Pharmacognosy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

pharmacognosy

[‚fär·mə′käg·nə·sē]
(pharmacology)
A subfield of pharmacology which studies the biological and chemical components of medically useful substances that occur naturally (primarily those synthesized by plants).

Pharmacognosy

 

a branch of pharmacy that studies medicinal raw materials of plant and animal origin and various products derived directly from these materials (such as essential and fatty oils, resins, and latex).

The principal concerns of modern pharmacognosy are the investigation of medicinal raw materials, the development of methods for determining the active substances in the materials (including methods involving fluorescence and thin-layer chromatography), and the location of the substances in the various plant and animal organs and tissues in which they concentrate. In addition, pharmacognosy develops methods of discovering wild medicinal plants and performs a number of important functions relating to the standardization of medicinal raw materials. For example, it establishes procedures to be used in collecting, drying, and sorting the raw materials, formulates rules governing the transfer of raw materials to factories and warehouses and the delivery and storage of the materials at these facilities, and sets standards for determining the genuineness and quality of the materials.

Pharmacognosy is the oldest branch of pharmacy. Many medicinal plants were known to the ancient peoples of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The Greek physician Dioscorides (first century A.D.) is considered the founder of pharmacognosy in Europe. His book Materia medica was used as a handbook on the subject up to the 19th century. Galen and Paracelsus developed new areas in pharmacognosy. Medieval Arab physicians made a major contribution to the field. Original works on pharmacognosy, such as prescription manuals and handbooks for the use of medicinal plants, appeared in Russia in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The first Russian pharmacopoeia, Pharmacopoea Rossica, came out in 1778; N. M. Ambodik-Maksimovich’s multivolume Materia medica, published between 1783 and 1788, included descriptions of many medicinal plants. A. P. Neliubin, Iu. K. Trapp, and V. A. Tikhomirov also made important contributions to Russian pharmacognosy.

The trend toward specialization in modern pharmacognosy has given rise to the development of pharmaceutical chemistry, the field of drug forms, and biological pharmacy as independent theoretical and practical disciplines. Pharmacognosy is closely associated with such other fields as botany (plant anatomy, management of botanical resources), analytical chemistry, and chemical technology. In the USSR, medicinal raw materials have been standardized by the government since 1926. Problems of pharmacognosy are investigated at the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Moscow Oblast, the Kharkov Scientific Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and the Institute of Pharmacochemistry of the Georgian SSR and in pharmacognosy subdepartments of pharmacy institutes and other scientific establishments. In the Soviet educational system pharmacognosy is a division of pharmacy and is taught in higher and secondary educational institutions of pharmacy.

REFERENCES

Gammerman, A. F. Kurs farmakognozii, 6th ed. Leningrad, 1967.
Dragendorf, G. Die Heilpflanzen der verschiedenen Völker und Zeiten. Stuttgart, 1898.
Handbuch der Pharmakognosie, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Edited by A. Tschirch. Leipzig, 1930–33.

V. V. CHURIUKANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Pre Qualification: Suplly And Installation Of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy, Radiology, Chemistry Items
3) Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
According to Roy Upton, director of AHP, "John brings a wealth of expertise and experience from the world of medical research and pharmacognosy.
original papers, 35 review articles, and 9 books cover a very wide range of research areas in pharmacognosy, from the phytochemical analysis of numerous plants and their secondary metabolites (e.
Adediwura Fred-Jaiyesimi, Nigeria - Pharmacognosy and the antidiabetic properties of Nigerian medicinal plants
P Barnard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy, will receive the 2010 Marcy Speer Outstanding Reviewer Award, which highlights the vital contributions of CSR reviewers who evaluate NIH grant applications.
To his credit Professor Khare published over 50 research papers in Journal of Royal Society, Annals of Botany, Canadian Journal of Botany, American Fern Journal, International Journal of Pharmacognosy and other national journals like National Academy of Sciences, Indian Fern Journal, etc.
On the quick scan I wondered why we were taking so many side tracks into general physiology, pharmacology and pharmacognosy.
This encyclopedic reference on pharmacognosy covers the study of natural substances, principally plants, used in medicine.
A leading authority in botanical medicines, he was the principle author of several textbooks on pharmacognosy and phytomedicinals.
The study of materia medica can be approached from many angles, including traditional systems, medical herbalism, pharmacognosy and history.