Original and Newer version of the Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia (3rd Edition)
Herbal medicine is an ancient medical system that provided the world’s population with safe, effective, and affordable medicine for centuries. Historical records show that humans have used plants as medicine for at least some 60,000 years and even today the populations of developing countries worldwide continue to rely heavily on plant medicine for their healthcare needs. A herbal pharmacopeia presents a nation’s documented, authentic herbal tradition and the Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia (GHP) is no exception. The GHP has been published some twelve years ago and was revised in 2007. Over the years, the pharmacopeia has served as a reference for medicinal plant, identification, preparation, and uses. This edition of the GHP is, therefore, an update of the first and second editions and contains available technical information on all the commonly used Ghanaian medicinal plants for which definable quality standards exist.
Ghana has a rich natural resource in her plant heritage. In all the agro-ecological zones: forests, coastal and Northern savanna-plants of a huge diversity abound. It is a wide range of plant species in the country. Many of these plants are medicinal plants and developed therapies on their basis. The use of these herbal therapies and associated procedures for healing in the traditional systems are what come together in traditional herbal medicine.
While the traditional herbal system is still useful in modern health care delivery systems, some challenges need to be addressed to enhance potency and efficacy. The fundamentals for addressing these challenges are Science, Technology, and Innovation(STI). The application of STI cuts across all the components of the value chain for the effective transformation of traditional herbal medicine. Scientists and all types of researchers have an onerous responsibility to ensure scientific impact on traditional herbal medicine. It is in this regard that this Ghana Herbal Pharmacopeia has been published.
At the center of the traditional herbal medicine is the Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMP). It is his or her knowledge that brings about health care delivery in the localities where they operate. More importantly, the innovations the TMP adopts or develops are what bring improvement in traditional herbal practice. The new herbal extractions that are discovered to heal certain diseases, the use of new and improved equipment and machinery, the packaging of products reflecting ingenuity and innovations, and the new approaches to marketing and branding, are all different forms of innovations which add value to the existing traditional herbal practices. However, some of these innovative actions are facilitated by sources of good knowledge.
A pharmacopeia is an important source of scientific knowledge. Prepared in a manner of this Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia, it is a wealth of knowledge that can be the foundation of a whole industry. The new edition of the Ghana Herbal Pharmacopeia approaches the practice of traditional herbal medicine from a modern perspective where the philosophy of science is rooted in proof of concept. Therefore, in each of the monographs included in this publication, there has been further laboratory testing and proving of the potency of the active ingredients. It gives further credence to the practice of traditional herbal medicine and it enhances trust. However, the challenge is getting the TMPs to use the book with understanding and a commitment to excellence. It means that beyond publishing the pharmacopeia, there will be a conscious effort to train the TMPs to use the book in their practice. In that sense, it is not just a reference material, but it is a manual in its own right.
The 131-page book is a collection of commonly used medicinal plants, their family, indication and names in Twi and English. It serves as a source of reference for Researchers, Health Workers, Students and Traditional Doctors