HERBAL medicine is still the mainstay of about 75–80% of the world population, mainly in the developing countries, for primary health care because of better cultural acceptability, better compatibility with the human body and lesser side effects. However, the last few years have seen a major increase in their use in the developed world. In Germany and France, many herbs and herbal extracts are used as prescription drugs and their sales in the countries of European Union were around $ 6 billion in 1991 and may be over $ 20 billion now. In USA, herbal drugs are currently sold in health food stores with a turnover of about $ 4 billion in 1996 which is anticipated to double by the turn of the century1. In India, the herbal drug market is about $ one billion and the export of plant-based crude drugs is around $ 80 million2 . Herbal medicines also find market as nutraceuticals (health foods) whose current market is estimated at about $ 80–250 billion in USA and also in Europe.