Human societies have been in close contact with their environments since the beginning of their formation and used the ingredients of the environment to obtain food and medicine. Awareness and application of plants to prepare food and medicine have been realized through trial and error, and gradually human became able to meet his needs from his surroundings. Information about medicinal plants has long been transmitted gradually and from generation to generation, a human knowledge has gradually become complete with the formation of civilizations and the provision of more facilities. Medicinal plants are used as a medical resource in almost all cultures. Ensuring the safety, quality and effectiveness of medicinal plants and herbal drugs very recently became a key issue in industrialized and developing countries. By standardizing and evaluating the health of active plant-derived compounds, herbal drugs can help the emergence of a new era of the healthcare system to treat human diseases in the future. Awareness of traditional knowledge and medicinal plants can play a key role in the exploitation and discovery of natural plant resources. In order to maintain this knowledge, comprehensive approach and collaboration are needed to maintain historical records on medicinal plants and use these resources in favour of human beings, before they are destroyed forever. Therefore, this review was conducted to investigate and describe the process of using medicinal plants throughout history. This review focuses on the recent various important challenges in quality evaluation of medicinal plants in the authenticity, efficacy, toxicity and consistency.
Keywords: Medicinal herbs, Medicinal plant history, Medicinal plant perspective