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PHARMACOGNOSY: SUBJECT ORIENTATION Dr. Naureen Shehzadi Department of pharmaceutical sciences, Superior university


ORIGIN OF PHARMACOGNOSY? “Pharmacognosy”- initially known as “Materia Medica” is derived from two Latin word; Pharmakon meaning “a drug” Gignoso meaning “to acquire knowledge of” Pharmacognosy is an applied science that deals with drugs from natural sources (Plants, Animals, Marines, Minerals, Microbes etc.)

C. A. Seydler:

C. A. Seydler “C. A. Seydler” was a medical student at “Halle, Germany” and in 1815 he wrote his doctoral thesis “Analectica Pharmacognostica”. So, some sources claim that Seydler is the one who created the word Pharmacognosy. J. A. Schmidt Research on this race between who actually created the term opened the doors to 1811 when “J. A. Schmidt” used term in his materia medica (Lehrbuch der materia medica) to describe study of medicinal plants and their properties.


WHAT IS PHARMACOGNOSY? In short; “Pharmacognosy is the study of crude drugs from natural sources including information regarding history, distribution, cultivation, collection, sensory, biological and physicochemical characterization, structural features, medicinal uses, processing of crude drug for commercial market, storage and preservation of herbs.” (Jarald and Jarald, 2007)


HISTORY AND BACKGROUND Beginning of life on earth has always been a very controversial topic and billions of debates have been done on that. But, it can certainly be believed that the vegetable or plant and animal kingdom was already there when made appeared on earth. Early mankind depended on nature for health as well as for illness. During acclimatization with the environment of earth, man learned many things about natural resources (Plants and animals).


HISTORY AND BACKGROUND Epidemics and pandemics also played an important role in fastening the process of learning since many people may have died in the initial stages of research when nothing was known to mankind regarding medicinal properties of plants. With the passage of time, man distinguished medicinal plant from those which were poisonous and dietary plants from non-consumable ones.


HISTORY AND BACKGROUND Curing of ailments since the existence of mankind has always been a challenging task for traditional healers. The survival of human race from different epidemics and pandemics had always been dependent on natural medicines, sometime in the form of plants and sometimes in other forms like animal and minerals. The use of drugs from marine and microbial source was not very vast due to non-easy availability of these things .


EVIDENCES OF NATURAL MEDICINE USE Physical evidences for use of herbal remedies date back to 60,000 when the bones of a Neanderthal man were found in cave in Iraq. The analysis of bone confirmed existence of pollen grain that were not accidently present in it but were consumed.

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Many plants were used to cover the deads and most of those plants were medicinal in nature and still used e.g. camphor

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In ancient times, women used to collect herbs and prepare medicine from them to take care of their family members and males used to keep records of events and result from the use of such herbs . People also gathered methological and scientific information on herbs and mentioned them in pharmacopoeias.

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The first written records were; The “Mesopotamian clay tablets” Egyptian papyrus

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King of Sumeria ordered compilation of materia medica(ancient form of today’s United-States Pharmacopoeia). “Treaties of Medical Diagnosis and Prognosis” by R. Labat is the largest medical treaty available from ancient Mesopotamia (Land between the rivers; Tigris and Euphrates).

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Asu Physicians used milk, snake skin and turtle shells for their extensive medicinal properties. They also used decoctions containing alkali’s and salts for treating ailments .

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After Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greece and Rome, Indians, Chinese and Japanese civilizations also made contributions and influenced the development of natural products.


EVOLUTION IN NATURAL MEDICINE SCIENCE Era Focus 19 th century (First half) Stocking of crude drug for preparation of herbal tea mixtures, tinctures, extracts, juices for preparing various dosage forms (drops, Syrups, infusions, ointments, liniments) 19 th century (Second half) Discoveries in the field of chemistry lead to rapid progress in isolation of pure actives from crude drugs Active constituents replaced crude drugs and man became focused on semi-synthetic and ultimately synthetic production of drugs. Herbal industry and medicines were pushed back from scope.


EVOLUTION IN NATURAL MEDICINE SCIENCE Era Focus 20 th century Medicinal plants which were losing their place in the field of healthcare are regaining their position and research is being carried out to use natural remedies and also discover new plants with similar actives in other species of plants or new actives in medically less-recognized plants Attention is also focused to marine environment and new marine bioactives are discovered and prepared. The attention is also focused to economical means of treatment of diseases (Herbal or natural remedies are usually cheap)



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Pharmacognosy is one of the five major divisions of pharmacy (Pharmaceutical chemistry, Pharmacology, Phytochemistry, Pharmacy practice and Pharmaceutics). It is an applied science that helps the development of various branches of science and pharmacognosists possess sound knowledge of drugs from natural sources Early practitioners of pharmacy and medicine knew e numerous remedies and many great names in this science mentioned thousands of plant, animals and mineral products in materia medica for treatment of illnesses.

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Pharmacognosy helps linking pharmacology and pharmaceutical chemistry on one hand and pharmacy and pharmaceutical dispensing on the other hand. Pharmacognosy is a vital link between pharmaceutics and various traditional systems of medicine e.g. Ayurveda and it helps pharmacognosists to dispense, administer and prepare natural medicine in best accepted allopathic forms. Knowledge regarding advanced extraction, purification, collection procedures helps easy collection and preparation of natural medicine.

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As stated by Flueckiger (1879) that pharmacognosy is simultaneous application of various scientific disciplines with an aim to acquire knowledge of drug from every point of view. And Richard Wasicky (1929) that Pharmacognosy is a biologic and experimental science, not only microscopic, but chemical, chromatographic and biological methods in additional. So. It is highly important to attain a comprehensive information regarding every aspect of natural medicine.

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Development of various techniques and sophisticated methodologies along with isolation and structure elucidation and synthesis of compound have volatilizes the essence of simple Pharmacognostic techniques. A pharmacist must be an expert of natural medicines along with synthetic one to work competently in operative pharmacy and dispensing pharmacy. Now, the standardized drugs, extracts, food supplements, pharmaceutical necessities, pesticides, dyes, tissue culture biotechnology and engineering are producing enormous advancements in this field.

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Therefore, in future, scope of doctoral in pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry is going to be increased in various aspects e.g. Academics Private industries Herbal research centres and laboratories Neutraceuticals industries Governmental set ups


FUTURE IN PHARMACOGNOSY Medicinal plants have always been and will always be of a great value in ailing community and healthcare system. It is universally accepted fact that plant drugs and remedies are far more safer and effective in complex disease management e.g. AIDS and cancer Tremendous nature-oriented therapies are introduced for ease of mankind. In western world , people are becoming aware of severe effects of man-made medicines (Synthetic drugs) and using plant-based remedies for their worries.


FUTURE IN PHARMACOGNOSY Earth has vast resources of medicinal flora and fauna that are needed to be explored more. Little more evidences are needed to be incorporated in research to create awareness regarding higher effectiveness of plants comparative to crude drugs and actives from those plants


SUBJECT MATTER (Pre-Mid) 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION Historical Development and Scope of Pharmacognosy, Traditional system of Medicine/medicinal plants, Evolution of Modern system of Medicine (History of Modern System of Medicine), Classification of Crude Drugs with Special Emphasis to Chemical and Therapeutical System of Classification, Terminology Used in Pharmacognosy, Preparation of Crude Drugs for Commercial Market, Methods of Cultivation, Drying, Storage, Preservation, Packing, Deterioration and Adulteration of Crude Drugs, Evaluation of Crude Drugs i.e. Organoleptic, Microscopic, Physical, Chemical and Biological 3. GROWTH REGULATORS General account with special reference to Auxins, Gibberellins, Abscisic acid, Cytokinins and Ethylene


SUBJECT MATTER (Post-Mid) 2. THE STUDY OF THE CRUDE DRUGS BELONGING TO VARIOUS FAMILIES OF MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE Families Crude drugs a. Ranunculanceae Aconitum, Larkspur, Pulsatilla , Hydrastis b. Papaveraceae Papaver Somniferum , Sanguinaria , Canadensis c. Leguminosae Acacia, Glycyrrhiza , Senna , Cassia, Tamarind d. Umbelliferae Fennel, Carum , Coriander, Conium, Asafoetida e. Apocynaceae Rauwolfia , Catharanthus f. Solanaceae Belladonna, Hyoscyamus , Stramonium Capsicum g. Scrophulariaceae Digitalis , Verbascum ( Mullien ) h. Labiatae Peppermint , Thyme, Spearmint, Salvia, Ocimum i . Liliaceae Garlic , Colchicum, Aloe j. Zingiberaceae Ginger, Curcuma


REFERENCE BOOKS V E Tyler, L R Brady and J E Robbers, Pharmacognosy, 9th Ed., Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, 1988. G E Trease and W C Evans, Pharmacognosy, W B Saunders, Philadelphia, Toronto, 2002. K Usmanghani, Topics in Pharmacognosy, University Grants Commission Monograph Series, Islamabad, pp74, 1985. T E Wellis, Text book of Pharmacognosy, CBS Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi, 1986. Varro E Taylor, Pharmacognosy, Lee Febiger Philadelphia, 9th Ed. Mohammad Ali, Introduction to Pharmacognosy, CBS Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi, 1986. K Usmanghani, Chemical Pharmacognosy, University Grants Commission, Islamabad, 1985. Youngkin H W, Text Book of Pharmacognosy, The Blakiston Co, Toronto, 6th Ed., 1948.


RECOMMEDED BOOKS Jarald, E. E., Jarald, S. E. (2007). Textbook of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. Shah, Biren, Seth, A. K. (2010). Textbook Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. Pharmacognosy by J.S. Qadry


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES This study aims to; Introduce nature in healing of ailments Enhance perception regarding goods of natural products and nature blessings Understand impact of natural resources on pharmaceutical sciences Make the students capable of having comprehensive information regarding traditional medicine system Provide effective understandings regarding the key role of herbs and other natural products in relieving disease conditions


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Deliver basic ideas about crude drug collection and processing. Introduce some medicinally important crude drugs from the plant kingdom Provide plant-oriented pharmaceutical information Tell students of some important local poisonous plants which are intentionally or un-intentionally used/consumed for poisoning.



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