Challenges in monitoring the safety of herbal medicines-an appraisal

  • Muzafar Din Ahmad Bhat National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore
  • Rabia Malik Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centre National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore
Keywords: Pharmacovigilance, herbal medicine, adverse drug reaction, herb-drug interactions


Introduction: Both the medical profession and the general public have started to place a lot of emphasis on drug safety and pharmacovigilance. The use of herbal remedies and phytonutrients is expanding quickly, with many people resorting to these items for the treatment of a range of health conditions in different national healthcare settings. Traditional herbal therapy is frequently used because it is less expensive; more closely aligns with the patient's beliefs, and fills a demand for more individualized healthcare. This promotes a more transparent public approach to health information. Around 80 % of the world's population depends on herbal remedies as their primary source of healthcare and traditional medicine.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate significant problems associated with monitoring the safety of herbal medicines and to assist the regulatory bodies in refocusing on the requirement for guaranteeing adequate public health protection and promoting safety.

Methods: The literature was obtained from online databases including Pub Med, Google Scholar, Web of Science, etc. A library search was also conducted from classical Textbooks, and published Books of herbal medicine. The keywords used for the search were pharmacovigilance, herbal medicine; adverse drug reaction; herb-drug interactions.

Results: Although numerous herbal medications are utilized and some of them have intriguing potential, very few of them have been evaluated, and their usage is not strictly regulated, so it is difficult to determine their potential adverse effects. This makes it challenging to determine the safest and most efficient therapies and to encourage the responsible use of herbal medicine.

Conclusion: Pharmacovigilance must be used to conduct an empirical clinical assessment to compensate for the lack of safety assessments of herbal drugs. This is only possible if herbal products are subjected to some sort of regulation so that adverse events can be traced.

Author Biographies

Muzafar Din Ahmad Bhat, National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore

Dr Muzafar D A Bhat is working as Sr Assistant Professor at National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore India

Rabia Malik, Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centre National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore

Dr Rabia Malik is working as Programme Associate at Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centre National Institute of Unani Medicine Bangalore.


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How to Cite
Bhat MDA, Malik R. Challenges in monitoring the safety of herbal medicines-an appraisal. jpadr [Internet]. 2022Dec.1 [cited 2023Feb.5];3(4):3-. Available from: