Pharmacognosy is a science which deals with the study of crude medicine (or unprepared form) in substances obtained originally from natural sources mainly plant, animal and minerals
· The word Pharmacognosy is derived from the Greek words
§ “Pharmakon”, meaning a drug or medicine and
§ “gignosco” meaning to acquire a knowledge of
· It deals with scientific study of structural, physical, chemical and sensory characters of crude drug obtained from plant, animal and mineral sources.
Some materials have no pharmacological action but have interest to pharmacognosy e.g. natural fibres, flavouring and suspending agents, colorants, disintegrants, stabilizers, filtering and supporting media
· Also other materials with natural associations with the subject are poisonous, hallucinogenic plants, allergens, herbicides, insecticides and molluscicides
Common Terminologies Applied in Pharmacognosy
§ Is a natural or synthetic substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental wellbeing
§ Drugs should be included in the official pharmacopoeia
· Crude drugs
§ Are harvested (i.e. dried) plant or animal sources which pharmaceutically or medicinally useful products, and before they undergo extensive processing or modification
§ A crude drug can be
§ An entire organism (plant, animal, organism
§ A part of an organism (a leaf or flower of a plant, an isolated gland or other organ of an anima
§ An extract or an exudate of an organism
§ An isolated pure compound
§ Sources of Crude Drugs:
§ Plant sources, e.g. Senna
§ Animal sources, e.g. honey
§ Minerals sources, e.g. talc
· Natural Product
§ It is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism found in nature that usually has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug design.
§ Is the study of the relationship between people and plants, field includes studying plants as medicines, alternative methods for healing, as wild foods, as agricultural crops; modes of transportation; as clothing and in the religious ceremonies.
Ethnopharmacology is the scientific study correlating ethnic groups, their health, and how it relates to their physical habits and methodology in creating and using medicines
Evans, W. C. (2009). Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. India: Reed Elsevier Limited.