Pharmacognosy is a branch of pharmaceutical sciences which focuses on drugs of herbal and natural origin. Although pharmacognosy mostly deals with medicinal herbs, some animal products, marine materials and fungal and bacterial products are also discussed in pharmacognosy. There is a close relationship between pharmacognosy, botany and phytochemistry. Like many other fields of science, pharmacognosy has gone through variations in recent years; however, it is in close collaboration with many fields of science and is one of the bases of pharmacy.
Pharmacognostic studies include phytopharmaceutical investigations (raw materials for herbal products), biological evaluations of natural products, phytotherapy (healing effects of medicinal plants), phytochemistry (extraction, isolation and structure determination of natural compounds), plant cell culture, biochemical conversions and evaluating the biosynthesis pathways.
Considering the new trends to nature and usage of natural products in food, drug and cosmetics industry as well as the notable developments in the methods for extraction, isolation and structural elucidation of natural constituents, pharmacognosy has acquired a scientific position in Iran and all around the world. PhD degree for pharmacognosy was first established in 1989 in Iran. The country owns rich resources of natural products as well as herbal flora with many endemic species. Iran also benefits from the treasure of Iranian Traditional Medicine knowledge. Moreover, the cultural/religious beliefs of Iranians as well as the global approach to medicinal herbs and the tendency for more employment of natural products in the therapeutic processes and also considering natural components as the probable leading structures for new drug discovery, a unique situation has been brought about to gather pharmacognosy specialists in the Iranian Society of Pharmacognosy (ISP) which aims to promote the knowledge and behavior of the people in the proper usage of natural sources especially medicinal herbs.
The Iranian Society of Pharmacognosy (ISP) was established in 2000 and right now 127 especialist in pharmacognosy and other related fields are members of this community.
- Providing scientific, technical, research and educational connections between researchers, specialists and experts
- Collaboration with the Ministry of Health, universities and research-educational institutes.
- Scientific publications
ISP has published the first specialized pharmacognosy journal in English language in Iran, which is a milestone in ISPs activities.
Research Journal of Pharmacognosy (RJP) was first published in Jan 2014 to prepare a proper interlocution sphere for pharmacognosists across the country. RJP is accessible at