Herbal Medicine and Phytopharmacy

Herbal Medicine and Phytopharmacy
03/01/2015 Margarida Moreira

The pharmacognosy is the oldest branch of pharmaceutical sciences! This science is to identify the plants used in herbal medicine.

Phytotherapy is responsible for studying the plants (medicinal) and to apply them in the treatment of diseases.

Phytopharmacy therapy is based on the use of medicinal substances extracted from plants.

The ethnobotanic is human interaction ring with the plant world.

Professor Salvador, distinguishes phytotherapeutic from phytopharmaceuticals:

“The plant protection products are medicinal products developed exclusively for medicinal herbal” on the other hand “the phytochemicals are substances extracted from plants […] with pharmacological activities.”

The transformation process from a natural product in a phytochemical begins with the collection of plant material: collecting the plants or their habitat obtained by using cultured cells and plant tissues. Identification and incorporation of vegetable substances in a pharmaceutical formulation follows. Research and procedures (methods and technologies) pharmacists should be validated and legal for the development of a new medicine (such process takes years and requires major investments). It should be noted that, as a product of vegetable origin requires more years of research because there are factors which influence in particular the interaction between the different chemical compounds.

Famous Toxicology quote:

“All substances are poisons: there is no other than a poison! The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy. ” – Paracelsus (1493 – 1541)

Toxicology is the science that studies the adverse effects of chemicals on organisms.


NETTO, C. G. Grupo desenvolve tecnologia nas áreas de fitofarmacêutica e produtos naturais. [Online] São Paulo: Jornal da Unicamp; June 2008. Ed.: 401. Available from: www.unicamp.br [Accessed 29th October 2014].

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