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Analytical Method Development for Quality Control and Standardization of Medicinal Plants: A Critical Review

Ayana Beressa Debela, Abduba Wariyo, Gadisa Chala, Yesuneh Tefera


The demand for herbal medicine is increasing as herbs are less toxic, affordable, and culturally acceptable than the conventional drugs in developing countries. Thus, the increase in demand for standardization to ensure safety, purity and quality of medicinal plant. Standardization is a process of confirming herbal medicine identity and determination of its quality and purity. It involves botanical, physical, chemical and biological evaluations. These require application of different analytical methods and tools for standardization and phytochemical investigation of medicinal plants. The aim of this review is to explore analytical methods used for standardization of medicinal plants. A comprehensive web based literature review is employed in order to retrieve relevant information using international scientific databases including PubMed, Science direct, Web of Science, Google scholar. The review of selected 34 original published research articles were evaluated and summarized. The result this review showed that several analytical methods are employed and developed for standardization including chromatographic, TLC, GC, HPTLC and HPLC fingerprints, spectroscopic; UV, Fluorescence, MS, FT-IR, AAS and NMR are commonly applied techniques for different analytical purposes which are mainly used in physicochemical and phytochemical characterization of medicinal plants. Gel electrophoresis and DNA fingerprint are also applicable for botanical identification. The choice of analytical methods may depend on phytochemical, physicochemical nature of medicinal plant, selectivity and accuracy of analytical method. Development of selective analytical method is recommended for pesticide and Alfa toxin analysis to further ensure safety, quality and for complete standardization of medicinal plants.


Herbal medicine, standardization, phytochemical investigation, analytical methods, quality control, purity

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