Introduction of pharmacognosy, Scope of pharmacognosy, Sources of drugs, Organized drugs and unorganized drugs(1)

Introduction of pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is the study of drugs derived from natural sources. Pharmacognosy is “systematic study of crude drug” obtained from natural origin like plant, animal and minerals. It is a branch of pharmacology that focuses on the medicinal properties and traditional uses of plants, animals, and minerals. Pharmacognosy explores the relationship between plants and their components or products and their therapeutic use. It involves identifying active ingredients in any source, how they influence biological systems, how they interact with other compounds, and how to use them for medicinal purposes. This article is on introduction of pharmacognosy.

Crude drugs

These are those drugs, which are obtained from natural sources like plants, animals and minerals. Crude drugs are the active components of a plant that are used to make medicines and other products. They have been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including pain, fever, digestive problems, and infections. Crude drugs may be derived from either plants or animals.

Introduction of pharmacognosy, Scope of pharmacognosy, Sources of drugs, Organized drugs and unorganized drugs

The most common sources of crude drugs include bark, leaves, roots, stems, and flowers of plants. Animal sources include bones, horns, teeth, feathers and secretions of certain animals. This article is on introduction of pharmacognosy

Scope of pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is a branch of pharmacy that deals with the study of medicinal plants and their active ingredients. It is an important subject as it helps to identify, research and develop new drugs from natural sources. It is also used to understand the potential health benefits of traditional medicines.

The scope of pharmacognosy has grown over the years due to advancements in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering. It has enabled us to identify active ingredients present in herbs and other plant-based products which can be used for medicinal purposes. These are some major scopes is pharmacognosy:

1. Herbal medicines
2. Cosmetics
3. Industry
4. Academics
5. Food & drug inspector
6. Traditional system medicine

Sources of drugs

1. Plant sources
2. Animal sources
3. Mineral sources
4. Marine sources
5. Plant tissue culture

1. Plant sources

Plant sources is the oldest and longest sources of drug. They have been used in the treatment of various disease from ancient time. The traditional system of medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani system are based on the use of plants. Many of the plant products are having important therapeutic agents like alkaloids, glycosides and volatile oils etc.

S. No.PlantsNameConstituents
1. LeavesDigitalis,
Digitoxin, Digoxin,
Eucalyptus oil,

Morphine, Codeine,
Heroine, Morphine,

2. Animal sources

It is the second largest sources of drug. Many parts of animals are a good source of drug and also some tissue/cells of human/animals are used in manufacturing of drug. The major groups of animal’s products used in medicine are hormones, enzymes, organs and bile acids. Example- Isolation of insulin, from a pancreas used in treatment of diabetes. Blood of animals is used in preparation of vaccines. Major groups of animal product in medicine:

I. Hormones

Thyroids modify preparation of thyroid gland of sleep and pigs. It is given orally to treat patients suffering from thyroid insufficiency. Pancreas is a source of insulin used in the treatment of diabetes. Epinephrin is a hormone produced by adrenal medulla and used a Vaso-constrictor drug.

II. Enzymes

Pepsin is a proteolytic enzyme of gastric juice produced from fresh pig stomach. Trypsin is a proteolytic enzyme prepared from extract of or pancreas. It is used for the topical application of the treatment of wounds ulcer. Pancreatin is the preparation which contain enzymes of pancreas, which is used to treat digestion problems it is prepared from pig pancreas.

III. Animal extractives organs

Liver & stomach preparations and bile are the example of this group. Honey from honey bee. Cod liver from shark. Wool fat from sheep.

3. Marine sources

Ocean and seas contain about 5 lacs+types of species, which termed as marine species. Many is these species show biological activity and used as a source of drug. Major part of earth is covered with water bodies. Hence the bioactive compounds (chemical constituents) are also obtained from marine Flora(plant) and animal used for the treatment of many diseases.

4. Plant tissue culture

Plant tissue culture is a technique that is used to grow plant cells, tissue or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrients culture medium. It is widely used to produce of plants. It is technique of control production of useful secondary metabolites. Tissue culture is the process in which “in-vitro cultivation of plant cells and animal cell under aseptic and controlled environment condition”.

Advantage of plant tissue culture

1. Production of extract copy of plants.

2. To quickly produce nature plants.

3. Production of genetically modified plants.

4. Production of disease-free plant.

Plant tissue culture as a source of drug

1. Organized drugs

Those drugs which are direct part of plant or animals such as leaves, flowers and root. These are “organs of plants and animals” and are made up of cells and are having definite structure. These drugs are named as flowers, seeds, fruits, bark, stem, etc. Organized drugs are basically sold in nature. Microscopically study is useful in quality control. This article is on introduction of pharmacognosy.

2. Unorganized drugs

These are obtained from parts of plants by some process of extraction and purification. These drugs are named as extract, latex juice, resin, etc. They are solid, semi-solid and liquid in nature. Chemical test is performed for quality control or evaluation. According to their origin and nature:

I. Dried latex

A latex is a product that contains special secretary tissue (the tissue that are concerned with the secretion of gum resin volatile oils and other substances). It usually a white aqueous suspension in which small particle of oil globules are suspended. This natural suspension of milky consistency may contain proteins, alkaloids, starch, resin, gums, oils, tannins, sugar, etc, that coagulate on exposure to air. These pharmaceutical latexes were collected dried and therapeutically used.

II. Dried juices

These juices are obtained from extraction or pressing vegetables and fruits. The incisions are made up to respective parts of plants collected and dried. Examples:- leaves – Aloe, Stem – Kino.

III. Dried extracts

An extract is a concentrated preparation of a drug, which is obtained by removing active constituents of the drug with suitable solvent and evaporating the solvent to obtain a residual mass or powder. The extracts were prepared by using water, alcoholic, hydro-alcoholic solutions. Examples; tea, halation, etc.

IV. Gum and mucilage

Gum are the abnormal product of plant metabolism formed injury of the plants and by a breakdown of the cell walls. They are produced by process known as Crum meiosis. They are translucent amorphous substance of plant hydrocolloids produced by plants. They are soluble in water and gives. This article is on introduction of pharmacognosy.

2 thoughts on “Introduction of pharmacognosy, Scope of pharmacognosy, Sources of drugs, Organized drugs and unorganized drugs(1)”

Leave a Comment