Please enter a NAME to search the MPNS resource:

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Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) is enhancing the safety, quality and effectiveness with which medicinal plants are used, studied and understood globally. It achieves this by providing a range of Information Services enabling individuals and organisations to communicate reliably when using plant names. Our clients include professionals and information managers working in health care, regulation, pharmacovigilance, research, the pharmaceutical and herbal industries and conservation.

MPNS Resource

The MPNS resource brings together the many different names in use for medicinal plants and herbal substances, especially those of international significance, including their pharmaceutical, trade and common names in multiple languages. MPNS then maps these names onto the most up to date taxonomy and scientific nomenclature for those plants. MPNS is global in scope covering plants used in many countries and links the names used for them throughout the world.

The MPNS resource also includes pointers to the medicinal and botanical literature in which these names are published, the parts of the plant used and the status of our taxonomic knowledge. Data will be updated quarterly to include names from new references, resolve errors and to reflect advances in taxonomic knowledge. Every year 10,000 changes are published to the scientific names of higher plants.

Further details and a log of updates to the resource can be found here.

Searching the portal

The MPNS portal allows users to search the resource.

Searches can be performed using scientific or non-scientific names, e.g.

  • "chamomile" (common name)
  • "Chamaemelum" (genus only)
  • "Chamomillae" (part of pharmaceutical name)
  • "Chamaemelum nobile" (accepted scientific name)
  • "Anthemis nobilis" (widely used scientific synonym)

A successful search will return the following information:

  • the names that match your search term
  • the currently accepted scientific name of the plant(s) associated with these matched names
  • the alternative scientific names for these plants from Kew’s taxonomic databases
  • the scientific and non-scientific names used in more than 60 medicinal plant references and regulations included in the MPNS resource to date
  • the plant parts used and trade forms as recorded in those same medicinal plant references
  • links to information and data stored in online resources, such as PubMed and GenBank.

Note: Records can be filtered by name status, name type or medicinal reference.

Please refer to How to use the portal for more detailed advice.

For any other queries please consult our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Feedback is sought on all aspects of the portal and resource, including presentation, functionality and coverage. Please contact the MPNS team: if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.


The Medicinal Plant Names Services initiative is supported by Kew and benefits from grants from both the Wellcome Trust and Wolfson Charitable Trust. We have also benefited from feedback from the MPNS User Group including partners from different sectors. Further details of our current partners and how to join the User Group can be found here.

Our aim is to maintain the MPNS resource and ensure the continuity of the related services by exploring sustainability models and partnerships. If you have suggestions, wish to partner us or would like to support this work in other ways, then please contact: