Why is standardization important?

At one time, thousands of years ago, the people who were harvesting medicinal plants knew what they were doing. They knew this plant is good, this one is not. They had a traditional knowledge that has since been lost. Today, many medicinal plants have become crops, where everything is harvested, whether good or not. So the idea behind standardization is to make sure every plant is the same.

This is important because scientific people now think that there is a synergy among all the different chemical compounds in a medicinal plant. It's not just the one on the label that's important - it's really the whole plant that's important. If you have standardized plants, you can be sure that every plant has the same amount of every single chemical compound within the plant - and there can be hundreds of them.


Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

© 2005, Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans