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Recent Advances in the Chemical, Manufacturing and Regulatory Aspects of Phytopharmaceuticals
Phytopharmaceuticals are now a part of the alternative therapeutic systems. In the earlier days, the scientific community had certain reservations on using the non-standardized medicinal plant products. With the advent of the era of sophisticated instrumentation in chromatography and spectroscopy, research has also focused on the phytopharmaceuticals. The hyphenated techniques such as LC-MS, GC-MS, HPTLC-MS etc have better accuracy, reproducibility and sensitivity. Hence, such techniques are used to identify and quantify the chemical constituents of the phytopharmaceuticals. St. John’s Wort, Milk thistle and Ginkgo represent one of the successful phytopharmaceuticals. There are hundreds of medicinal plants which are yet to be explored for phytopharmaceuticals. The bioactives are being identified using the analytical instrumentation techniques. There have also been talks about the concept of synergy amongst the medicinal plant components. In many cases, it has been reported that the isolated chemical constituents are devoid of the pharmacological effects which were previously seen in the extracts or combination of medicinal plant products. Pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest consumers of the phytopharmaceuticals and it is trying to increase the yield of bioactives in the medicinal plants – often by biotechnological intervention. Of late, the regulatory authorities have started recognizing the phytopharmaceuticals as a separate class. It is hoped that in the coming days, the pharmaceutical technology and nano-technology will be able to contribute productively in the area of phytopharmaceuticals. The present paper is aimed at giving an overview of the chemistry, manufacturing and regulatory aspects of phytopharmaceuticals.
Phytopharmaceuticals, Phytotherapy, Analysis, Bioactives.
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