chapter  2
52 Pages

Asian Herbal Products: The Basis for Development of High-Quality Dietary Supplements and New Medicines

Asian herbal products have been used for thousands of years to maintain health and treat disease. Now, these same ancient remedies should be reassessed in our modern era for development as high-quality dietary supplements and new medicines in the 21

century, particularly as medicinal herb use is increasing rapidly worldwide. Private health industries are marketing and popularizing herbal products, including in the U.S., comfrey (

Symphytum officinale

) (Boraginaceae), echinacea (

Echinacea purpurea

) (Asteraceae), feverfew (

Tanacetum parthenium

) (Asteraceae), garlic (

Allium sativum

) (Lilliaceae),

ginkgo (

Ginkgo biloba

) (Ginkgoaceae), ginseng (

Panax ginseng

) (Araliaceae), saw palmetto (

Serenea repens

) (Arecaceae), and St. John’s wort (

Hypericum perforatum

) (Hypericaceae). The increasing consumer use and demand have prompted international health organizations and governmental agencies to publish guidelines for herbal medicine use. Accordingly, the scientific community must apply modern technologies to assure the efficacy and safety of these traditional remedies and develop them as first-class dietary supplements and new medicines.