Natural Remedies: Their Origins and Uses by Finn Sandberg, Desmond Corrigan

By Finn Sandberg, Desmond Corrigan

This introductory textual content on phytotherapy highlights the features of medicinal crops which are an important for a finished figuring out of the function plant medicines can play in healthcare. The booklet will turn out important not just for pharmacists, but in addition for pros through the healthcare procedure.

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Plant drugs which have been subjected to clinical trials Name Botanical Name Condition Feverfew Garlic Ginger Hawthorn Lemon balm Psyllium St. Johns Wort Valerian Tanacetum parthenium Allium sativum Zingiber officinale Crataegus monogyna Melissa officinalis Plantago ovata Hypericum perforatum Valeriana officinale Migraine prophylaxis Hypercholesterolaemia Travel sickness Heart disease Cold sores Hypercholesterolaemia Depression Insomnia The legal status of products containing medicinal plants is somewhat confusing at the present time with different countries adopting different approaches.

There is no doubt that the information in those monographs does present an accurate view of the efficacy and safety issues of plants evaluated by the Kommission, up to the date of publication. However, since Kommission E ceased publishing monographs in 1993, no updated information is available and no reference bibliography for each herb was made available. An alternative source of authoritative information, which attempts to redress the situation, would be the WHO monographs referred to earlier.

The production of pharmaceutical natural products can also be carried out by using microorganisms, cell cultures, plant tissue and enzymes. The microorganisms that have been used up to now on an industrial scale are bacteria and fungi, belonging the class of ascomycetes such as Saccharomyces, Torulopsis (yeast), Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus. Only a few substances are currently produced on an industrial scale from plant tissue and cell cultures: Ergot alkaloids from the fungus Claviceps purpurea; in Japan two products are produced—the alkaloid berberine (for treatment of diarrhoea) from Coptis japonica (family Ranunculaceae) and the red pigment shikonin from Lithospermum er ythrorhizon (family Boraginaceae).

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