Department of Pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is the study of drugs of natural origin. The term comes from two Greek words: "pharmakon" meaning drug or medicine, and "gnosis" meaning knowledge. pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources".

Humans have produced medicine from plants and other organisms for centuries, hence pharmacognosy being commonly considered the oldest brand of pharmacy. The production of drugs from plants is also referenced in many ancient texts. Through the ages, information has been discovered which refers to humans making medicines from garlic, mustard, cabbage, parsley, and mint

The study of drugs from plants includes the subjects of botany, chemistry and pharmacology. Botany includes the identification (taxonomy), genetics, and cultivation of plants. Chemical characterization of includes the isolation, identification and quantification of constituents in plant materials. Pharmacology is the study of the biological effects that the chemicals in medicinal plants have on cell cultures, animals and humans.

Plant preparations are said to be medicinal or herbal when they are used to promote health beyond basic nutrition. The renaissance of herbal medicine in this country creates a demand for studies in the field of pharmacognosy. From a practical perspective this includes:

quality control (identity, purity, consistency)

efficacy (therapeutic indications, clinical studies, pharmacological investigations)

safety (adverse reactions, drug interactions, contraindications, precautions)