Information provided by the Compendium

  • The Botanical Species. The taxonomy database “the Plant List” was taken as a reference. If not found in this database, or where the scientific name of the botanical was not officially accepted (“unresolved”), ARSGRIN was used. If still unsuccessful, the International Plant Name Index was consulted.
  • The Family. In many cases, botanicals from a given family contain similar groups of compounds. Therefore, knowing the family name may provide indications of the possible presence of similar compounds in other species not included in the compendium. The Plant List database was used as the main source of information.
  • The Plant Part in which the compounds of concern were reported to be present, or for which adverse effect(s) was reported without any identification of substances of concern.
  • The Preparation, including essential oils, linked to the presence of a substance of possible concern or an adverse effect.
  • The Substances or chemical groups of concern when they were identified. This compendium is intended for hazard identification, whereas risk assessment would require additional information on the concentration of the substance of possible concern in the product on the market, as well as the level of exposure of the consumer to this substance.
  • The Effect Description found in the scientific literature when they could not be associated to any of the compound(s) of concern. The toxicity of the compound(s) of concern will be characterised in a next phase of development of the compendium.
  • The Reference retrieved from literature searches for the data given, and/or standard reference text books providing monographs or more general scientific information for the botanicals considered.

The information in the Compendium of Botanicals can be accessed using the Botanical Summary Report [1]. When the report opens all records in the database are shown. On the left hand side is the Family box. Clicking on a plant family in the Family box restricts the information in the Botanical Species box, the Adverse Effect table and the Botanical composition table to the selected plant family. More than one plant family can be selected, and the results can be further refined by clicking on one or more species in the Botanical Species box. To come back to the full list of plant families or botanical species, click on “All Family” or “All Botanical Species” respectively.

The Adverse Effect table presents information on toxicology studies or case reports where there has been exposure to a plant part, preparation or substance of concern found in the selected plant family or plant species. Each toxicology study or case report is linked to the original source of the information, which can be viewed in the Citation field. 

The Botanical Composition table presents information on substances detected or quantified by analysing plant parts or preparations for the selected plant family or plant species. Each composition record is linked to the original source of the information and can be viewed in the Citation field.

Clicking on the Substance tab allows further analysis of the composition records. By selecting a substance in the Substance Name box, plant species in which the substance has been detected can be viewed with the original source of the information in the Citation field.

An additional function for searching the Compendium by toxicity or adverse effect is under development and will be released early 2017.

[1] This information is stored and presented in the EFSA Data Warehouse (Adobe Flash Player required – free download available at the Adobe website).