Comparison of Various Herbal Pharmacopoeias

Comparison of Various Herbal Pharmacopoeias: Herbal Pharmacopoeia is a reference book for the preparation of quality medicines published by the authority of a Government and represents qualitative and therapeutic monographs on botanicals. Herbal Pharmacopoeia is a compiled document which:

  • (a) Defines a botanical drug.
  • (b) Provides information for its proper identification.
  • (c) Contains the basic description including; nomenclature, plant parts used, active constituents, range of application, contraindications and side effects, incompatibilities with other medications, dosage, use and action of the herb.

It is an important reference for all individuals and organizations working within pharmaceutical research and development, manufacture and testing around the globe.

The modern-day pharmacopoeias are strictly for standards of medicines and every developed country has a pharmacopoeia for their medicaments of synthetic as well as natural origin.

Some popular herbal pharmacopoeias of the world are:

  1. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP)
  2. African Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AfrHP)
  3. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP)
  4. Korean Herbal Pharmacopoeia (KHP)
  5. Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (ChP)
  6. The Turkish Pharmacopoeia (TP)
  7. Pharmacopoeia Argentina
  8. Brazilian Pharmacopoeia
  9. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia

1. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP):

The AHP develops qualitative and therapeutic monographs on botanicals including; many of the Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbs most frequently used in the United States. These monographs represent the most comprehensive and critically reviewed body of information on herbal medicines in the English language and serve as a primary reference for academicians, health care providers, manufacturers and regulators.

2. African Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AfrHP):

The AfrHP provides comprehensive, up to date botanical, commercial and phytochemical information on over 50 of the most important African medicinal plants. The technical data were made on plant samples sourced from across the continent. These monographs were prepared by leading African scientists and have been reviewed by international experts. Additional data includes; micro-morphology of the plant material, distribution maps and TLC chromatograms. These data are crucial for producers, collectors and traders in medicinal plants and extracts as well as researchers, manufacturers and practitioners. The scope, quality and standard of these herbal monographs are comparable to those prepared in Europe, North America and Asia.

3. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP):

The BHP provides quality standards for 169 herbal raw materials. European Pharmacopoeia Commission (Council of Europe) has led to the introduction of many more herbal monographs in the European Pharmacopoeia. The BHP monograph includes a brief description of the form of the material, its main geographical sources, macroscopical and microscopical descriptions of the herbal material, prepared by eminent pharmacognosists, together with odour and taste descriptions. It also includes; comparative identification and qualitative phytochemical analysis. However, the BHP remains a very useful aid to quality assurance, particularly for herbs not featured in official pharmacopoeias.

4. Korean Herbal Pharmacopoeia (KHP):

The recent KHP contains a total of 2,462 official monographs (Part I and Part II). Part I includes; frequently used drugs and their primary preparations and Part II includes; crude drugs, biological drugs, radioactive drugs, combined preparations, additives for preparations and quasi-drugs. The Pharmacopoeia comprises the following items, in order, general notices, general requirements for preparations, monographs, general tests, processes and apparatus and general information followed by the index.

5. Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (ChP):

The Ministry of Health published the Republic of China’s first pharmacopoeia as Chinese Pharmacopoeia in 1953. Under the umbrella of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), the Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission (ChPC) and its stakeholders (drug control institutions, research institutions, universities and drug manufacturers) prepared the Chinese Pharmacopoeia in line with the basic principles, goals and requirements of the era. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia includes; monographs of vegetables, oil, fats and extracts, medicinal materials and the prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs, single item preparations, chemical drugs, antibiotics, biochemical and radioactive drugs, pharmaceutical excipients and biologicals. General chapters include; general requirements of preparations, testing methods, standard substances, reagents and the guidelines

6. The Turkish Pharmacopoeia (TP):

Turkish Pharmacopoeia includes European Pharmacopoeia monographs as well as national monographs. It has a section containing herbal, biological or biotechnological products and finished products. They are first published in the Turkish Pharmacopoeia Journal and then in the Turkish Pharmacopoeia and become official. In the latest version, the number of national monographs has reached 32 and most of them are monographs of medicinal and aromatic herbal ingredients.

7. Pharmacopoeia Argentina:

Pharmacopoeia Argentina is published by The National Administration of Medicines Food and Medical Technology and it is in the Spanish language. Pharmacopoeia Argentina provides a specification for biological, herbal products, medical products, blood products, radiopharmaceutical products, for vaccines and includes general monographs and supplementary texts.

8. Brazilian Pharmacopoeia:

Brazilian Pharmacopoeia is published by Pharmacopoeia Coordination Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency in three different languages; Portuguese, English and Spanish. Apart from Brazilian Pharmacopoeia, Herbal Medicines National Formulary (Portuguese/ Spanish) and Herbal Medicines Memento (Portuguese) are also used in Brazil. Brazilian Pharmacopoeia provides specifications via monographs for APIs and excipients, for dosage forms, for biological, for herbal products and includes monographs for medical devices.

9. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia (IP):

The Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia has 40 monographs published by the Indian Drugs Manufacturers Association (IDMA) in collaboration with Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Jammu. Index of pharmacopoeias published by the World Health Association, Geneva has a comprehensive list of pharmacopoeias of different countries.

Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) has monographs of 600 plants/animals/minerals and derived drugs (Part 1. Volume 1 to 8). Monographs of 152 compound Ayurvedic formulations are published in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (Part II, Volume 1 to 3).

Other than APL Siddha Pharmacopoeia of India (Volume 1 and 2), Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (Volume 1 to 6) and Unani Pharmacopoeia of India (Volume 1 to 6) are the standard books available for Indian herbs.

The innovative work, Quality standards of Indian Medicinal Plants by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are a non-pharmacopoeial masterpiece for reference on standards of Indian herbs. Monographs on 449 plants (Volume 1 to 13) included in the book would help in improving monographs in API and other Pharmacopoeias of Indian origin. The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine (PCIM) under the Ministry of AYUSH is fully functional to improve the Pharmacopoeias for Indian Herbs.

  • The first official Pharmacopoeia of India was published in 1868. In 1946, the Government of India issued one list known as “The Indian Pharmacopoeial list. The committee under the chairmanship of Sir R. N. Chopra along with the other nine members prepared The Indian Pharmacopoeial list. It was prepared by the Department of Health, Govt of India, Delhi in 1946. In 1948, the Government of India appointed an Indian Pharmacopoeia committee for preparing “Pharmacopoeia of India. The tenure of this committee was 5 years. Indian Pharmacopoeia committee under the chairmanship of Dr B. N. Ghosh published the first edition of IP in 1955. Supplement to this edition was published in 1960.
  • The Second edition of IP was published in 1966 under the chairmanship of Dr B. Mukherjee. Official titles of monographs were given in English. Formulations of the drugs were given immediately after the monograph of drugs. 274 monographs from IP 1955 and their supplements were deleted. Supplement to this edition was published in 1975. In this, 126 new monographs were included and 250 monographs were amended.
  • The Third edition of IP was published in 1985 with two volumes and nine appendices, 261 new monographs were added. Addendum I to IP was published in 1989 where 46 new monographs were added and 126 amended. Addendum II was published in 1991 where 62 new monographs were added and 110 amended.
  • The Fourth edition of IP was published in 1996 under the chairmanship of Dr Nityanand. It covered 1149 monographs and 123 appendices. It included 294 new monographs and 110 monographs were deleted. Addendum I was made effective from 31 December 2000 where 42 new monographs were added. Addendum I was made effective from 30 June 2003 where 19 new monographs were included.
  • The Fifth edition of IP was published in 2007 and an addendum to this edition was published in 2008. IP 2007 was presented in three Volumes. Volume 1 contains general notices and general chapters. Volume II and III contain general monographs on drug substances, dosage forms and pharmaceutical aids.
  • The Sixth edition of IP was published in 2010 by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC). The Indian Pharmacopoeia 2010 was presented in three volumes. Volume I contains the notices, preface, the structure of the IPC, acknowledgements, introduction and the general chapters. Volume II contains the general notice, general monographs on dosage forms and monographs on drug substances and pharmaceutical aids (A to M). Volume III contains monographs on drug substances, dosage forms and pharmaceutical aids (N to Z). It also includes monographs on vaccines and immunosera for human use, herbs and herbal products, blood and blood-related products, biotechnology products and veterinary products. The number of monographs of excipients, anticancer drugs, herbal products and antiretroviral drugs has been increased in this edition. A chapter on Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) was also incorporated in Appendices.
  • The Seventh Edition of the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP 2014) was published by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) on behalf of the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Indian Pharmacopoeia 2014 was presented in four volumes. The scope of Pharmacopoeia has been extended to include; additional anticancer drugs and antiretroviral drugs and formulations, products of biotechnology, indigenous herbs, herbal products and veterinary vaccines. The IP 2014 included 2550 monographs of drugs out of which 577 are new monographs consisting of APIs, excipients, dosage forms and herbal products, etc.
  • The Eighth Edition of the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP 2018) was published by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. IP 2018 was brought out in four volumes incorporating 220 new monographs including; chemical monographs (170), herbal monographs (15), blood and blood-related products (10), vaccines and immunosera for human use monographs (02), radiopharmaceutical monographs (03), biotechnology-derived therapeutic products (06), veterinary monographs (14), 366 revised monographs and 7 monographs have been deleted.
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