Use of Scientific Plant Names for Herbal Products: best practice, safety and labelling

Discover the relationships between pharmaceutical names for drugs and scientific plant names.

Herbal medicines on sale in South Korea

One of the challenges faced by many people working with herbal medicines is a lack of understanding of how to use scientific names to ensure that the correct plant materials are being sourced or to find relevant regulations or published research.

This one-day workshop, run in conjunction with the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA), will explain the relationships between pharmaceutical names for drugs and scientific plant names. It will highlight the need to use scientific names to achieve precision, safety and quality control and will demonstrate the value of Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) as a reference resource for herbal medicines practitioners and industry professionals.  

Who is the workshop designed for?

The workshop is aimed at companies, health professionals and academics who use, manufacture, research, retail or prescribe herbal drugs and food supplements derived from plants.

How is the workshop taught?

This workshop is usually held at Kew and is led by staff from the BHMA and Kew’s MPNS.

It will introduce scientific names, their relevance to herbal medicines and what ‘best practice’ looks like.

There will be descriptions of Kew’s resources, some examples from BHMA of how MPNS can be put to practical use and an opportunity to visit Kew’s Traditional Chinese Medicines reference collection.

Participants will be able to explore use of the MPNS portal to solve their own queries and problems.

How to apply for a place

No course dates are currently available. If you would be interested in attending this course, or would like to enquire about alternative training options, please contact us at

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