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Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(4), 65; doi:10.3390/ph9040065

Herbal Products in Italy: The Thin Line between Phytotherapy, Nutrition and Parapharmaceuticals; A Normative Overview of the Fastest Growing Market in Europe

1
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy
2
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy
3
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Largo Donegani 2, 28100 Novara, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dario Donno
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [203 KB, uploaded 29 October 2016]

Abstract

The Italian herbal products market is the most prosperous in Europe. The proof is represented by the use of these products in several marketing categories, ranging from medicine to nutrition and cosmetics. Market and legislation in Italy are at the same time cause and consequence of this peculiar situation. In fact, the legislation on botanical food supplements in Italy is very permissive and at the same time the market shows an overall satisfaction of users and strong feedback in terms of consumption, which brings a widening use of medicinal plants, formerly the prerogative of pharmaceuticals, to other fields such as nutrition. This review summarizes the market and normative panorama of herbal products in Italy, highlighting the blurred boundaries of health indications, marketing authorizations and quality controls between herbal medicines and non pharmaceutical products, such as food supplements, cosmetics and other herbal-based “parapharmaceuticals”. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbal medicinal products; food supplements; botanicals; normative; phytotherapy; Italian pharmaceutical market; parapharmaceuticals herbal medicinal products; food supplements; botanicals; normative; phytotherapy; Italian pharmaceutical market; parapharmaceuticals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Biagi, M.; Pecorari, R.; Appendino, G.; Miraldi, E.; Magnano, A.R.; Governa, P.; Cettolin, G.; Giachetti, D. Herbal Products in Italy: The Thin Line between Phytotherapy, Nutrition and Parapharmaceuticals; A Normative Overview of the Fastest Growing Market in Europe. Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9, 65.

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