There is no doubt that phytochemicals have the potential as pharmaceutical agents or drugs. In the past, several phytochemicals have been used in the medical practice with significant success. With the emergence of points like drug-resistance and cost effectiveness of synthetic drugs, scientists are targeting phytochemicals for developing cheap as well as potent drugs.
According to experts, export of herbal materials and medicines can shoot upto 10,0000 million by 2010 from 4460 million in mid 2003. The international market for herbal remedies is more then US$ 60 billion per year and growing at a rate of 7%. With increased consumer demand for phyto products, the market for phytochemicals is definitely promising. Herbal drug industry has witnessed the emergence of subjects like phytopharmacovigilance. The subject deals with the safety index of herbal drugs. It is defined as "the systematic research of the safety of herbal medicines".
The main challenges in treating phytochemicals as drugs are discussed below:
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