From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Phytopharmacology is a term coined by the Russian scientist David Macht in the 1930s. Macht used the term for the field of study of the effects of drugs on plants.[1] The term has since changed its meaning to become an established field of drug research, where the active substances come from plants (a field Macht would have called zoopharmacology where the drugs are applied to humans or animals). One journal in the field is Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology.[2] The advantages of seeking medicines from plants are due both to the millions of years of co-evolution between plants and animals which has led to interactions between their constituent chemicals,[citation needed] and the nature of enzyme driven synthesis leading to optically pure chiral molecules whose reactions in the mammalian body can be very specific.

Many pharmacological preparations currently in use are derived from plants. Digoxin and aspirin are two of the earliest commercially refined plant preparations still available.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Macht, "Phytopharmacological reactions of normal, toxic and atoxic sera", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), vol. 22, pp. 384-389, 1936.
  2. ^ Phytomedicine, Elsevier

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas S.C. Li, Medicinal Plants: Culture, Utilization and Phytopharmacology, (CRC Press, 2000).
  • van Wyk & Wink, Medicinal Plants of the World, (Timber Press, ISBN 0-88192-602-7)
  • Kokate C.K et al., Pharmacognosy, (NIRALI PRAKASHAN, PUNE)