- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
- Quality and Safety: Medicines > Quality Assurance
(2003; 80 pages) [French] [Spanish]
1.4.1. Terms relating to herbal medicines:
The undesired introduction of impurities of a chemical or microbiological nature, or of foreign matter, into or on to a starting material or intermediate during production, sampling, packaging or repackaging, storage or transport.
1 The participants in the WHO Consultation on Good Agricultural and Field Collection Practices for Medicinal Plants (Geneva, 7-9 July 2003) recommended that radioactive impurities should also be included under contamination.
Contamination of a starting material, intermediate product or finished product by another starting material or product during production.
Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products. (7)
Herbs include crude plant material such as leaves, flowers, fruit, seed, stems, wood, bark, roots, rhizomes or other plant parts, which may be entire, fragmented or powdered.
Herbal materials2 (7)
Herbal materials include, in addition to herbs, fresh juices, gums, fixed oils, essential oils, resins and dry powders of herbs. In some countries, these materials may be processed by various local procedures, such as steaming, roasting, or stir-baking with honey, alcoholic beverages or other materials.
2 The participants in the WHO Consultation on Good Agricultural and Field Collection Practices for Medicinal Plants (Geneva, 7-9 July 2003) recommended that latexes, fats, and waxes should also be included in herbal materials. preparations made by steeping or heating herbal materials in alcoholic beverages and/or honey, or in other materials.
Herbal preparations (7)
Herbal preparations are the basis for finished herbal products and may include comminuted or powdered herbal materials, or extracts, tinctures and fatty oils of herbal materials. They are produced by extraction, fractionation, purification or concentration or by other physical or biological processes. They also include
Finished herbal products (7)
Finished herbal products consist of herbal preparations made from one or more herbs. If more than one herb is used, the term mixed herbal product can also be used. Finished herbal products and mixed herbal products may contain excipients in addition to the active ingredients. In some countries, herbal medicines may contain, by tradition, natural organic or inorganic active ingredients that are not of plant origin (e.g. animal materials and mineral materials). Generally, however, finished products or mixed products to which chemically defined active substances have been added, including synthetic compounds and/or isolated constituents from herbal materials, are not considered to be herbal.
Medicinal plant materials See Herbal materials
Medicinal plant: A plant (wild or cultivated) used for medicinal purposes. (3)