Ethnobotanical Leaflets 11: 212-216. 2007.



Scientific Publications in Herbals


Amrit Pal Singh, Herbal Consultant

Ind-Swift Ltd, Chandigarh


Address for correspondence:

Dr. Amrit Pal Singh,

House No: 2101 Phase-7,

Mohali-160062, India



Issued 12 October 2007





The herbal system of medicine, popularly known as Phytotherapy, is rapidly developing as an independent subject. Specialties subjects like Medicinal botany or Pharmaceutical botany, Medicinal Phytochemistry, Ethno pharmacology and Phytopharmacotherapy are emerging. Several studies have reported growing popularity of herbal medicine. There is increased awareness about herbal medicine among masses. Authorities including Central Council of Indian Medicine (C.C.I.M.) and department of Ayurveda, Yunani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) in India, American Herbal Product Association (A.H.P.A.) in America, German Commission in Germany, Therapeutic Goods Administration (T.G.A.) in Australia and European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) in U.K. are playing pivotal role in establishing scientific basis of herbal medicine.


American Herbal Medicine


Medical Herbalism: A Journal for the Clinical Practitioner is wonderful publication for herbalists practicing in different parts of States. Herbal Gram published by American Botanical Council (A.B.C.) is critical publication for recent trends in American Herbal Drug industry. This journal is particularly important for addressing issue like herbal drug interactions and role of Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) in herbals.


American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (A.H.P.) is unique publication related to botany, phytochemistry, traditional and modern medicinal uses and dose of commonly used medicinal plants. Monographs on singe herbal drugs are unique for practitioners and researchers. American Herbal Product Association (A.H.P.A.) publishes documents related to safety of herbal products.


Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants


Ancient texts are rich from therapeutic point of view. In Ayurveda, texts like Charka Samhita, Bhavprakash Nighantu, Raj Nighantu and Dhanwantri Nighantu are basis of Ayurvedic pharmaceutics. They throw light on medicinal use of particular plant but detailed investigations are missing. The description is largely based on organo-leptic testing. Later on, based on these ancient texts, several Nighantu (Materia Medica) of Ayurveda were composed. Madan Pal Nighantu, Bhashjeya Rattnavali and Chandrudya Vanaushadi are noteworthy works. Materia Medica of Ayurveda by Dr. Bhagwan Dash is valuable publication dedicated to Indian Medicinal Plants.


With onset of British Empire in India, investigations were carried out on chemical composition of Indian medicinal plants. Pharmacographia Indica by Dymoc, Warden and Hooper is highly reputed text published in beginning of 20th century. Detailed work on chemical composition and active principles is salient feature of the text. Controversial drugs used in Ayurveda have been discussed in detail.


Another text titled Indian Materia Medica and Their Therapeutics by Khory and Katrak is must for people involved in herbal research. This text is unique for methods of isolation of active principles of Indian medicinal plants. Texts like Indian Materia Medica by Nandkarni and Indigenous Drugs of India by Chopra, Chopra, Handa and Kapur are worth-mentoring works on Indian medicinal plants.


Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia published by Central Council of Indian Medicine (C.C.I.M.) is standard for Ayurvedic drug industry. Ayurvedic formulary of India (A.F.I.) is another descriptive text about formulations used in Indian System of Medicine. Recently, department of Ayurveda, Yunani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) has released Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia in four volumes. Phytochemical and Pharmacological Investigations of Certain Medicinal Plants used in Ayurveda is another useful text published by Central Council of Indian Medicine.


Chemistry of Medicinal Plants published by Central Council of Unani Medicine (C.C.U.M.) is useful work for phytochemists. Central Council of Homeopathic Medicine (C.C.H.M.) is not lagging behind. Phytochemical and Pharmacological Investigations of Certain Medicinal Plants used in Homeopathy is standard text for Homeopathic physicians. 


There is scarcity of indexed journals in the field of Ayurevda. Journal of Research and Education in Indian Medicine (JREIM) published from Banaras Hindu University is good for students and practitioners of Ayurveda. Light on Ayurveda Journal (LOAJ) published from America is must valued publication in the field of Ayurveda. Natural Product Radiance (NPR) published by National Institute of Science Communications, New Delhi is valuable journal related to agro technology as well as clinical research in herbals.


Journal of Natural Remedies (JNR) is dedicated to pharmacognosy and pre-clinical research in herbal remedies. Indian Journal of Natural Products (IJNP) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes high-class papers related to Indian medical plants.  Journal of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (JMAPS) published by Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow is esteemed publication related to medicinal plants used in Indian System of Medicine. Pharmacognosy Magazine has strong presence in the field of pharmacognosy. Phytomedica, Phytopharma and Planta Indica are some of the relatively lesser-known publications.


Although several publications and newsletters are available in the market, they are meant for masses only. There is a strong need for starting scientific publications dedicated to Ayurveda particularly in the field of Dravyaguna.


Australian Herbal Medicine


Australia has rich medical tradition as far as herbal medicine is concerned. Journal of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism are catering needs of herbal drug industry in Australia. Herbal articles in the Journal of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society can be viewed via online library. The Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism is a quarterly publication of the National Herbalists Association of Australia. The journal publishes material on all aspects of medical herbalism including philosophy, phytochemistry, pharmacology and clinical application of medical plants and is a peer review journal.


British Herbal Medicine


Herbal medicine is developed science in United Kingdom. National Institute of Medical Herbalists (N.I.M.H.) is apex-body dealing with herbal education in United Kingdom. It publishes The European Journal of Herbal Medicine that targets diverse herbal issues including materia medica, clinical notes, traditions, and book reviews. The British Journal of Phytotherapy publishes herb monographs, conference reports, and book reviews related to herbals. European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) publishes European Phytojournal.  


British Herbal Medical Association (B.H.P.A. publishes documents related to safety of herbal products. British Herbal Compendium includes scientific monographs on eighty medicinal plants. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) publised by Oxford Publishers applies scientific rigor to the study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities, particularly traditional Asian healing systems.


Canadian Herbal Medicine


The Canadian Journal of Herbalism’s herbal monographs, case studies, book reviews, and informative articles on current research into herbal medicine have contributed to the development of a strong organization of practitioners, students, and supporters of the use of medicinal plants as an essential component of a healthy life.


Miscellaneous Journals


Journal of Ethno pharmacology


The Journal of Ethno pharmacology is dedicated to the exchange of information and understandings about people's use of plants, fungi, animals, microorganisms and minerals and their biological and pharmacological effects based on the principles established through international conventions.




The journal accepts Reviews, Full Papers, Short Reports, Ethno Short Reports, Phytochemical Communications, Safety Data Reviews and Book Reviews. Reviews can be full-length state-of-the-art articles or mini reviews providing a short overview of a particular matter.


Journal of Natural Products


The Journal of Natural Products comprises natural product research relating to the chemistry and/or biochemistry of naturally occurring compounds or the biology of living systems from which they are obtained


Journal of Natural Medicines


It covers chemistry of natural products; biochemistry of medicinal plants; pharmacology and clinical applications of natural products and herbs, including Kampo formulas and traditional herbs; botanical anatomy; cultivation of medicinal plants.


Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy


The journal is useful for pharmaceutical scientists and practitioners dealing with herbal medicine and therapeutics. Emphasis is on Clinical and Applied Evidence-Based Herbal Medicinals.


The Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants


Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants® is a forum in which recent research and other information associated with herbs, spices, and medicinal plants is shared. It also begins to establish a centralized historical literature record accessible by investigators within the international community that work with or have an interest in herbs, spices, and medicinal plants.


Journal of Phytopharmacotherapy and Natural Products

The Journal of Phytopharmacotherapy and Natural Products (quarterly journal) caters to the need of people associated with medicinal plants and natural products research. It considers original articles, review article, research and development news and short communication related to pharmacology (non clinical or clinical) of plant based remedies. It will also publish articles/papers related to phytochemical studies and toxicology profile of phyto-drugs.