Smokescreens and mirrors in safety and quality of herbal medicines: A case of commercialized herbal preparations

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Abstract

This review aims to clear off or bring to the public, any unsubstantiated (smokescreens and mirrors) claims made by manufacturers of commercial herbal products (CHP) in South Africa. The review further examines production, quality in terms of efficacy and safety as claimed by the manufacturers and seeks to understand any possibilities of adulteration with modern medicine to these so called African products. There is evidence of an increase in locally produced CHP containing complex mixtures of several medicinal plants, sold in numerous retail outlets, including supermarkets and pharmaceutical outlets. The CHPs are available in liquid, capsule and powder forms, packaged professionally, carrying labels that lists conditions these preparations are used for. Some of the labels list the plant species in the product and in some cases vitamins and essential elements used for fortification. © 2012 South African Association of Botanists.

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APA

Ndhlala, A. R., & Van Staden, J. (2012). Smokescreens and mirrors in safety and quality of herbal medicines: A case of commercialized herbal preparations. South African Journal of Botany, 82, 4–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2012.06.008

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