Pharmacognosy is the oldest medical science. The name is derived from the Greek “pharmakon” = drug & “gnosis”= knowledge.
Chemistry & biology of natural products derived from terrestrial & marine organisms (plants, animals, or microbes).
Pharmacognosy in the 21st Century:
Highly interdisciplinary science drawing on a broad spectrum of biological & socio-scientific subjects. Renewed interest in the area of natural products education & research is highly motivated by:
1.The search for new leads for drug development
2.The implication of biotechnology for improvement of natural products production
3.The health claims for nutraceuticals
4.The validation of traditional medicines
5.The widespread use of phytotherapeutics
Production, biology, chemistry, biotechnology, enzymology, genetics, pharmacology, toxicology & quality control of natural drugs, pharmaceutical aids, extracts, herbicides & insecticides.Role of Pharmacognosy in Pharmacy:
• One of the major areas of pharmaceutical education
• Essential field of drug research providing systematic & scientific validation of traditional medicines.
To be distinguished locally, nationally & internationally, as a part of a high-level institution, by:
• Offering high-quality education for graduating outstanding skilled pharmacists.
• Procuring the best patient-centered pharmacy services to the community.
• Reaching a leadership position in research in the field of natural products.
The Department of Pharmacognosy is completely dedicated to:
• Provide excellence in education, research & public services in the disciplines of pharmacognosy & natural products chemistry.
• Meet current & future needs of pharmacy practice.
• Define the direction & scope of herbal drug therapy through continuous & innovative research.
• Promote pharmaceutical care locally, nationally & internationally by securing human’s supply of safe & efficacious natural medicines.
• Search for local natural resources as remedies for management of endemic diseases.
• Serve as a consultation center for the Pharmaceutical industry & community.
• Integrate the disciplines of Natural Product Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical industry R&D departments.
• Develop suitable extraction/isolation & QA methods for natural products used as pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements & cosmetics.