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Introduction

> Projects > Adulterated Herbal Medicine > Introduction

Adulterated herbal medicines

■ Adulteration: the addition of an impure or inferior component not ordinarily part of that substance; or removal of
a crucial entity; usually used to imply that a substance is debased (desecrated) as a result.
[Miller LG, Hume A, Harris IM et al. Adulteration: its various meanings. Pharmacotherapy. 2001;21:770-1]

■ Adulterated herbal medicines:
 1) herbal medicines which contain undeclared potent substances and/or are contaminated with potentially
     hazardous substances and residues
 2) herbal medicines which contain intentionally added undeclared chemical substances which are not linked to the
     presence of naturally occurring substances associated with certain herbs of other ingredients of herbal medicines.
     [WHO guidelines on safety monitoring of herbal medicines in pharmacovigilance systems, 2004]

Necessity of adulterated herbal medicines information

■ Herbal medicines are likely to be neglected countries where herbal medicines are not in the mainstream of health
care system.

■ Herbal medicines are considered to have less side effect, which may be of an adverse nature, but some herbal
medicines cause them, mainly due to adulteration of herbal products.

■ There is less information regarding the safety and/or adverse events of herbal medicines.

■ Each member has their own adulterated herbal medicine reports and/or database but not fully shared among FHH members.

History of the report of the adulterated herbal medicines in FHH

■ 7th Standing Committee Meeting (26-27 November 2009)

  • Members agreed to conduct a trial run of reporting adulteration of herbal medicines for 1 year.

■ 8th Standing Committee Meeting (28-29 October 2010) &
   9th Standing Committee Meeting (17-18 November 2011)

  • Reviewed the reporting system of adulterated herbal medicines.
  • Enhanced information exchange of adulteration cases amongst FHH members.
  • Established a reporting system as a regular basis.

■ Proposal for adulterated herbal medicines information on FHH website was suggested by NIFDS, Korea.
   (12 Mar 2015)

■ Database and online submission system for adulterated herbal medicines opened. (October 2018)

Purpose of adulterated herbal medicines information on FHH website

■ To advise FHH members about safety information regarding herbal medicines.

■ To provide suggestions for the safety monitoring of herbal medicines among FHH members.

■ To provide information related to potentially suspected adulterated herbal medicines.

■ To access easily on adulterated herbal medicines information among FHH members.