What challenges do you and other plant-medicine researchers face?

One of the problems with these herbal treatments is that they have not been subjected to rigorous and validated scientific study, so most of the evidence we have that they work is based on anecdotal case reports or investigators telling us that they work.

One of the major problems we've run into with these compounds is the lack of standardization. It's taken us many, many months to find compounds that are standardized and stable and that we know will be standardized and equivalent from batch to batch.

We've also had to do stability studies, because many of these compounds don't remain stable in the form that we buy them. We've been upset to find that many of the compounds that we can buy do not contain the active ingredient in the dose or the stability that is suggested by the label. And there's significant batch-to-batch variation. So we've had to go back to suppliers and start all over again, and we're making our own supply of Pygeum africanum and Serenoa repens for use in our study.


Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

© 2005, Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

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