AN OVERVIEW OF HERBAL FORMULATIONS: FROM PROCESSING TO PHARMACOVIGILANCEAbstract
Herbs have been a surviving unit since we were born on this planet. Currently, they are the most probed topic in the food industry or pharmacotherapy due to their multidimensional approach where one herb targets various diseases and proffers a wide range of health benefits. Moreover, some herbal supplements are merchandised globally, and people are devouring these products blithely to extract additional benefits. But taking any herbal formulation under unsupervised conditions may be subject to herbal toxicity. Hence, providing safe herbal supplements is a daunting challenge for various reasons: availability of unstandardized, contaminated, adulterated, loosely available, and unlabeled products, scanty regulations, herb-herb, and herb-drug interaction, and many others. The present article is enriched with past and most recent literature on processing crude herbs, the necessity of standardization of herbal products, the health benefits of standardized herbal medicines, and the toxicity of herbal formulations. The literature has also discussed a case study linked to herbal products, the importance of the pharmacovigilance system, and the challenges associated with the safety monitoring of herbal medicines, as reliable data on these aspects is still lacking. Thus, more investigation is needed for in-depth clarity. This review may provide an instructive insight that no therapeutic agents are free of toxic effects and may be associated with risk and beneficial effects. The article might be helpful for herbal users or other health practitioners and may serve as a stepping stone to promote further research.
Neha Singh, Meenakshi Garg * and Rajni Chopra
Department of Food Technology, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science, Dwarka, New Delhi, Delhi, India.
20 May 2022
05 July 2022
07 July 2022
01 February 2023