Pharmacognosy is the study of physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources. The word Pharmacognosy is derived from the Greek words “pharmakon”, which stands for “drugs” and “gnosis” meaning “knowledge”.
This study is mainly related to botany and plant chemistry and indeed, both originated from the earlier scientific studies of medicinal plants.
The study can be divided into various fields:
Herbal Interactions: It deals with the interactions of herbs with other drugs and body.
Phyotherapy: This study mainly focuses on medicinal use of the plants.
Ethobotany: It is the study of the traditional use of plants for medicinal purposes.
Ethopharmacology: It deals with the pharmacological qualities of traditional medicinal substances.
Marine Pharmacognosy: It is the branch focusing on the chemicals derived from marine organisms.
Zoo Pharmacognosy: It is the process by which animals self-medicate, by selecting and using plants, soils, and insects to treat and prevent disease.
Pharmacognosy-Biotechnology: The study that deals with the synthesis of natural bioactive molecules using biotechnology.
Phytochemistry: It is the study of chemicals derived from plants and also the identification of the new drugs derived from the plant sources.