propylene glycol extract of comfrey root ((1: 7)) containing mucus, tannins, saponosides, and allantoin improves epithelialization, drainage, and tissue regeneration. It has a beneficial effect with swellings, hematoma, fractures, sport injuries, and posttraumatic conditions. It should not be applied to open and infected wounds.

The production process of Comfrey gel is performed in the following stages:

  1. Purchase of high-quality herbal material and quality control of parameters, as prescribed by Pharmacopeia selection of high-quality pharmaceutical raw materials according to the manufacturer attest.

  2. Grinding of comfrey root and producing the liquid extract with propylene glycol with a method of percolation. The resulting extract is controlled to authentication, relative density, and microbiological safety.

  3. Liquid extract of comfrey, after the processing procedure is incorporated into the semi-solid base, and then filled into tubes. The final product, herbal gel from the roots of comfrey, is sent to the control to laboratories.

  4. When a controlled product receives confirmation that corresponds to the standard quality, it is dispatched to the warehouse of final products and further distributed.

2.6.5. Herbal capsules ODOVAL S®, herbal sedative

Herbal product is used for the defense of organism against the effects of daily stress.

Valerian root () has a long traditional use. It is approved by Commission E to help combat restless states and difficulties falling asleep caused by nervousness. According to EMEA monograph, it has a well-established use as a herbal medicinal remedy for the relief of mild nervous tension and sleep disorders.

Melissa leaf () is a favorite vegetable drug that is used as a mild sedative, carminative, antispasmodic, and aromatic. The EMEA monograph only credits with a traditional use: it is considered to be a traditional herbal medicinal remedy for relief of mild symptoms of mental stress and to aid sleep and for symptomatic treatment of mild gastrointestinal. Capsules of this herbal sedative are designed to have the as a dominant component, with the synergistic effects of .

Odoval S® is a herbal remedy meant for maintaining mental balance. It contains extracts of valerian root and lemon balm leaf, medicinal plants traditionally used for their calming properties. The active ingredients of these extracts have a favorable effect on alleviating anxiety and irritability, facilitate sleep, and establishment of natural sleep patterns. Odoval S® can be used as a valuable help in alleviating various symptoms caused by chronic stress (mental tension and anxiety during the day, irritability, and feelings of worry).

In the Institute , the production process of capsules is carried out in the following stages:

  1. Purchase of high-quality herbal raw material of and and quality control on parameters, as prescribed by Pharmacopeia.

  2. Production of dry extracts: and in the circular extractor, according to the specifications of the process.

  3. The resulting dry extract is controlled as a semi-final product to authentication, moisture content, and microbiological safety.

  4. Controlled dry extracts, along with additional pharmaceutical materials, are used to produce granulate (mass for encapsulation). Granulate, as a semi-final product, also goes to the control to pharmaceutical and microbiological laboratories. Pharmacopoeial method is used to determine the content of valeric acid [2].

  5. Upon obtaining the results of quality control, encapsulation, that is, automatic filling of gelatin capsules with prepared granulate, is conducted. Capsules are forwarded in the glass jars, and then into the boxes.

  6. The final phytopreparation is sent to the control to laboratories. The following parameters are determined: properties, number of capsules in a package, the average weight of the capsule content, uniformity of mass capsule, identification of valeric acid LC and TLC for lemon balm, disintegration of capsules, and microbiological safety. The product is sent to the analysis of the complete health safety.

  7. When results confirm the quality according to certificates and specifications, the final product is dispatched to the warehouse of final products and afterwards distributed to pharmacies and other places.


3. Conclusions and perspectives

Natural products discovered so far have played a vital role in improving the human health and have been the drugs of choice despite facing a tough competition from compounds obtained by chemical procedures, due to their safety and efficacy. The most striking feature of natural products in connection to their long-lasting importance in drug discovery is their structural diversity that is still largely untapped [1].

Comprehensive development of science and technology, able to produce high-quality herbal medicines, is greatly improved in recent decades. The acceptance of herbal medicine as a natural and gentle alternative to synthetic drugs is very high in public in developed countries and, from a global perspective, unit sales of herbal medicines is constantly growing. However, we still face many problems in these areas [2].

A comprehensive approach to these problems, the state of the field of medicinal plants and herbal remedies, can be repaired. A better education of people is involved in the collection and cultivation of medicinal plants on the necessity of obtaining plant raw material of high quality. In particular, it should encourage the concept of organic production herbal products. Producers should be required to produce only quality-assured medicines.

Improved harmonization of regulatory classification of herbal preparations in the world would inevitably lead to greater transparency and consistency of the market.

Special attention should be paid to improving knowledge about the benefits of rational phytotherapy, particularly evidence-based phytotherapy, health workers, especially doctors.

The aim of all efforts would be to improve the overall awareness of the possibilities of choice in prevention and treatment and can judge the effectiveness of the use of medicinal herbs and herbal preparations.

How to cite and reference

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Sofija M. Djordjevic (March 15th 2017). From Medicinal Plant Raw Material to Herbal Remedies, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants - Back to Nature, Hany A. El-Shemy, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/66618. Available from:

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Top 10 Best Medicinal Herbs - For Health \u0026 Vitality

Herb and Medicinal Plants Growing Guide Chart

New here? I invite you to subscribe to my Free Newsletter for exclusive tips on growing a healthy food garden. As a bonus, you'll get 2 x Herb and Container Gardening eBooks (valued at $10) as Welcome Gifts! Thanks for visiting and ‘dig in’!

Welcome back! Have you visited the free Article Library? You'll also find helpful Gardening Guides here. Dig in!

Herb and Medicinal Plants Growing Guide Chart

This Guide introduces 72 useful herbs. Most of them can be grown in the home herb garden. Knowing what to grow, where and when will help make your garden more productive and enjoyable. The easy-to-follow chart format makes it easy to find important information, even for a novice gardener. With a little effort, you can grow culinary and medicinal herbs throughout the year.

The Herb and Medicinal Plants Growing Guide Chart discusses 72 plants in detail. It features:

  • medicinal benefits;
  • planting position and soil;
  • plant and row distances;
  • uses, warnings and climate;
  • soil and aspect requirements
  • climate regions of Australia and New Zealand; and
  • 10 useful considerations for the herb garden.

If you’re interested in growing a healing home Pharmacy Garden, even on a small scale in pots, this resource is a great place to start. It covers annual, perennial, biennial and evergreen herbs and plants, providing many options for all climates.

The layout is a full colour, laminated fold-out chart designed to be used as a reference guide for many years. Approx. A4 size when closed, it unfolds to 8 pages of condensed and well-researched information to have at your fingertips. Benefit from this Guide for your personal health, as a gift or for profit. Watch a brief video with an overview of this guide.

Dimensions: 27.5 x 19.5cm (10.8″ x 7.6″) when closed. Measures 78cm x 27.5cm (30.7″ x 10.8″) when fully open.

3rd Edition. Designed by Stefan Mager. Published by Aracaria Guides. ISBN10 0980594839; ISBN13 9780980594836.

Sours: https://themicrogardener.com/product/herb-and-medicinal-plants-growing-guide-chart/

Herbs chart healing


NB: (Fam - Family, T - Tree, H - Herb, C - Climber, S- shrub)

PlantCommon name / Maturity periodBotanical Name or FamilyParts UsedAverage Price( Rs. / Kg )Medicinal UseEmblica officinalisAmla ( T )After 4th yearEmblica officinalis
Fam - euphorbiaceacFruitRs 15 - 45/kgVitamin - C, Cough , Diabetes, cold, Laxativ, hyper acidity.AshokAshok ( T )10 years onwardSaraca Asoca
Fam : CaesalpinanceacBark FlowerDry Bark Rs 125/kgMenstrual Pain, uterine, disorder, Deiabetes.AswagandhaAswagandha ( H ), One yearWithania Somnifera
Fam: SolanaccacRoot, LeafsRs 140/ KgRestorative Tonic, stress, nerves disorder, aphrodiasiac.Aegle marmelousBael / Bilva (T)After 4-5 yearAegle marmelous
Fam: RutaccacFruit, BarkFruit - Rs 125 / kg
Pulp - Rs 60 / KgDiarrrhoea, Dysentry, Constipation.Phyllanthous amarusBhumi Amla ( H), with in one yearPhyllanthous amarus
Fam : euphorbiaccacWhole PlantRs 40 / KgAenimic, jaundice, Dropsy.Bacopa, MonieriBrahmi ( H ) Indian penny worth/one yearBacopa,Monnieri
Fam: ScrophulariaccacWhole plantRs 20 per kgNervous, Memory enhancer,mental disorder.ChiraitaChiraita ( high altituted) with in one year ( H )Swertia Chiraita
Fam : GentianaccacWhole PlantRs 300-350 / per kgSkin Desease, Burning, censation, fever.GudmarGudmar / madhunasini, after Four year ( C )Gymnema Sylvestre
Fam: AsclepiadaccacLeavesRs 50 -75 per kgDiabetes, hydrocil, Asthama.GuggulGuggul ( T)after 8 yearsCommiphora Wightii
Fam: burseraccacGum rasineRs 80 - 100 per kgRheuma tised, arthritis, paralysis, laxative.Tinospora CordifoliaFamGuluchi / Giloe ( C )With in one yearTinospora CordifoliaFamStemRs 20 - 25 per kgGout, Pile, general debility, fever, Jaundice.Gloriosa superbaCalihari / panchanguliaGlori Lily Five yearsGloriosa superba
Fam: LiliaccacSeed, tuberRs 60Skin Desease, Labour pain, Abortion, General debility.KalmeghKalmegh/ Bhui neem ( H ) with in one yearAndrographis PaniculataFam : scanthaccacWhole PlantRs 12 - 20Fever, weekness, release of gas.Peeper longumLong peeper / Pippali ( C ) after two to three yearsPeeper longum
Fam : PiperaccacFruit, RootRs 100 - 150 per kg
Root - 150 per kgAppetizer, enlarged spleen , Bronchities, Cold, antidote.MakoiMakoi ( H )Kakamachi/ With in one yearSolanum nigrum
Fam: SolanaccacFruit/whole plantRs 40 per kg
Seed - 200 per kgDropsy, General debility,Diuretic, anti dysenteric.Coleus barbatusPashan Bheda / Pathar Chur ( H )One yearColeus barbatus
Fam : LamiaccacRootRs 40-50 per kgKidny stone, Calculus.Santalum AlbumSandal Wood ( T )Thirty years onwardSantalum Album
Fam: santalinaccacHeart wood , oilRs 350 per kgSkin disorder, Burning, sensation, Jaundice, Cough.Sarpa GandhaSarpa Gandha ( H )After 2 yearRanwolfia Serpentina
Fam: apocynaccacRootRoot - Rs 60 per kg
Seed - Rs 300 per kgHyper tension, insomnia.Asparagus RacemosusSatavari ( C )After 2-3 yearAsparagus Racemosus
Family: liliaccacTuber, rootRs 20 -50 per kgEnhance lactation, general weekness, fatigue, cough.SennaSenna ( S )With in 1 yearCasia augustifolia
Fam: LiliaceaeDry TubersRs 500/kg seed
Rs1200/kg dryRheumatism, general debility tonic, aphrodisiac.Ocimum sanclumTulsi (perennial) Each 3 monthsOcimum sanclum
Fam: LamiaccacLeaves/SeedLeaves Rs 10/kgCough, Cold, bronchitis,expectorand.Vai VidankaVai Vidanka ( C ), 2nd year onwardEmbelia Ribes
Fam: MyrsinaccacRoot, Fruit, LeavesRs 40-50 per kgSkin disease, Snake Bite, Helminthiasis.Mentha pipertiaPippermint ( h) PerennialMentha pipertia
Fam:LamiaccacLeaves, Flower, Oil-Digestive, Pain killer.Lawsennia iermisHenna/Mehdi ( S ) 1/25 yearsLawsennia iermis
Fam: lytharaceaeLeaf,Flower, SeedL - 50 /kgPowder-Rs75 perkgBurning, Steam, Anti Imflamatary.Aloe VerraGritkumari ( H) 2nd-5th yrAloe Verra
Fam: LiliaceaeLeavesFresh L- Rs 5 kgJuice 90 Per KgLaxative, Wound healing, Skin burns & care,Ulcer.Vincea roseaSada Bahar ( H ) Periwinkle/NyantaraVincea rosea/ catharanthusRoseus
Fam :apocyanaceWhole PlantR-Rs50 per kgL- Rs 25S- Rs 10 kgLeaukamia, Hypotensiv, Antispasmodic , Atidot.Eclipta albaVringraj ( H )Eclipta alba
Fam: CompositaeSeed/wholePowder-Rs 60/kgAnti-inflamatory, Digestive, hairtonic.Plumbago ZeylanicaSwet chitrak
Perennial ( h )Plumbago Zeylanica
Fam: PlumbaginaceaeRoot, Rootbar-Appetiser, Antibacterial, Aticacer.Plumbago IndicaRakta Chitrak ( H )Plumbago Indica
Fam : plumbaginaceaeRoot, Root bar-Indyspeipsia, colic, imflammation, cough.Strychinos nuxvomicaKochila ( T )15 yrsStrychinos nuxvomica
Fam: loganiaceaeSeed-Nervous, Paralysis, healing wound.Terminalia ChebulaHarida ( T )Terminalia Chebula
Fam: CombretaceaeSeedRs. 80 per K
PowderTrifala, wound ulcer, leprosy, inflammation, Cough.Terminalia BellericaBahada (T)TerminaliaBellerica
Fam:comretaceaeSeed, BarkFruit - Rs 20/k
Powder- Rs 100/kCough, Insomnia, Dropsy, Vomiting, Ulcer, Trifala.Tribulus TerrestrisGokhur ( H ) CrawlingPuncture Vine/1 yrTribulus Terrestris
Fam: LygophyllaceaeWhole PlantPlant-Rs 10/K
Fruit -Rs 15/kSweet cooling, Aphrodisiac, appetizer, Digestive, Urinary.Azardirchata – indicaNeem ( T )Azardirchata - indica
Fam : MahaceaeRhizomeRs 45/kSdedative, analgesic, epilepsy, hypertensive.Hemibi smus IndicusAnantamool/sariva ( S )Indian Sarap sarillaHemibi smus Indicus
Fam: AsclepiadaceaeRoot/ LeafRs 45/k root
Rs 90/kPowderAppetiser, Carminative, aphrodisiac, Astringent.Acorus CalamusBach ( H )
Sweet Flag/1 yrAcorus Calamus
Fam : araceaeRhizomeRs 45/KSdedative, analgesic, tpilepsy, hypertensive.Adhatoda vesicaVasa ( S )Adhatoda vesica
Fam : SacanthaceaeWhole PlantLeaf - Rs 25/ kAntispasmodic, respiratory, Stimulant.Mesua FerreaNageswar ( T ) Nag ChampaMesua Ferrea
Fam : GuttiferaeBark, Leaf, FlowerFlower - Rs 120/k
Powder Rs 175/kAsthma, Skin, Burning, Vomiting, Dysentry, Piles.Vetiveria ZiziinoidesBenachar ( S ) Khus/khusVetiveria Ziziinoides
Fam : Toaceae / GraminaeRootFlower - Rs 120/k
Powder Rs 175/kHyperdisia, Burning, ulcer, Skin, Vomiting.Centella asiaticaMandukparni ( H )
IndianpennywortCentella asiatica
Fam : UmdelliferaeWhole plant-Antiinflamatory, Jundice, Diuretic, Diarrhoea.Mucuna TruriensKaincha/CreeperBaidankaMucuna Truriens
Fam : FabaceaeRoot, Hair, Seed, Leaf-Nervous, Disorder, Constipation, Nephroaphy, Strangury, Dropsy.Cinnamomum ZeylanicumDalchini
Perenial ShrubCinnamomum Zeylanicum
Fam : LauraceaeBark, Oil-Bronchitis, Asthma, Cardiac, Disorder, Fever.Holarrhena antidysentericaKurai ( S )Holorheena antidysentrica
Fam:apocyaceaceaeBark, Seed-Scabies, Antipyretic, Amoibic dysentery.Solanum XanthocarpumKantakari / AkrantiPerennial ( H )Solanum Xanthocarpum
Fam : SolanaceaeWhole Plant, Fruit, Seed-Diuretic, Antiinflamatory, Appetiser, Stomachic.
Sours: https://www.odishafdc.com/products_medicinal_plants.php
Top 100 Best Healing Medicinal Herbs, Spices And Plants Names, Health Benefits And Medicinal Uses

10 Delicious Herbs and Spices With Powerful Health Benefits

The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history.

Many were celebrated for their medicinal properties, well before culinary use.

Modern science has now shown that many of them do indeed carry remarkable health benefits.

Here are 10 of the world’s healthiest herbs and spices, supported by research.

1. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Cinnamon is a popular spice, found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods.

It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties (1).

Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (, , ).

But where cinnamon really shines is in its effects on blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity (, , , ).

Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugars by 10-29% in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount (, , ).

The effective dose is typically 0.5-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, or 1-6 grams.

You can read more about the impressive health benefits of cinnamon in this article.

Bottom Line: Cinnamon has numerous health benefits, and is particularly effective at lowering blood sugar levels.

2. Sage Can Improve Brain Function and Memory

Sage gets its name from the Latin word Salvere, which means “to save.”

It had a strong reputation for its healing properties during the middle ages, and was even used to help prevent the plague.

Current research indicates that sage may be able to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is accompanied by a drop in the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine ().

In a 4-month study of 42 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, sage extract was shown to produce significant improvements in brain function ().

Other studies have also shown that sage can improve memory function in healthy people, both young and old (14, ).

Bottom Line: There is promising evidence that sage extract can improve brain and memory function, especially in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Peppermint Relieves IBS Pain and May Reduce Nausea

Peppermint has a long history of use in folk medicine and aromatherapy.

As is the case with many herbs, it is the oily component that contains the agents responsible for the health effects.

Many studies have shown that peppermint oil can improve pain management in irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS (, , ).

It appears to work by relaxing the smooth muscles in the colon, which relieves pain experienced during bowel movements. It also helps to reduce abdominal bloating, which is a common digestive symptom (, 20).

There are also some studies showing that peppermint in aromatherapy can help fight nausea.

In a study of over 1,100 women in labor, peppermint aromatherapy caused significant reductions in nausea. It has also been shown to reduce nausea after surgery and C-section births (, , , ).

Bottom Line: The natural oil in peppermint provides pain relief for those with IBS. It also has potent anti-nausea effects when used in aromatherapy.

4. Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

It contains several compounds with medicinal properties, the most important of which is curcumin ().

Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (, 27, , 29, ).

This is important, because oxidative damage is believed to be one of the key mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.

Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory, to the point where it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs ().

Given that long-term, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease, it is not suprising to see that curcumin is linked to a variety of health benefits.

Studies suggest that it can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer’s, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and relieve arthritis, to name a few (32, , , , ).

Here is an article about the many incredible health benefits of turmeric/curcumin.

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has major benefits for many aspects of health.

5. Holy Basil Helps Fight Infections and Boosts Immunity

Not to be confused with regular basil or thai basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India.

Studies show that holy basil can inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and molds (, ).

One small study also found that it can boost function of the immune system by increasing certain immune cells in the blood ().

Holy basil is also linked to reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression (, ).

However, these studies were quite small, and more research is needed before any recommendations can be made.

Bottom Line: Holy basil appears to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds.

6. Cayenne Pepper Contains Capsaicin, Which Helps Reduce Appetite and May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper used to prepare spicy dishes.

The active ingredient in it is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in many studies (, , , , , ).

For this reason, it is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study found that adding 1 gram of red pepper to meals reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who did not regularly eat peppers ().

However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a tolerance to the effects can build up.

Some animal studies have also found capsaicin to combat certain forms of cancer, including lung, liver and prostate cancer (, , , ).

Of course, these observed anti-cancer effects are far from being proven in humans, so take all of this with a big grain of salt.

Bottom Line: Cayenne pepper is very rich in a substance called capsaicin, which reduces appetite and boosts fat burning. It has also shown anti-cancer potential in animal studies.

7. Ginger Can Treat Nausea and Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine.

Studies have consistently shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea.

This includes nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and sea sickness (, , , , , ).

Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with pain management ().

One study in subjects at risk for colon cancer found that 2 grams of ginger extract per day decreased markers for colon inflammation in the same way as aspirin ().

Other research found that a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil decreased pain and stiffness experienced by those with osteoarthritis. It had a similar effectiveness as treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen ().

Bottom Line: 1 gram of ginger appears to be an effective treatment for many types of nausea. It is also anti-inflammatory, and can help reduce pain.

8. Fenugreek Improves Blood Sugar Control

Fenugreek was commonly used in Ayurveda, particularly to enhance libido and masculinity.

While its effects on testosterone levels are inconclusive, fenugreek does seem to have beneficial effects on blood sugar.

It contains the plant protein 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which can improve the function of the hormone insulin ().

Many human studies have shown that at least 1 gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics (, , , , ).

Bottom Line: Fenugreek has been shown to improve the function of insulin, leading to significant reductions in blood sugar levels.

9. Rosemary Can Help Prevent Allergies and Nasal Congestion

The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid.

This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion.

In a study with 29 individuals, both 50 and 200 mg doses of Rosmarinic acid were shown to suppress allergy symptoms ().

The number of immune cells in nasal mucus also decreased, with reduced congestion.

Bottom Line: Rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory effects that appear to suppress allergy symptoms and reduce nasal congestion.

10. Garlic Can Combat Sickness and Improve Heart Health

Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its medicinal properties (69).

We now know that most of these health effects are due to a compound called allicin, which is also responsible for garlic’s distinct smell.

Garlic supplementation is well known for combatting sickness, including the common cold (, ).

If you often get colds, then adding more garlic to your diet could be incredibly helpful.

There is also convincing evidence for beneficial effects on heart health.

For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15% (, , ).

Human studies have also found garlic supplementation to cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (, , ).

In one study, it was just as effective as a blood pressure lowering drug ().

Covering all the incredible health benefits of garlic is beyond the scope of this article, but you can read about them here.

Sours: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-healthy-herbs-and-spices

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