Department of Pharmacognosy
The department of Pharmacogmosy is involved in the teaching of both theoretical and practical courses of botany, phytochemistry, and phytotherapy.
It deals originally with drugs in their crude, or unprepared, form (i.e. natural sources). And that is by studying physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of these drugs. Natural sources include: plants, animals, the soil, microbes and recently, marine organisms. Pharmacognosy intercorrelates with many fields of knowledge like: botany, microbiology, herbal medicine, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and many others.
- A single plant may contain many compounds which may have an opposite, moderating or enhancing effect on each other. Hence, the final effect of any crude drug material will be a product of interactions of these constituents.
- Separation of the bioactive compounds from a plant is a crucially important process in pharmacognosy.
- A typical protocol to isolate a pure chemical agent is the bioassay–guided fractionation which involves many method such as: solvent-solvent partitioning and chromatographic techniques like high performance liquid chromatography ( HPLC ) and thin layer chromatography ( TLC ).
It is the study of chemicals derived from plants termed secondary metabolites, such as : glycosides, alkaloids, volatile and fixed oils, enzymes, flavanoides and antibiotics.
The part of pharmacognosy focusing on use of crude extracts or semi-pure mixtures originating from nature. Although phytotherapy is sometimes considered as alternative medicine, when critically conducted, it can be considered as the scientific study of the effects and clinical use of herbal medicines.
Postgraduate Degrees by research:
- M. Pharm. in Pharmacognosy.
- Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy.