Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy

Phytochemistry is the study of phytochemicals, which are chemicals derived from plants. Those studying phytochemistry strive to describe the structures of the large number of secondary metabolic compounds found in plants, the functions of these compounds in human and plant biology, and the biosynthesis of these compounds. Plants synthesize phytochemicals for many reasons, including protecting themselves against insect attacks and plant diseases. Phytochemicals in food plants are often active in human biology, and in many cases have health benefits. The compounds found in plants are of many kinds, but most are in four major biochemical classes, the alkaloids, glycosides, polyphenols, and terpenes.

Whereas Pharmacognosy is the study of medicinal drugs derived from plants or other natural sources, also we can say "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources". It is also defined as the study of crude drugs.

Phytochemistry can be considered sub-fields of botany or chemistry. Activities can be led in botanical gardens or in the wild with the aid of ethno botany. Techniques commonly used in the field of phytochemistry are extraction, isolation, and structural elucidation (MS, 1D and 2D NMR) of natural products, as well as various chromatography techniques (MPLC, HPLC, and LC-MS).

 

  • Natural products chemistry in drug discovery
  • Isolation and structure determination of natural products
  • Analysing pharmacogenomics studies
  • Phytotherapy
  • Herbs and botanicals as dietary supplements
  • Ethnopharmacy
  • Comparative phytochemistry, its history, concepts, applications and methods

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