The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) launched the AHPA Botanical Identity Reference Compendium as a resource for manufacturers and researchers to accurately identify botanical ingredients. The AHPA Compendium is a cooperative and centralized source of information on physical characteristics and test methods that can be used by qualified and experienced analysts to determine the identity of plant species and articles of trade obtained from these plants. It currently provides information for nearly 200 commonly used botanical species and will continued to be expanded by AHPA staff and contributors.
The AHPA Compendium provides examples of unique identifying characteristics and specific analytical methods for each of the listed species that may be applicable to the plant itself or to natural products produced from the plant. This information is presented in one or more of the following fields:
- Voucher specimen images
- Organoleptic descriptions
- Macroscopic images and descriptions
- Microscopic images and descriptions
- Chromatographic methods (e.g., TLC, HPTLC, HPLC)
- Reviews of certain known adulterants
- Links to abstracts of relevant publications.
The Compendium is free and publicly accessible and combines materials from open-source academic documents with information donated by Alkemist Labs, American Herbal Pharmacopeia, Botanical Liaisons, CAMAG Laboratories, ChromaDex, GRACE, the HPTLC Association, Mountain Rose Herbs, PlantaPhile, PhytoLab and U.S. Pharmacopeia.
"Botanical authentication has always been a top priority for AHPA and the herbal products industry," said Maged Sharaf, Ph.D., AHPA's chief science officer. "Providing means to accurately identify ingredients efficiently is just one of the ways AHPA serves its members and the industry at large."