Challenges in Standardisation of Herbal Medicines & The Role of Herbal Metabolomics


Zhari Ismail


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




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Standardization of herbal material is carried out to ascertain consistency and repeatability of a particular extract in ensuring guaranteed potency through acceptable levels of active compounds. This process is carried out chemically or biologically as a means of product quality assurance and currently is a leading edge technology where patents and commercialization’s prospects are made possible. Metabolomics involves non-biased determination and assessment of all metabolites in a biological system. Sample preparations as far as possible include all metabolites, and the analytical technique chosen must have high selectivity and sensitivity. The challenges in standardising biological variability of a system require analyses and handling large numbers data sets. Chemometrics using multivariate and principle component analysis can deal such data and to classify and define obtained signals used to differentiate different samples and to make links between compounds/ metabolites present and the bioactivity related to it. Metabolomics is currently introduced as a tool in quality control and especially useful in systems biology approaches in studying and assessing the activity of medicinal plants that can justify the traditional wholistic synergy of compounds and may detect latent drugs (prodrugs) in plant materials. Several techniques involving FTIR spectroscopy and sensors in combination with chemometrics data processing will be presented.