Drug Adulteration

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drug Adulteration

Medicinal plants constitute an effective source of tradi-tional (e.g. ayurvedic, chinese, homeopathy and unani) and modern medicine. Herbal medicine has been shown to have genuine utility. Germany and France, together represent 39% of the $14 billion global retail market.


Drug Adulteration

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Medicinal plants constitute an effective source of traditional (e.g. ayurvedic, chinese, homeopathy and unani) and modern medicine. Herbal medicine has been shown to have genuine utility. Germany and France, together represent 39% of the $14 billion global retail market. In India, about 80% of the rural population depends on medicinal herbs and/or indigenous systems of medicine. In fact today, approximately 70% of ‘synthetic’ medicines are derived from plants. Popularity among the common people increased the usage of medicinal plants/herbal drugs. Herbal adulteration is one of the common malpractices in herbal raw-material trade. Adulteration is described as intentional substitution with another plant species or intentional addition of a foreign substance to increase the weight or potency of the product or to decrease its cost. In general, adulteration is considered as an intentional practice. However, unintentional adulterations also exist in herbal raw-material trade due to various reasons, and many of them are unknown even to the scientific community. The present chapter deals with different intentional and unintentional adulterations, reasons behind them and methods for easy identification of the spurious plant and authentication of the authentic plant.

 

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