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SIG on Natural Products

Chair: Prof. Michiho Ito (Japan)

Vice-Chair: Ms Joy van Oudtshoorn (South Africa)


Herbal medicines (which include animal- and mineral-sourced medicines) have been significant source materials for drug discovery during past decades.  Thousands of compounds were isolated from them, developed to pharmaceutics and used as conventional medicines.  Herbal medicines are still important for new drug research and development to a certain degree, but are recently paid more attention regarding Traditional Medicine which has been promoted by World Health Organization for primary health care.  Herbal supplements, nutraceuticals, or other herbal healthcare products are also coming to be familiar with our daily life.  However, herbal medicines and their products are composed of highly complicated compounds, and their safety and efficacies are hardly controlled under the same regulatory system as those of conventional medicines (most of which consists of pure compounds).  Evidence-based approaches towards herbal medicines and establishments of appropriate regulatory systems based on results of scientific studies are required in many parts of the world for proper use and development of natural products.  SIG-NP would like to make efforts on providing practitioners and the public with actual information on herbal products and opportunities to discuss over a good combinational use of conventional and traditional medicines, in order for the better use of natural products for human health care.

For more information on this SIG, please contact Prof. Ito at