A good number of researches on medicinal, plant pharmacology done here in Africa are based on crude extracts. The reasons being that the crude extracts are closest to the traditional methods and/or that facilities are limited. To advance research in this field what sho uli we really focus on? Especially for plants that have been used for ages in the crude form without apparent toxicity.
In the first instance , I would like to mention that every drug- herbal or orthodox contains a chemical which could be acutely or insidiously harmful. However, manifestations of toxicity differ person to person.
On the research aspect, what to focus on depends on the study design and objectives being investigated. while t is good to work on the crude extract of herbal products, it is best to work on the pure extracts eluted from either HPTLC or Column Chromatography. hope this helps?
I am working on a clinical trial administering a crude extract because my objectives are to assess safety in a herb that people are already taking; hence the intervention should reflect the current clinical picture.