Medicinal plants and herbal medicines are popular among all users. It is an integral source of new natural compounds, with chemical diversity significant for the pharmaceutical industry. The chemical components in herbal medications derived from plants make them an ideal source for alternative medicines, food supplements, cosmetics, etc. The complex composition of the herbs and extracts makes them effective in more than one way. But, the increasing awareness of medical quality testing and regulatory norms make herbal product evaluation an indispensable step.
Lab-based test for natural medicines – Customs laboratories with specific testing solutions can review herbal samples like medicines, food supplements, etc. The lab testing facilities cover various aspects related to identity confirmation, contamination assessment, classification problems or legal issues, industrial standards, and many more. Modern techniques for extraction also need testing steps to ensure efficient production.
The different analytical methods include – chromatography, microscopy, spectroscopy, spectrometry, DNA barcoding, etc. These are critical for the identification and quality inspection of herbal products.
Quality control of herbal medicines
- Quality parameters before drug manufacturing – The quality control of herbal drugs is beyond the assessment steps at the botanical level. Chemical assessment is also essential for the quality control of natural medicines. The harvest conditions like geographical environment, harvesting time, and an analysis of the growth stages need industrial attention. Storage conditions are also critical for reviewing the microbiological quality and conservation of herbal drugs. Poor storage can lead to spoilage, and degraded quality, amplifying the chances of biological contamination, photo-decomposition, or atmospheric oxidation.
- QC during production – Contamination could be a critical problem at the production stage and impact the composition and quality of the end product. In fact, it ruins the therapeutic qualities of the medicinal plant. The ideal way to combat the production level contamination issues is through the implementation of good agricultural and collection practices or GACP.
Chromatography testing for herbal drugs
Chromatography is the process of separating the components of the herbal medicine. The technique depends on the power of isolation and identification of components, compounds, and mixtures. The herbal components get separated and purified via chromatographic techniques.
The need for heavy metal testing
More than half of the population on the earth depends on non-conventional medicine of herbal origin. But the nature and natural sources of herbal medicines could get contaminated with toxic heavy metals. It may be through chemical contamination through lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, etc. These are unsafe chemicals generating serious health risks to consumers.
With the testing facilities for heavy metals, it is easy to review the contamination level. One can analyze the source materials for heavy metals and ensure safety. It is also vital to meet the related industrial and healthcare standards or regulations. The decision-making gets convenient for restricting or allowing the chemical concentrations in herbal medicines. With the best-in-class lab facilities, one can obtain accurate reports on heavy metal testing.
Identification and sampling – A vital step
Adulteration of herbal material generates health risks. The only solution is to ensure an effective identification process for the detection of foreign bodies. It is critical for checking the purity and quality of herbal medicines. It is an integral step to reduce the risk. Sampling is also an effective way for reviewing the quality of herbal products. From reviewing the physical features to the chemical composition of the sample – one can obtain the best quality evaluation report through sample testing.
Influencing factors for the herbal products during quality testing –
1. Herbal drugs are mixtures of many constituents, making them time-consuming for the testing process and identification.
2. The active components in natural medicine are often unknown.
3. The specialized analytical methods for reviewing or referencing compounds may not be available easily.
4. The source of the raw material is variable, and it depends on the methods of harvesting, drying, storage, and processing. All these can also affect herbal quality.
Comprehensive testing at the best laboratory
Get the herbal drugs and products tested with the experts at the state-of-the-art laboratory IRCLASS Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd (ISSPL) laboratory. Obtain accurate results and ensure optimal functionality of the herbal drugs without causing safety issues.