AUTHENTICATION METHODS FOR DRUGS USED IN AYURVEDA, SIDDHA AND UNANI SYSTEMS OF MEDICINE: AN OVERVIEWAbstract
Traditional systems of medicine in India include Ayurveda,Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani and Siddha. Among them Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems (ASU) use plants, minerals and animal products as main drugs to cure various ailments. There has been a boom in the usage of ASU drugs and export is appreciably high in the last two decades. ASU drugs may vary in composition and properties, unlike conventional pharmaceutical products, which are usually prepared from synthetic, chemically pure materials by means of reproducible manufacturing techniques and procedures. Counterfeits and drugs of poor quality degrade the clinical effects of ASU drugs. Thus authentication is a critical step for successful and reliable clinical applications and for further experimental studies on ASU drugs. The authentication methods for herbal, mineral and marine products are discussed in detail which broadly include microscopy, spectroscopy, chromatography, chemometry, immunoassays, DNA fingerprinting etc. A simple method like organoleptic characteristics may hold good to authenticate certain drugs but some may require highly sophisticated techniques too, based on the adulterants and similarity in the chemical constituents. So it is in the hands of the researchers to choose the right method suitable for the drug of interest which would match the reference standard after confirmation from the traditional vaidhyas/practitioners. This article will address about the various common and sophisticated techniques used to authenticate drugs of plant, mineral and animal origin.
S. Sudha Revathy*, R. Rathinamala, M. Murugesan
Department of Gunapadam, National Institute of Siddha, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai 47, Tamil Nadu, India
28 March, 2012
03 May, 2012
21 July, 2012
01 August, 2012