Partial ordering of undesirable effects reported for traditionally used medicinal herbal substances

Danae Laina, Michael Bariotakis, Christos Lionis, Elias Castanas, Rainer Brüggemann, Stergios A. Pirintsos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


According to the World Health Organization, the safety of herbal medicines has become a major concern to both national health authorities and the general public. Here, using partial order analysis, we explore the reported undesirable effects of medicinal herbal substances, in their traditional/ethnopharmacological use. Data were retrieved from the European Union list of herbal substances for use in traditional medicinal products and the final European Union herbal monographs of the European Medicines Agency. Our analysis revealed that the attributes (reported to undesirable effects) of the poset with the highest sensitivity were (in diminishing order) the gastrointestinal disorders, allergic skin reactions, allergic reactions and hypersensitivity reactions. Variation in undesirable effects of herbal substances between major phylogenetic groups of origin plants was also recorded and an overall arrangement of medicinal herbal substances in a rank order was achieved. This classification may serve as a guide for decision-making process for both healthcare providers and consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1241
Number of pages12
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017


  • Asterids–Rosids, partial order
  • herbal substances
  • medicinal use
  • Pharmacognosy
  • traditional medicine
  • undesirable effects

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Partial ordering of undesirable effects reported for traditionally used medicinal herbal substances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this