Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Introduction to Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products

When man was in need of healing procedures for diseases and accidents, came to natural products as the main source to solve the problem, due to he did not know the current chemicals.

It was therefore necessary to classify medicinal plants according to the type of ailment and the objectives it was intended.

This practice was associated with early plant domestication techniques but played an important collection which even today is practiced by farmers.

Phytotherapy (herbal therapy) has its origins in the beginning of humanity and belongs to the field of medicine.

The first manifestation of its utilization was in the magic rituals as complement for the treatment of some discomfort.

Early experience with herbal treatments were reflected in ancient herbariums at the time of the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians. The Ebers Papyrus collected 700 plants.

The oldest of these practices is the Chinese one, with more than 10 000 years, but were the Greeks and Romans who undertook the systematic study of medicinal plants.


Let´s start this Pharmacognosy´s course by defining some necessary terms for understanding.




Botanical Nomenclature. Herbs.


Alternative medicine

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