Pharmacognosy is a pharmaceutical science that studies medicinal plants. Development of pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is a branch of the pharmaceutical field that studies the useful properties of medicines obtained from raw materials of natural origin. As this science has made a huge contribution to modern medicine and stands in the way of further discoveries, it may be interesting for you to learn more about it.

Raw material used for the preparation of

The pharmacognosy is competent for a wide arsenal of material for research. The purpose of this area is a scrupulous study of products derived from animals and plants, as well as substances subjected to primary processing. Processing of resins, lactiferous juices, fats, essential oils and other natural components opens wide opportunities for studying these substances in a new state and making active biological additives from them.

Vegetable raw materials for the production of medicinal products use dried herbs or their individual parts.

To objects of animal origin include: leeches, spani flies, snake venom, fats, bees and products of their vital functions.

The conclusion is that pharmacognosy is a complex laboratory that studies a variety of materials for the manufacture of various types of biological additives.

pharmacognosy is

History of

The history of pharmacognosy has deep roots. This science was known back in the 16th century. A scientist of the time of Paracelsus has already formed a definite opinion about the medicinal properties of plants. From his words it is clear that the same remedy can become both a poison and a medicine, since everything is decided by dosage.

At the dawn of human history, people used plants for medicinal purposes. Long-term observation of the results after their application has given birth to such an industry as traditional medicine.

Healing properties of vegetation were known in ancient Egypt, China, Assyria and India, and also widely used by the Scythians.

Many folk methods of making medicines have been used for centuries and have survived to this day.

There is information that the name of this science was appropriated by the German scientist K. Seidler, who lived in the XVIII century. If the word "pharmacognosy" is divided into two parts, then in Greek, they literally mean "medicine( poison)" and "knowledge".

Modern pharmacognosy is a popular multifaceted science that has spread all over the world. Thanks to the improvement of the methods for the analysis of biological substances, the concepts of the basic concepts of medicinal raw materials change. Moreover, with the discovery of new classes of connections, the arsenal of materials for the development of new drugs is constantly being replenished.

Pharmacognosy is also quite developed in Russia. Every year a significant number of wild and cultivated plants are harvested for the manufacture of medicines. In our country there is a great need for specialists of this direction.

pharmacognosy textbook

Inquired profession

Pharmacognosy prepares qualified specialists. Graduates of higher education establishments become fully developed people, since several training courses are included in the curriculum, which are interrelated with phytotherapy. Their listing can be found in our article.

Pharmacognosy for pharmacists is very important, as it opens up wide possibilities. In order to master and realize the available stocks of plant raw materials, resource specialists, organizers and analysts who are versed in the specifics of medicinal plants are required.

Pharmacodynamics and pharmacies are needed not only in pharmacies, but also in research institutions, as well as procurement organizations.

The pharmaceutical discipline poses several tasks, which we consider in turn in the article.

medicinal plants

Commodity problems

Pharmacognosy is an industry engaged in research of commodity resources of medicinal plants. This is associated with a number of tasks, such as the search for places where medicinal herbs grow in the wild, the presumptive definition of future vegetation and the procurement of the volume of working raw materials.

Initially, pharmaceutical science developed only in the commodity direction. Scientists working in this field conducted diagnostics of objects for further development of medicines. Morphological and anatomical features of plants were examined in detail. A full description of the various types of raw materials that came to the pharmaceutical market was provided. Typical details, their advantages and disadvantages were described.

It took a lot of effort to find more advanced methods for further experiments and diagnostics of plants and other objects. It became possible to conduct a deeper inspection of the quality and authenticity of the materials.

pharmacognosy medicinal raw materials

Plants as pharmacologically active substances

There are a number of areas that are studied by pharmacognosy. Medicinal raw materials should be of high quality and environmentally friendly.

  • Geographical studies are carried out on the habitats of animals whose living products are used for the production of biological additives. Collection of medicinal plants is carried out in places that are not contaminated by household and chemical waste.
  • A thorough study of the chemical composition of the biomaterial is an important component of plant pharmacognosy. In this case, raw materials are considered as a source of active substances. The dynamics of their accumulation under the influence of the environment and methods of growing are studied, and observations are also made of their localization in different organs. Morphological features of medicinal herbs and their pharmaceutical properties are considered.
  • Given the dynamics of the accumulation of active nutrients in medicinal plants, pharmacognosy determines the regulations for harvesting raw materials, harvesting herbs, drying them, taking them out and transporting them. All works are under strict control and with observance of certain rules.

pharmaceutical science

The purpose of standardization

One of the important tasks is the maintenance of normative and technical documents, as well as the standardization and normalization of natural raw materials. It is necessary to regularly analyze the manufactured products and develop new methods for their standards. Visual observations of external features of objects are carried out and authenticity is determined by microscopic characteristics of raw materials. The substances are checked in powdered form and in powdered form.

Extension of the

range Until the 19th century, 80% of plant raw materials were used in pharmacognosy. After the development of the auxiliary sciences, materials of animal origin and even fungi began to be used. The range of objects for research has expanded significantly, and it began to include algae, amphibians, fish and insects. Specialists are in constant search for new raw materials.

In addition, the poorly studied organs of already known medicinal herbs are being investigated. For example, in medical practice the ginseng root was used more. Currently, specialists are studying the leaves of this plant.

Great attention is paid to the protection of the environment. In connection with the changed environmental conditions and anthropogenic influences, many valuable medicinal herbs are threatened with destruction. Plants that require protection from complete extinction are listed in the Red Book. To this end, a catalog of medicinal plants is maintained and measures are regularly taken to restore and preserve species.

history of pharmacognosy

Systemic connection of pharmacognosy with basic basic sciences

Since pharmacognosy is an applied science, it has a solid foundation of previously proven knowledge and practical experience on the basis of which new products are developed. Thanks to the emergence of innovative technologies, new algorithms for the production of medicines are being created.

The scope of pharmacognosy activity is closely related to the basic profile sciences, such as chemistry and botany. It is impossible to do without the knowledge of biological, organic, colloidal and inorganic chemistry.

  • Awareness of the chemical properties of natural organic substances allows specialists to competently carry out a number of technical procedures. After all, in such works it is important to determine the melting point, to carry out the process of distillation and extraction. Methods of separation and purification of organic compounds, as well as identification of substances, are studied.
  • The course of botany helps to distinguish and correctly describe the individual organs and parts of plants, and also to make a herbarium. Necessity is the acquisition of knowledge on the systematics of plants and anatomy. In order to develop microscopic preparations, it is important to master the ability to use a microscope.
  • Knowledge of analytical chemistry gives a powerful impetus to the development of various areas of theoretical analysis, which must be resorted to in phytochemistry. This includes the following areas: chromatography, photoelectrocolorimetry, titrimetry, densitometry, spectrophotometry and polarography. Such training involves the acquisition of skills of chromatography and titration, as well as the use of measuring utensils and appliances.
  • The physiological course gives an idea of ​​the main processes taking place in the human body. Pharmacognosity must understand how the disease that is treated with phytopreparations proceeds, what is its nature. Therefore, the pathogenesis and possible pathologies under these conditions are studied.
  • The basics of the Latin language and grammar are necessary to distinguish between the names of medicinal plants and their families, the morphological groups of materials, and also correctly write prescriptions.
  • Knowledge of philosophy with basic laws gives a deep understanding of the variability and regularity of the chemical composition of plants.

pharmacognosy of Zhokhov

Tutorial There are several handy editions designed specifically for students in pharmaceutical colleges. They act as reference books on pharmacognosy. Yevgeny Zhokhov's textbook is considered one of the best.

The manual meets the modern requirements of federal standards. It contains all the information necessary for studying plant raw materials and plants in general. It includes sections on procuring processes and issues related to the raw materials base of products. There is a characteristic of separate groups of active biological substances and their pharmacological properties are indicated. Attention is drawn to the control of the quality and authenticity of the material. The textbook is provided with background information with regulatory documents. The book "Pharmacognosy" Zhokhova EV also covers the history of the development of this science.

Of course, there are other publications. Teachers on pharmacognosy are recognized as quite good. Samylina IA( 2014) and Yakovleva GP( 2013)

pharmacognosy for pharmacists

International cooperation

The development of pharmacognosy does not stand still. Throughout the world, supply of industrial raw materials. From developed countries, such as Germany, Spain, England, France and Holland, medicinal plants are transported to Africa, India and Indonesia. In highly developed countries, this science is gaining a wide scope and continues to accelerate. All this makes it possible to effectively combat various diseases that can be treated with biological additives.

Application of vegetable raw materials in other industries

Natural preparations are widely used in cosmetology. Based on medicinal plants produce shampoos, face creams and other cosmetic and perfume products.

The food industry often uses additives from mint, coriander, turmeric, jasmine and so on.

Castor oil is used for the lubrication of aircraft engines. Technical targets are even an extract of licorice root. It is included in the compositions of some household products because of the property of forming a foam.

Fatty oils of plants are used in several branches of the national economy.


Why did medicinal plants become the basis of phytotherapy? Vegetation contains substances that by their nature are not alien to the human body. Unlike synthetic drugs, dietary supplements are much easier to tolerate and do not cause side effects. Medicines made from natural raw materials are indispensable in the case of prolonged therapeutic courses, as well as in the treatment of chronic diseases.