Research Guidelines for Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Herbal Medicines
(1993; 94 pages)
Table of Contents
View the documentFOREWORD
Open this folder and view contents1. INTRODUCTION
Close this folder2. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS IN HERBAL MEDICINE RESEARCH
View the documentLEGAL CONSIDERATIONS
Open this folder and view contentsETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
View the documentTRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE ON HERBAL MEDICINE
View the documentREGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
View the documentPURPOSES OF RESEARCH
View the documentSELECTION OF RESEARCH PROJECTS
View the documentRESEARCH APPROACHES
View the documentASSURING ACCESS TO RELEVANT DATABASES
View the documentEDUCATION
Open this folder and view contents3. RESEARCH STUDIES
Open this folder and view contents4. USING THE GUIDELINES
Open this folder and view contentsANNEXES
View the documentNOTES
View the documentBIBLIOGRAPHY
View the documentSELECTED WHO PUBLICATIONS OF RELATED INTEREST
 

RESEARCH APPROACHES

Research on herbal medicines in the past has generally been carried out by individual researchers working independently. One researcher may find an active principle whose pharmacological and toxicological properties are then further studied elsewhere. Finally, yet another group may decide to go directly to human studies.

A single multidisciplinary group may enable more rapid progress. In such a group the first step might be to collect information on folkloric experience whose scientific validity is then investigated. If appropriate pharmacodynamic studies seem to verify the traditional use, the group can begin to conduct more general pharmacological and toxicological tests to assure the safety of the medicinal product, which can then be tested in an initial clinical trial. Additional confirmatory clinical trials may be conducted if warranted.

In certain instances, the isolation of an active substance may be useful in order to provide an exact dosage. In many cases, however, the plant preparation as a whole is therapeutically effective even though the active principle is not known. The clinical investigation of the therapeutic activity of such crude preparations may be useful, because that activity may depend not only on a single substance but may be influenced by a large number of other components in the herbal medicine.

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