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Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016 Oct 29;9(4). pii: E65.

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

Author information

1
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. biagi4@unisi.it.
2
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. biagi4@unisi.it.
3
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. ritapecorari@ritapecorari.it.
4
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. giovanni.appendino@uniupo.it.
5
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Largo Donegani 2, 28100 Novara, Italy. giovanni.appendino@uniupo.it.
6
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. elisabetta.miraldi@unisi.it.
7
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. elisabetta.miraldi@unisi.it.
8
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. annarosa.magnano@unisi.it.
9
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. annarosa.magnano@unisi.it.
10
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. paolo.governa@unisi.it.
11
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. paolo.governa@unisi.it.
12
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. giulia.cettolin90@gmail.com.
13
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. giulia.cettolin90@gmail.com.
14
Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. daniela.giachetti@unisi.it.
15
Italian Society of Phytotherapy, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. daniela.giachetti@unisi.it.

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".

KEYWORDS:

Italian pharmaceutical market; botanicals; food supplements; herbal medicinal products; normative; parapharmaceuticals; phytotherapy

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