crude drugs classification

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Introduction The term crude drug generally applies to the products from plant and animal origin found in a raw form However, the term is also applied to include pharmaceutical products from mineral kingdom in original form and not necessarily only of organic origin such as kaolin, bentonite etc

Classification of Crude Drugs :

Classification of Crude Drugs The most important natural sources of drugs are higher plant, microbes and animals and marine organisms. Some useful products are obtained from minerals that are both organic and inorganic in nature. In order to pursue (or to follow) the study of the individual drugs, one must adopt some particular sequence of arrangement and this is referred to a system of classification of drugs.

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A method of classification should be (a) Simple (b) Easy to use (c) Free from confusion and ambiguities.

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1. Alphabetical classification 2. Morphological classification 3. Taxonomic classification 4. Pharmacological classification 5. Chemical classification 6. Chemotaxonomical classification

Alphabetical Classification :

Alphabetical Classification Alphabetical classification is the simplest way of classification of any disconnected items. Crude drugs are arranged in alphabetical order of their Latin and English names (common names) or sometimes local language names (vernacular names).

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Some of the pharmacopoeias, dictionaries and reference books which classify crude drugs according to this system are as follows. 1. Indian Pharmacopoeia 2. British Pharmacopoeia 3. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia 4. United States Pharmacopoeia and National Formulary 5. British Pharmaceutical Codex. 6. European Pharmacopoeia

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In European Pharmacopoeia these are arranged according to their names in Latin where in U.S.P. and B.P.C., these are arranged in English. Merits : • It is easy and quick to use • There is no repetition of entries and is devoid of confusion. • In this system location, tracing and addition of drug entries is easy. Demerits : There is no relationship between previous and successive drug entries.

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Examples: Acacia, Benzoin, Cinchona, Dill, Ergot, Fennel, Gentian, Hyoscyamus, Ipecacuanha, Jalap, Kurchi, Liquorice, Mints, Nuxvomica, Opium, Podophyllum, Quassia, Rauwolfia, Senna, Vasaka, Wool fat, Yellow bees wax, Zeodary.

Morphological Classification :

Morphological Classification In this system, the drugs are arranged according to the morphological or external characters of the plant parts or animal parts i.e. which part of the plant is used as a drug e. g. leaves, roots, stem etc.

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The drugs obtained from the direct parts of the plants and containing cellular tissues are called as organized drugs e. g. Rhizomes, barks, leaves, fruits, entire plants, hairs and fibres. The drugs which are prepared from plants by some intermediate physical processes such as incision, drying or extraction with a solvent and not containing any cellular plant tissues are called as unorganized drugs . Aloe juice, opium latex, agar, gambir, gelatin, tragacanth, benzoin, honey, beeswax, lemon grass oil etc. are examples of unorganized drugs

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Organised Drugs Woods– Quassia, Sandalwood, Red Sandalwood. Leaves– Digitalis, Eucalyptus, Gymnema, Mint, Senna, Spearmint, Squill, Tulsi, Vasaka, Coca, Buchu, Hamamelis, Hyoscyamus, Belladonna, Tea. Barks– Arjuna, Ashoka, Cascara, Cassia, Cinchona, Cinnamon, Kurchi, Quillia, Wild cherry. Flowering parts– Clove, Pyrethrum, Saffron, Santonica, Chamomile. Fruits– Amla, Anise, Bael, Bahera, Bitter Orange peel, Capsicum, Caraway, Cardamom, Colocynth, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Gokhru, Hirda, Lemon peel, Senna pod, Star anise, Tamarind, Vidang. Seeds– Bitter almond, Black Mustard, Cardamom, Colchicum, Ispaghula, Kaladana, Linseed, Nutmeg, Nux vomica, Physostigma, Psyllium, Strophanthus, White mustard.

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Roots and Rhizomes– Aconite, Ashwagandha, Calamus, Calumba, Colchicum corm, Dioscorea, Galanga, Garlic, Gention, Ginger, Ginseng, Glycyrrhiza, Podophyllum, Ipecac, Ipomoea, Jalap, Jatamansi, Rauwolfia, Rhubarb, Sassurea, Senega, Shatavari, Turmeric, Valerian, Squill. Plants and Herbs– Ergot, Ephedra, Bacopa, Andrographis, Kalmegh, Yeast, Vinca, Datura, Centella. Hair and Fibres– Cotton, Hemp, Jute, Silk, Flax.

Unorganised Drugs:

Unorganised Drugs Dried latex– Opium, Papain Dried Juice– Aloe, Kino Dried extracts– Agar, Alginate, Black catechu, Pale catechu, Pectin Waxes - Beeswax, Spermaceti, Carnauba wax Gums – Acacia, Guar Gum, Indian Gum, Sterculia, Tragacenth. Resins– Asafoetida, Benzoin, Colophony, copaiba Guaiacum, Guggul, Mastic, Coal tar, Tar, Tolu balsam, Storax, Sandarac.

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Volatile oil– Turpentine, Anise, Coriander, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Lemon, Caraway, Dill, Clove, Eucalyptus, Nutmeg, Camphor. Fixed oils and Fats– Arachis, Castor, Chalmoogra, Coconut, Cotton seed, Linseed, Olive, Sesame, Almond, Theobroma, Cod-liver, Halibut liver, Kokum butter. Animal Products – Bees wax, Cantharides, Cod-liver oil, Gelatin, Halibut liver oil, Honey, Shark liver oil, shellac, Spermaceti wax, wool fat, musk, Lactose. Fossil organism and Minerals– Bentonite, Kaolin, Kiesslguhr, Talc.

Difference between organized and unorganized drugs :

Difference between organized and unorganized drugs Organized Drugs These may be of plant or animal origin These are direct part of plant or animal. These have cellular structure. Generally identified by morphological character. Examples: Digitalis leaf, cinchona bark and ephedra stem. Unorganized Drugs These may be of plant, animal or mineral origin. These are the product of plant or animals. These do not have well defined cellular structure. Generally identified by organoleptic properties. Examples: Agar, gelatin, honey

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Merits: :Morphological classification is more helpful to identify and detect adulteration. This system of classification is more convenient for practical study especially when the chemical nature of the drug is not clearly understood. Demerits: • The main drawback of morphological classification is that there is no co-relation of chemical constituents with the therapeutic actions. • Repetition of drugs or plants occurs.

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CLASS Angiospermae (Angiosperms) Plants which produce flowers Gymnospermae (Gymnosperms) Plants which don't produce flowers SUBCLASS Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons, Dicots) Plants with two seed leaves Monocotyledonae (Monocotyledons, Monocots) Plants with one seed leaf SUPERORDER A group of related Plant Families, classified in the order in which they are thought to have developed their differences from a common ancestor. There are six Superorders in the Dicotyledonae (Magnoliidae, Hamamelidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae), and four Superorders in the Monocotyledonae (Alismatidae, Commelinidae, Arecidae, Liliidae) The names of the Superorders end in -idae ORDER Each Superorder is further divided into several Orders. The names of the Orders end in -ales FAMILY Each Order is divided into Families. These are plants with many botanical features in common, and is the highest classification normally used. At this level, the similarity between plants is often easily recognisable by the layman. Modern botanical classification assigns a type plant to each Family, which has the particular characteristics which separate this group of plants from others, and names the Family after this plant. The number of Plant Families varies according to the botanist whose classification you follow. Some botanists recognise only 150 or so families, preferring to classify other similar plants as sub-families, while others recognise nearly 500 plant families. A widely-accepted system is that devised by Cronquist in 1968, which is only slightly revised today. The names of the Families end in -aceae SUBFAMILY The Family may be further divided into a number of sub-families, which group together plants within the Family that have some significant botanical differences. The names of the Subfamilies end in -oideae

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Example Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish biologist Division Angiospermae Class Dicotyledoneae Subclass Sympetalae Order Tubiflorae Suborder Verbenineae Family Labiatae (Lamiaceae) Subfamily Stachydoideae Tribe Satureieae Genus Mentha Species Mentha piperita Linnaeus (peppermint) Varieties Mentha piperita var. officinalis Sole (White Peppermint); Mentha piperita var. vulgaris Sole (Black Peppermint)

Pharmacological Classification :

Pharmacological Classification Grouping of drug according to their pharmacological action or of most important constituent or their therapeutic use is termed as pharmacological or therapeutic classification of drug. This classification is more relevant and is mostly followed method. Drugs like digitalis, squill and strophanthus having cardiotonic action are grouped together irrespective of their parts used or phylogenetic relationship or the nature of phytoconstituents they contain.

Merits and demerits:

Merits and demerits Merits: This system of classification can be used for suggesting substitutes of drugs if they are not available at a particular place or point of time. • Demerits: Drugs having different action on the body gets classified separately in more than one group that causes ambiguity and confusion. Cinchona is anti-malarial drug because of presence of quinine but can be put under the group of drug affecting heart because of anti-arrythymic action of quinidine

Chemical Classification :

Chemical Classification The crude drugs are divided into different groups according to the chemical nature of their most important constituent. Since the pharmacological activity and therapeutic significance of crude drugs are based on the nature of their chemical constituents. The chemical classification of drugs is dependent upon the grouping of drugs with identical constituents

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1. Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones containing an unbroken chain of carbon atoms. Gums Acacia, Tragacanth, Guargum Mucilages Plantago seed Others Starch, Honey, Agar, Pectin, Cotton

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2. Glycosides – Glycosides are compounds which upon hydrolysis give rise to one or more sugars (glycone) and non-sugar (aglycone). Anthraquinone Glycosides: Aloe, Cascara, Rhubarb, Senna Saponins Glycosides : Quillaia, Arjuna, Glycyrrhiza Cyanophore Glycosides: Wild cherry bark Isothiocyanate Glycosides : Mustard Cardiac Glycosides: Digitalis, Strophantus Bitter Glycosides : Gentian, Calumba, Quassia, Chirata, Kalmegh

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3. Tannins – Tannins are complex organic, non-nitrogenous derivatives of polyhydroxy benzoic acids. Examples- Pale catechu, Black catechu, Ashoka bark, Galls, Myrobalan, Bahera, Amla

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4. Volatile oils – Monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes obtained from plants Examples- Cinnamon, Fennel, Dill, Caraway, Coriander, Cardamom, Orange peel, Mint, Clove, valerian

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5. Lipids Fixed oils – Castor, Olive, Almond, Shark liver oil Fats – Theobroma, Lanolin Waxes – Beeswax, Spermaceti

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6. Resins– Complex mixture of compounds like resinols, resin acids, resinotannols, resenes. Examples Colophony, Podophyllum, Cannabis, Jalap, Capsicum, Turmeric, Balsam of Tolu and Peru, Asafoetida, Myrrh, Ginger

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7. Alkaloids – Nitrogenous substance of plant origin Pyridine and Piperidine – Lobelia, Nicotiana Tropane - Coca, Belladonna, Datura, Stramonium, Hyoscyamus, Henbane Quinoline – Cinchona Isoquinoline – Opium, Ipecac, Calumba Indole – Ergot, Rauwolfia Amines – Ephedra Purine – Tea, coffee

Merits and demerits:

Merits and demerits Merits : It is a popular approach for phyto-chemical studies Demerits: Ambiguities arise when particular drugs possess a number of compounds belonging to different groups of compounds.

Chemotaxonomic Classification :

Chemotaxonomic Classification This system of classification relies on the chemical similarity of a taxon i.e. it is based on the existence of relationship between constituents in various plants. There are certain types of chemical constituents that characterize certain classes of plants. This gives birth to entirely new concept of chemotaxonomy that utilizes chemical facts/characters for understanding the taxonomical status, relationships and the evolution of the plants

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For example, tropane alkaloids generally occur among the members of Solanaceae thereby, serving as a chemotaxonomic marker. Similarly other secondary plant metabolites can serve as the basis of classification of crude drugs. The berberine alkaloid in Berberis and Argemone; Rutin in Rutaceae members, ranunculaceous alkaloids among its members etc are other examples.

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It is the latest system of classification and gives more scope for understanding the relationship between chemical constituents, their biosynthesis and their possible action


Conclusion For practical approach chemical and morphological classification found to be of good use