PHARMACOGNOSY

The word "Pharmacognosy" was derived from two Greek words Pharmakon meaning "Drugs" and Gnosis meaning "Knowledge". Pharmacognosy is the study of drugs derived from natural sources i.e. plants, animals, microbes, and minerals. It is knowledge of history, distribution, cultivation, collection, preparation, commerce, identification, evaluation or preservation, use of drugs, and economic substances that affect the health of humans. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines Pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origins as well as the search of new drugs from natural sources. Pharmacognosy has played an important role in the development of various departments of the sciences. Pharmacognosy gives a sound knowledge of the vegetable drugs under botany and animal drugs under zoology. It also includes plant taxonomy, plant breeding pathology, and plant genetics and by this knowledge, one can improve the cultivation methods for both medicinal and aromatic plants.