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Introduction to Pharmacognosy

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2013 04:01 AM
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The word pharmacognosy derived from the Greek words “pharmakon” and gnosis; pharmakon means drug while gnosis means knowledge
        So it can be defined as:
“The study of crude drugs of vegetable and animal origin”.
• Pharmacognosy, which literally means   knowledge of drugs or pharmaceuticals, has been a part of the healing arts i.e., medical arts, and sciences since mankind first began to treat illnesses.
• It has developed from ancient civilizations that used parts of plants and animals to concoct various potions to eliminate pain, control suffering and counteract disease.
      Pharmacognosy may be defined as “ an applied science that deals with the biologic, biochemical and economic features of natural drugs and their constituents”.
1. In a restricted sense, the definition of Pharmacognosy implies a particular knowledge of methods of identification and evaluation (to check the identity then check the purity and at last quality is determined)
2. In a broad sense, Pharmacognosy embraces knowledge of the history, distribution, cultivation, collection, selection, preparation, and use of drugs and economic substances that affect the health of human and other animals.  


1. Period of voodoo tribe;
Pharmacognosy has risen from the mysterious incantations of voodoo tribes and has survived the unwritten secret recipes of medicine men.
    So we can say that voodoo tribes were first one that was related to this subject.
    The healing powers of certain herbs roots and juices were undoubtedly discovered by accident; but once these attributes were learned, they were too important to be forgotten.
2. Period of Babylonians;
The Babylonians made clay models of the human body, and early writings indicate that they were aware of the medicinal effects of the number of plants.
3. Period of Egyptians.
It is a well known fact that the ancient Egyptians were adept at embalming the dead body...


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