RESEARCH GRADE BOTANICALS: ISSUES IN DIETARY SUPPLEMENT RESEARCH
Botanical dietary supplements are often made from plant materials whose chemical content is not well defined and whose identity occasionally is uncertain. If research conducted on a botanical is to be fully interpretable, comparable to results of other research, and replicable, the identity and composition of the test materials must be made clear. We propose that the three critical issues for production of research grade botanicals are source, composition, and communications. The origin and botanical identity of materials should be documented, and appropriate practices followed to limit inter-batch variability. Since plants may contain multiple active ingredients whose identity and mechanisms often remain unknown, chromatographic fingerprints should be obtained to provide a broad picture of chemical composition, and further lab tests to demonstrate purity or quality should be performed as needed. Finally, information regarding the source and composition of test substances must be communicated in every publication.
Miller, J.S. and Applequist, W.L. (2006). RESEARCH GRADE BOTANICALS: ISSUES IN DIETARY SUPPLEMENT RESEARCH. Acta Hortic. 720, 49-58
authenticated reference plant material (ARPM), medicinal plants