[The utilization and safety of medicinal plants and crude drugs].
Recently, herbal remedy and health caring food are widely used throughout the generation. These main plant materials have been characterized and classified into 5 categories, by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW), Japanese Government, in 1971, which include 3 medicine divisions and 2 food divisions. These categories, having only limited number of plants, were quite difficult to classify the newly imported plant materials. In order to solve this problem, each category was updated to include new herbal materials in March 1998. Kampo medicines are Japanese traditional medicines, which has been used for the patients mostly by doctors of western medicine and 3 kinds of Kampo prescription had been reevaluated by the drug reevaluation system of Japan. But, along with the expanding consumption of the Kampo medicines in the clinical treatments, several side effects of the Kampo medicines has recently been reported by the collection of adverse reaction data of MHW, these side effects are important signals for believing the safety of natural drugs. The chapter I is definition of medicinal plant and crude drugs, and chapter II is reported of WHO guidelines for the traditional medicines. Chapter III is 4 section; 1. safety of the medicinal plants and crude drugs is included the poisonous plant and the side effect of Kampo medicines, 2. the pesticide for the crude drugs in Japanese Pharmacopoeia, 3. limited test of contamination of microorganisms, 4. Identification of medicinal plant names. Chapter IV is the definition of drugs and food. The chapter V is the drugs type materials used in young generation for hallucinogenic or sexual purpose. Chapter VI is the stance to research work for the new drugs from plant gene resources in the world.