“The essence of all beings is Earth. The
essence of the Earth is Water. The essence of Water
is Plants. The Essence of Plants is the human being….."
Esam bhutanam prthivi rasha, prthivya apo raso-pam
osadhayo rasa, osadhinam puruso rasah….."
Chandogya Upanishad I.1.2
Herbal medicines have provided the
world's populations, including Americans, with safe,
effective and low cost medicines for centuries. They
have a rich and extensive historical basis in use and
study which can be referenced to ancient medical writings.
More importantly, modern research has validated many
of the traditional uses ascribed to herbs. When integrated
into medical care with other medications, botanicals
can provide consumers and patients with the best chance
for maintaining a high quality of life and, in some
cases, increase their chance of survival. They can also
fill therapeutic niches that are not adequately addressed
through conventional therapies. As botanical supplements
are integrated into the health care programs of more
and more people, it becomes necessary that information
regarding their optimal use be made available. Similarly,
independent quality control requirements for producing
herbal products need to be established to ensure that
the highest degree of safety and effectiveness is achieved.
Information relative to their safe clinical use, toxicology,
interactions with conventional drugs, etc., is especially
important to safeguard the public health.
herbal medicines are well integrated into the
health care systems of many other nations, this
the case in the U.S. Authoritative information regarding
proper use and manufacture of herbal medicines
The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® and Therapeutic
Compendium was founded to address this deficiency.
The Mission of the
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia® (AHP) mission is
to promote the responsible use of herbal medicines
insure they are used with the highest degree of safety
and efficacy as is achievable. Our primary way to accomplish
this is through the development of standards of identity,
purity, and analysis for botanicals, as well as to
review traditional and scientific data regarding their
efficacy and safety. These works will be disseminated
through a variety of AHP publications such as monographs,
textbooks, and other educational materials; workshops
and conferences; electronic media, and other avenues
of distribution as are appropriate.
The American Herbal
Pharmacopoeia® began developing qualitative and
therapeutic monographs in 1994, and intends to produce
300 monographs on botanicals, including many of the
Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbs most frequently
used in the United States. Once completed, these monographs
represent the most comprehensive and critically reviewed
body of information on herbal medicines in the English
language, and will serve as a primary reference for
academicians, health care providers, manufacturers,