Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Theme V: Drug analysis methods

Drugs analysis methods

Determination of foreign matter

Herbs drugs should be free, as much as possible, of mold, insects and other animal contaminants. The amount of foreign matter should not be higher than the standard regulated for each product according to the pharmacopoeia monograph.


This test is performed to the whole or part of the plant material as specified. Take 100 to 500 g of the test material, spread it in a thin layer on a clean surface and inspect it with the naked eye or using a 6x lens microscope. Separate, weigh and calculate the percentage of foreign material found.


Foreign organs: material derived from other parts of the plant or other plants different than the described.

Foreign substances: substances not derived from the analyzed plant sources or other plants or have a mineral or synthetic origin.

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