Chinese medicinal plants expedition


Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) does not intend to duplicate work that others are already undertaking. This includes harnessing information on plant chemistry, toxicity or trade data.

Our proposal is for MPNS to serve as one component of the global medicinal plant information landscape. It will serve as an intelligent gateway enabling effective data mining of these multiple resources making them more accessible, regardless of the plant names used.

From its inception MPNS has benefited from the support of many individuals and organisations. Primary contributions are outlined below. To find out more about the work of each partner see 'Related links'.

If you are interested in collaborating with MPNS in any way please contact us at:

We are grateful to Kew, and the following charitable trusts for their continuing support:

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • The Wolfson Family Charitable Trust



Medicinal Plant Resources of the World (MAPROW) is a desktop database containing drug, pharmaceutical and common names alongside plant part information from medicinal plant references including pharmacopoeias. It was built by Dr Uwe Schippmann and is used by the IUCN Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (MPSG) of the Species Survival Commission, and by the FairWild Foundation to support the conservation and sustainable wild collection of medicinal, aromatic, and other useful wild plants. Dr Schippmann is a key MPNS partner and we share data records and taxonomies.

Amparo Rodrigues

Amparo Rodrigues kindly provided a dataset from an earlier project, which collated plant names from 18 major medicinal plant references, significantly increasing the data contained in MPNS. These references are identified with an asterisk (*) in the references list.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency

MPNS has worked to supply a controlled vocabulary (CV) for medicinal plant names for use within a new ISO data standard for all medicinal products. MPNS is working with FDA, initially, to implement delivery of this CV for use by health regulators worldwide, including the EMA, and to build an API (machine to machine interface) to maintain it. The API will keep the CV up to date with any taxonomic and nomenclatural changes that occur, as well as the addition of new plants used in medicines worldwide.

Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC )

MPNS is exploring delivery of plant name services more widely to a a diverse group of organisations. One example is the Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC) at the Institute of Food Research in the UK. IFR run the eBASIS and ePlantLIBRA databases. MPNS seek the means to collaborate with ePlantLIBRA so as to help the FDNC communicate more effectively and more safely about the plants used in plant food supplements and other bioactive plant foods.

User group

The creation of a group to represent the interests of the intended client base has been fundamental to establishing effective information services. This user group has a wide representation both geographically and across research sectors and industries. The needs of our clients leads the development of our services by helping to prioritise the addition of new content, shape the design and scope of the services, and ensures that we consider their practical constraints and business environments.

If you would be interested in finding out more about our user group, please email us at