Regulations for herbal products in the member states

France has developed a list of 34 plants regarded as foods. These plants can be sold without registration. Combination of the herbs present in the list is allowed up to a maximum of eight herbs, but they must have the same claimed pharmacological indications or usage. There is also the category of traditional herbal medicines a list of 196 herbal ingredients that can be registered through a simplified pharmaceutical registration procedure. Mixtures containing herbs on this list are allowed if...

Introduction

Medicinal plants and their preparations have been used since the earliest history of humanity and have formed one of the foundations for healthcare in cultures throughout the world. Although herbal medicinal products have a long tradition, recognition of their clinical, pharmaceutical and economic value and the public's interest in them are still growing. The European Union represents the largest single commercial market for medicinal plants and herbal medicines in the world. The EU market for...

The chapters that follow

The chapters in this book have been compiled to provide an in-depth focus on supplements and supplement ingredients of plant origin. In the first half of the book, authors from the United States and Europe provide contrasting perspectives on the history, use, regulation and sources of information about these products. In particular, this volume includes chapters written by European scientists who have focused their research on plant bioactive compounds long before the DSHEA legislation in the...

Concluding remarks

Probably we must come to a pessimistic conclusion. Just to try to find a way to ameliorate the scenario, but without expecting to know the whole truth, it could be a reasonable proposal to extend as much as possible the Traditional Herbal Medicine Directive to give rules for most products. Furthermore, the application of this directive to herbal products will, probably, ameliorate the quality and safety level of these products. Herbals and herbal extracts, as a matter of fact, should be...