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  1. 1

    Fertility regulating agents from plants.

    WHO Chronicle 33:58-59. February 1979.

    6 centers have been designated to conduct research aimed at finding new and effective fertility regulating agents from plants. The centers are part of the WHO Special Program of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. Information concerning about 3000 plants has already been computerized. The sources of this information are many and varied. Some of the reports are scientifically based. Some contain vague or hearsay evidence, and others use terminology which raises questions about the authors' awareness of some of the terms they used. Thus, currently, the amount of detail available regarding the administration of these plants for fertility regulation often provides an inadequate basis for assessing the possible mechanism of action. For the purposes of the WHO program, in which a Task Force has been established in this subject, only certain types of fertility regulating agents are being considered. Each is being assigned to a specific category, according to its use. The compuer is fed all the available weighted data concerning fertility regulation for each plant and for each category of fertility regulating agent. On this basis, the computer then provides a priority rank-ordered list of plants to assist in the selection of the most appropriate plants for experimental investigation by the 6 centers in the program. Each of the 6 centers will be assigned plants from the rank-ordered priority list, those indigenous to the country where the center is located being assigned there if possible. A few parallel studies will continue to be supported by WHO, based on the needs of the program and the merits of each study.
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  2. 2

    Inventory of medicinal plants: selection and characterization.

    WHO Chronicle 33:56-57. February 1979.

    In May 1978 the 31st World Health Assembly urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to compile an inventory of medicinal plants with standardized botanical nomenclature of those most widely used and to compile and periodically update a therapeutic classification of the plants. WHO was also asked to review the available scientific data relating to the efficacy of medicinal plants and their products in the treatment of specific conditions and diseases and to make available the results of such reviews. In response, WHO has compiled an inventory of plants known to be used for therapeutic purposes thorughout the world. WHO will extract from the inventory a list of the plants which really do exert some pharmacological effect and which are most widely used. The initial list will consist of 228 plants. To draw up this preferential list of most used medicinal plants, a classification into 3 categories will be made: 1) plants that are used directly in therapy; 2) plants that constitute the raw mateiral for galenicals; and 3) plants that constitute the raw material for industrial processing and which are used either for the extraction and purification of their active principles or used as starting materials or intermediates for synthetic preparations. A code of specifications for vegetable drugs belonging to the 3 categories already classified in also planned. Much work needs to be done on medicinal plants used in traditional medicine and those whose reputed therapeutic properties have not yet been scientifically assessed.
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