A Lack of Bioactive Predictability for Marker Compounds Commonly Used for Herbal Medicine Standardization
The use of botanical medicine by practitioners and the general public has dramatically increased in recent years. Most of these botanical therapeutics are obtained through commercial manufacturers or nutraceutical companies. The current standard of practice that manufacturers typically use to standardize botanicals is done based on the level of a well-known, abundant marker compound present in the botanical. This study evaluated the putative correlation between the level of a marker compound and the biological activity of eight common botanicals. Overall, the standardization of a botanical based on a marker compound was found not to be a reliable method when compared to in vitro bioactivity. A marker compound is often not the biologically active component of a plant and therefore the level of such a marker compound does not necessarily correlate with biological activity or therapeutic efficacy.