Pharmacognosy is the study of various natural sources of drugs as a possible alternative to traditional medicine. The American Society for Pharmacognosy (ASP) defines Pharmacognosy as “a study of plants and other natural sources of medicinal compounds as an alternative to traditional medicinal use.”
The American Society for Pharmacognosy recognizes that the use of natural sources is increasingly common in today’s society and has developed a definition of the term. They describe Pharmacognosy as being related to medicinal plant use, but that there are other reasons to consider using natural substances instead of drugs.
One of these reasons is that some herbs, such as the St. John’s Wort or the Indian Ginseng, have been used for centuries as natural cures or for other reasons that are unrelated to pharmaceuticals. They have had no adverse effects on the human body.
The American Society for Pharmacognosy recognizes that these substances have been used safely for hundreds of years and is not opposed to the research that has been done. However, they are not in support of using such plants in place of prescription drugs
The other main reason to study natural herbs include
The drug’s ability to cure disease can be altered by altering its source. For example, if a plant is found to increase the levels of calcium in the blood stream, then the use of the plant in supplement form could be beneficial. Other alternative therapies include
However, none of these has yet to be recognized by the American Pharmacopeia Association. This is because they have not been studied thoroughly to determine the safety of their use in humans. Pharmaceutical companies are able to conduct extensive clinical trials, especially in humans.
They can then patent the drugs and sell them under the name of a brand-name. This allows them to continue to make more money off of the drugs However, since most of these drugs are derived from plants, they cannot patent the source themselves.
This means that alternative therapies cannot get patented and thus cannot get the same protection as traditional medications. When this happens, the cost of research is dramatically reduced, which makes it cheaper to conduct Pharmacognosy studies than conventional trials.
In some areas of the world, herbal supplements have actually been used to treat diseases like cancer. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize these practices and most countries, including the United States, do not recognize their use for this purpose.
Since the US FDA does not recognize the practice of Pharmacognosy, many practitioners of alternative therapy are now turning to alternative forms of healing like
- Chiropractic medicine
- Acupressure, which are not patented
Although these practices may not have the same benefits, they are much safer than prescription medications. While many people believe that pharmacognosy is a “drug treatment” rather than an alternative medicine, the two are very different.
Traditional pharmacotherapy are usually based on chemicals that are extracted from plants
They are often chemically modified to give them a human form. In contrast, alternative medications, such as herbs and other supplements, are derived from plants that are naturally occurring in nature. A good example of an alternative medication would be Hoodia, which is derived from the Ephedra plant.
This substance is sometimes sold in pharmacies for a low cost but can also be found in many dietary supplements The reason why some people experience allergic reactions to certain drugs like acetaminophen is due to a problem known as Pharmaceutical Sensitivity.
In this problem, the body becomes resistant to certain medications when the body’s immune system comes into contact with the active ingredient. Sometimes the body can develop a resistance against the medication even after the person stops taking it.
Since drugs like acetaminophen are so highly processed, most Pharmaceutical Sensitivity sufferers develop a problem after prolonged use. There is also the possibility that their body might have become too tolerant to the drug itself, causing further toxicity.
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