Since 1999, WHO has published four volumes of WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, totaling 116 monographs. Despite the increasing use of herbal medicines, there is still a significant lack of research data in this field, so the WHO monographs play a critical role. Moreover, the format of the WHO monographs is increasingly adopted for developing national monographs.
In the Newly Independent States (NIS) and Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE), consumers often favour herbal products. In order to meet demands of NIS countries to regulate herbal medicines and ensure their safety, efficacy and quality, WHO has provided technical guidance and worked with the national health authorities of interested NIS and CCEE to develop their own sub-regional monographs on commonly-used medicinal plants.
The NIS monographs provide comprehensive scientific information on the safety, efficacy and quality of the most commonly-used medicinal plants in the NIS. These NIS monographs employ the same format as the WHO monographs on medicinal plants.
This publication includes 30 monographs, which were formulated through the two following mechanisms:
- development of 13 new monographs to address unique medicinal plants commonly used in the NIS;
- adoption of 17 existing monographs from the four volumes of WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, which are identified as the most widely/commonly used in the NIS.
The monographs may serve as an authoritative source of information for national drug regulatory authorities, since they have been fully involved in the development of the monographs. However, it should also be emphasized that the descriptions included in the section on medicinal uses should not be taken as implying WHO’s official endorsement or approval, nor are they intended to replace any national monographs or national pharmacopoeia of medicinal plants. They merely represent the systematic collection of scientific information available at the time of preparation, for the purpose of information exchange.
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