Monographs And Markers Pertaining to Malaysian Herbals


Zhari Ismail, Norhayati Ismail and Muzlifah Manaf, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 Minden, Penang


Trends in Traditional Medicine Research, Proceedings of the International Conference on the Use of Traditional Medicine & Other Natural Products in Health Care




Herbal monograph, WHO Guidelines, herbal manufacturing, specifications, ASEAN Herbals, Materia Medica Malaysiana, markers, computerisation.


The recent implementation of the registration of traditional medicines by the Ministry of Health has added a new dimension in the area of traditional medicinal practice in Malaysia. Whilst the emphasis laid down are pertaining to the various aspects of safety, quality and efficacy of local and imported traditional mediĀ­cines, a serious concerted effort have to be ventured into this area in terms of research and development, as there are presently a lack of available local reference documents/materials and standards, and the necessary knowledge and expertise to effectively regulate and control local or imported traditional materia medica. Quality standards are important elements in the health care industry. In the context of Malaysian herbals, individual monographs are indispensable which serves as reference documents suited to the specialised needs of the industry and the regulatory agencies. Specifications related to identity, quality, safety and efficacy could be synthesised from guidelines of the various established publications. Majority of local traditional formulations incorporates the use of mixtures from more than two different materia medica, as powders or extracts. The marker concept could be used as a means to identify and regulate quality of the mixtures.This involves identifying suitable compounds present in a particular materia medica which are easily detectable, extractable, and unique to a particular plant material. This paper discusses the issues and problems related to the preparation of monographs and the search of markers. The potential use of computers in identification and quality control of local herbs will also be highlighted.