Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry

Pharmacognosy is the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources. The term comes from two Greek words ‘pharmakon’ meaning drug and ‘gnosis’ meaning knowledge. Phytochemistry is the branch of chemistry dealing with the chemical processes associated with plant life and the chemical compounds produced by plants.

 Phytochemistry is widely used in the field of Chinese medicine especially in the field of herbal medicine. Phytochemical technique mainly applies to the quality control of Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic or herbal medicine of various chemical components, such as saponins, alkaloids, volatile oils, flavonoids and anthraquinones.