Ethnopharmacology of Medicinal Plants Asia and the Pacific

In 1860, Oliver Wendell Holmes pointedly expressed himself to the Massachusetts Medical Society: “I firmly believe that if the whole Material Medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worst for the fishes.” Should one think the same about the current approach in drug discovery from plants? Probably yes. Despite the spending of billions of US dollars, and three decades of efforts, high-throughput screenings have only allowed the discovery of a couple of drugs.

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A Treatise On Phytochemistry

Medicinal plants are significant source of synthetic and herbal drugs. Medicinal plants have been used for the treatment of diseases since antiquity. India and China have been on the forefront when we talk about history of herbal drugs. The traditional systems of medicines viz. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Western Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy have roots in medicinal herbs. Herbal medicine has produced number of distinguished researchers and due to its accessibility to traditions it is still practiced even by lay practitioners.

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