A series of volumes, the WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants aims 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.
Each monograph follows a standard format with information presented in two parts followed by a reference list. The first part presents pharmacopoeial summaries for quality assurance. The second part includes sections on medicinal uses, pharmacology, safety issues, and dosage forms. The descriptions under the medicinal uses section merely represent, for purposes of information exchange, the systematic collection of scientific information available at the time of each volume’s preparation and should not be taken as having WHO’s official endorsement or approval.
Volume 1 contains 28 monographs published in 1999. Volume 2, published in 2003 includes 30 monographs. Volume 3 in this series was published in 2007 and includes 31 monographs. Volume 4, which was published in 2009, includes 28 monographs.
Each volume after Volume 1 has a general technical notice and two cumulative indexes to facilitate referencing; one lists the monographs in alphabetical order by plant name and the other according to the plant material of interest.
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