UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplement Research in Women's Health

College of Pharmacy

Botanical Center Research Philosophy

Prior to being studied in a clinical trial, botanicals must undergo intense scientific scrutiny using basic science methodology before being tested in humans. Center scientists employ scientific testing procedures using sophisticated techniques and costly machinery. This process may take several months to complete. First botanicals must undergo botanical verification, then they are evaluated chemically for the identification of specific compounds (Project 1 and Core B) which are further evaluated to determine their biological activity (Project 2 and Core C).  When botanicals can be characterized both chemically and biologically, then their metabolic pathways are further investigated (Project 3 and Core D).  All of this is done in advance of testing in humans to assure that botanicals being tested are verified, standardized and show activity without toxicity.

The image below is a representation of the stepwise approach to evaluating botanical dietary supplements:

Botanical Center research Philosophy