Herbal Chemical Marker Ranking System

The Herbal Chemical Marker Ranking System (Herb MaRS) PDF, 113.62 KB  (opens in a new window) was developed by NICM as a universally applicable ranking system for determining the most suitable chemical markers for analysis of complex multi-ingredient herbal medicine formulations. Herb MaRS provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and criteria for selecting the most appropriate compounds when undertaking quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) of herbal medicine products. This not only enables greater product safety and efficacy, but is also critical for reproducing standardised herbal medicines, especially those containing multiple ingredients.

The Herb MaRS approach actively accommodates a clinical context of use for individual herbs, as well as complex herbal formulations by factoring the traditional use of the herb to its current therapeutic application and claimed clinical indications. This method takes into account the potentially different application of individual herbs when they're mixed across various formulations.

The Herb MaRS criteria and guidelines are freely accessible for researchers and industry to utilise, provided author acknowledgement is stated. When referencing Herb MaRS, it should be cited as follows:

Bensoussan A, Lee S, Murray C, Bourchier S, van der Kooy F, Pearson JL, Liu J, Chang D, and Khoo CS. Choosing Chemical Markers for Quality Assurance of Complex Herbal Medicines: Development and Application of the Herb MaRS Criteria. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2015; 97(6). 628-640.

We recommend accessing this publication for comprehensive details regarding the background and application of the Herb MaRS criteria.

Herb MaRS is under copyright© to the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at the University of Western Sydney, 2014 - and is not to be reproduced without the written consent of NICM (Email: nicm@uws.edu.au; Telephone: +61 2 4620 3284; Fax: +61 2 4620 3291).