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Traditional Use of Botanicals and Botanical Preparations

An International Perspective

Robert Anton, Basil Mathioudakis, Suwijiyo Pramono, Ekrem Sezik, Surinder Sharma
Keywords: Traditional use, botanicals, folk use, systematic use, conditions of use, physiological benefits, safety, food law, supplements

Botanicals are used worldwide in food and supplements for their nutritional and physiological effects and have become part of the local and regional cultural heritage. The use of botanicals has evolved from experience over a long period of time, often over centuries. Folk knowledge of this use has been passed on from generation to generation and later been systematically recorded. This information is collectively called ‘traditional use’ and is the largest body of observational evidence in humans available. It is recognised as a valid body of knowledge to support the safe use of botanicals and document their health benefits. This paper describes the experience on how traditional use is accepted as a basis for support of the safety and benefits for health of botanical preparations used in food supplements. It proposes a common basis for the mutual acceptance of the evidence as assessed by expert judgement that may lead to recognition of the safety and benefits of botanicals in different parts of the world.
Keywords: Traditional use; botanicals; folk use; systematic use; conditions of use; physiological benefits; safety; food law; supplements.

Robert Anton of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Strasbourg, France; Basil Mathioudakis of Basil Mathioudakis Consulting, Food legislation and nutrition, Brussels, Belgium; Suwijiyo Pramono of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Ekrem Sezik of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Dept. of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy Yeditepe University, Chairman Scientific Commission on Botanicals Intended for Use as Food, Turkey; Surinder K. Sharma is the Chairman of the Scientific Panel on Health Supplement & Nutraceuticals, Food Safety & Standards Authority, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Former Advisor, Ayurveda Ministry of AUSH, India. Corresponding author: Prof Dr. Em. R. Anton, 9, allée de la Robertsau F-67000 Strasbourg. Email: <>. Acknowledgement: Support for the development of this article was provided by the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (<>).


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