WHO published Volume 1 of the WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, containing 28 monographs, in 1999, Volume 2 including 30 monographs in 2002, and the third volume presenting 31 monographs in 2007. This fourth volume contains an additional collection of 28 monographs describing the quality control and use of selected medicinal plants.
Each monograph contains two parts, the first of which provides pharmacopoeial summaries for quality assurance purposes, including botanical features, identity tests, purity requirements, chemical assays and major chemical constituents. The second part, drawing on an extensive review of scientific research, describes the clinical applications of the plant material, with detailed pharmacological information and sections on contraindications, warnings, precautions, adverse reactions and dosage. Also included are six cumulative indexes to the four volumes, listing the monographs, the medicinal plant names, and the major chemical constituents.
The WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants aim to provide scientific information on the safety, efficacy, and quality control of widely used medicinal plants; provide models to assist Member States in developing their own monographs or formularies for these and other herbal medicines; and facilitate information exchange among Member States. WHO monographs, however, are not pharmacopoeial monographs, rather they are comprehensive scientific references for drug regulatory authorities, physicians, traditional health practitioners, pharmacists, manufacturers, research scientists and the general public.
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