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          Sunday, October 22, 2017

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India-China Herbal
Drug Corridor

By  AA News Desk

Indian and Chinese scientists are trying to create a ‘herbal medicine corridor’ between the two countries. This confluence between traditional Chinese and Indian systems of medicines is expected to rejuvenate and bolster their position in the global herbal drug market, reports Times News Network.

The scientists of both countries are trying to work out modalities of a common certification and common pharmacopoeia of qualitative standards for herbal drugs and nutraceuticals. Scientists participating in the three-day joint workshop on ‘Quality control and standardisation of traditional medicine — Indo-China experience’ said that both the South Asian giants could also create a herbal trade route.

Dr P Pushpangadan, director, National Botanical Research Institute, said that so far essential medicinal herbs like ‘swertis chirats’ which was extensively used in Ayurveda for it hepatoprotective action and immunomodulators was abundantly available in China. Similarly, an anti-malarial herb like ‘Andro Graphis’ is available abundantly in India.

So far, both the countries have been importing herbs from other countries, but now the two neighbours can forge new ties in providing impetus to a rapidly flourishing industry of alternative medicine working. Almost 20 different herbs with important medicinal properties have already been identified which can be made a part of this herbal trade package. Li Ping, director, department of pharmacognosy, said that currently 50 per cent of Chinese rural population was dependent on traditional Chinese herbal drugs. Hence, quality control as well as affordability and easy availability of these drugs is of paramount importance.

Unlike Ayurvedic medicines which are slowly becoming out of reach of ordinary Indians, China has been relatively more successful in stabilizing prices of these herbal products. For herbal drug development at affordable prices common herbs can be jointly researched and developed by the two countries.The success of Chinese herbal drugs, according to Chinese delegates Li Ping and Zhu Chenchen, is stringent quality control.

Ping added that good agricultural practices included quality control through modern mechanisms like chemical markers (each herb collected from the forest has the desired compounds) and DNA markers. Pushpangadan added that another very important aspect of Chinese manufacturing success was close collaboration of academia and industry in promoting a new research idea into a marketable product and expediting lengthy procedures through a single window system of clearance..

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