BRITISH HERBAL COMPENDIUM Vol. 1
A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs
Autor: Bradley, Peter
Editora: BHMA - British Herbal Medicine Association
Edição: 1ª Ano: 1992 Nº de páginas: 239
Preço: R$ 248,90
The British Herbal Compendium is a handbook of technical information on the plant drugs for which quality standards are defined in the revised British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP). This first volume serves as a companion to Volume I of the revised BHP, published in 1990. Visual similarities in style and format emphasise the relationship between the two books. Each is, however, complete in its subject matter. Plant drugs which are official in the European Pharmacopoeia and/or British Pharmacopoeia, and consequently require only abbreviated monographs in the BHP, are given full treatment in the Compendium.
The basic approach to the Compendium has been to bring together scientific information from a wide variety of sources and to produce clear and concise summaries on important aspects of individual plant drugs. Recent research findings are incorporated, as well as considerable material not otherwise available in English, in order that the monographs reflect the state of the art. Regulatory information relevant to the coverage has been included. A consistent format has been maintained for ease of reference while allowing flexibility for the addition of points of interest or clarification. With its depth of content and unique combination of features, the Compendium should prove useful in many areas of herbal medicine.
Monograph titles and definitions of plant drugs in the Compendium are in accordance with the revised BHP apart from minor changes, notably inclusion of the botanical family name within each definition. Thereafter, with an occasional introductory passage, each monograph comprises sections on Constituents, Therapeutics, Regulatory Status and References. A fifth section provides relevant excerpts from regulatory guidelines of certain EC countries.
Summaries of constituents with non-systematic common names, which are prevalent and indeed unavoidable in natural product chemistry, are helpful only if chemical structures are illustrated. Diagrams of many key structures were therefore considered essential. The style of depicting three-dimensional structures is by no means uniform but is either based on the original research papers or used for clarity in particular cases. Structures not illustrated in one monograph may often be located in another by reference to the index.
Assay methods for constituents were beyond the resources of the BHMA Scientific Committee in preparing the revised BHP. Published assay methods, where available, have therefore been mentioned in a sub-section under Constituents. Some of these are well-validated pharmacopoeial methods. However, others included for reference are advanced techniques applied only in research on specific samples and it is not inferred that they would be suitable for routine analysis.
Not unexpectedly, compilation of the sections on therapeutics often proved to be a complicated task. Enormous progress has been achieved through pharmacological and clinical research in recent years in substantiating the therapeutic effects of selected plant drugs. In some cases an abundance of data is now available. In many other cases, where research in depth has not yet been carried out, the actions and uses described in the literature are largely based on unpublished observations or common experience, often valid but requiring a cautious approach. The sections on therapeutics in this Compendium are therefore based on the assessments of highly experienced practitioners of phytotherapy and supported by references wherever possible.
The sections on Regulatory Status distinguish between regulations/guidelines pertaining to medicines and those pertaining to foods. With respect to medicines, the regulatory status in the UK is defined for each plant drug, based on current Statutory Instruments. Where Belgium, France or Germany is listed, the brief entry relates to an official 'status' which is more fully defined in the corresponding references and in the final section of the monograph. In the foods sub-section, entries relating to the USA or the Council of Europe provide some perspective on toxicological assessment of the plant material.
Considerable importance was attached to the provision of references as substantiation of the text, so that readers may pursue a topic in greater depth when necessary. About 60% of the references date from 1980 onwards. References to regulatory publications, pharmacopoeias and a range of standard textbooks used in compiling the Compendium are given in full under General References on pages 12-16 and denoted by numbers or abbreviations in the monographs.
A list of current pharmacopoeial monographs available on a plant drug is given in the individual Compendium monograph. This is not an exhaustive list but covers the European Pharmacopoeia, a number of important national pharmacopoeias within Europe, the pharmacopoeias of the United States and former USSR, and certain other publications providing quality standards comparable to those of a pharmacopoeia. References to scientific journals and certain books have been given in detail within individual monographs, including titles, first and last pages etc., and, where the original text is not in English, an indication of the language and whether an English summary is provided. An English translation of the title of an article in another language has been used only in cases where the original paper (or abstract) gave the translation. A substantial proportion of the articles studied were, of course, in languages other than English. Those in German (over 2%), French (about 5%), Italian and Spanish were generally studied as the original; study of those in other languages was usually limited to an English summary or abstract.
The fifth sections (where included) comprise translated excerpts of therapeutic information from published regulatory guidelines applicable to phytomedicines in Belgium, France or Germany. The background to these items is explained under Regulatory Publications on pages 12-14 but the official publications should be consulted to appreciate the full context. No comparable, standardised information is published in the UK. In this country, indications and other details of Product Licences (marketing authorisations) for medicines are negotiated between licence-holders and the Medicines Control Agency on an individual basis. National assessments of plant drugs by other EC countries are therefore of considerable interest in the UK and no doubt elsewhere.