Antibacterial Activity of Herbal Preparations

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Submitted By DannySackey
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CHAPTER ONE

1. INTRODUCTION

1.0 DEFINITION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE, HERBAL PREPARATION AND FINISHED HERBAL PRODUCTS

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines traditional medicine as the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures. Traditional medicine is used in the maintenance of health the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness, whether explicable or not and is passed on from generation to generation.
Herbal Preparations contain plant parts or plant material in the crude or processed state as active ingredients and may contain excipients. (WHO, 1996a; Busse, 1999). Combinations with chemically defined active substances or isolated constituents are not considered herbal preparations (Busse, 2000; GNDP, 2004).
According to the European Medicine Evaluation Agency (EMEA), herbal preparations are medicinal products containing exclusively herbal drugs or herbal drug preparations as active substances (WHO, 1996b; Busse, 2000). Several chemical constituents with different pharmacological targets are involved in the therapeutic action of herbal preparations. This may be an advantage compared to single isolated compounds, especially when the underlying disease has a multifactorial etiology which is the case in many chronic illnesses.
Herbal preparations may include comminuted or powdered plant material, extracts, tinctures, fatty or essential oils of herbal materials. Herbal preparations are made from different plant parts such as roots, bark, stems, leaves, and fruits whose production involves a fractional, purification, or concentration process (Evans, 1989; Evans, 1996). They also include preparations made by steeping or heating herbal materials in alcoholic beverages and/or honey, or in other materials. Based on the European Medicine…...

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