Course Title: 
Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry I Theory
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Pharmacy

'Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry I Theory' is a course offered in the fourth semester of B. Pharm program at School of Pharmacy, Health Sciences campus, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Course Duration: 45 Hours


The subject involves the fundamentals of Pharmacognosy like scope, classification of crude drugs, their identification and evaluation, phytochemicals present in them and their medicinal properties.


Upon completion of the course, the student shall be able

  1. To know the techniques in the cultivation and production of crude drugs
  2. To know the crude drugs, their uses and chemical nature
  3. Know the evaluation techniques for the herbal drugs
  4. To carry out the microscopic and morphological evaluation of crude drugs

Unit I (10 Hours)

Introduction to Pharmacognosy

  1. Definition, history, scope and development of Pharmacognosy
  2. Sources of Drugs – Plants, Animals, Marine & Tissue culture
  3. Organized drugs, unorganized drugs (dried latex, dried juices, dried extracts, gums and mucilages, oleoresins and oleo- gum -resins).

Classification of drugs

Alphabetical, morphological, taxonomical, chemical, pharmacological, chemo and sero taxonomical clas- sification of drugs

Quality control of Drugs of Natural Origin

Adulteration of drugs of natural origin. Evaluation by organoleptic, microscopic, physical, chemical and biological methods and properties.
Quantitative microscopy of crude drugs including lycopodium spore method, leafconstants, camera lucida and diagrams of microscopic objects to scale with camera lucida.

Unit II (10 Hours)

Cultivation, Collection, Processing and storage of drugs of natural origin

Cultivation and Collection of drugs of natural origin
Factors influencing cultivation of medicinal plants.
Plant hormones and their applications.
Polyploidy, mutation and hybridization with reference to medicinal plants

Conservation of medicinal plants

Unit III (10 Hours)

Plant tissue culture

Historical development of plant tissue culture, types of cultures, Nutritional requirements, growth and their maintenance.
Applications of plant tissue culture in pharmacognosy.
Edible vaccines

Unit IV (10 Hours)

Pharmacognosy in various systems of medicine

Role of Pharmacognosy in allopathy and traditional systems of medicine namely, Ayurveda,
Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy and Chinese systems of medicine.
Introduction to secondary metabolites:
Definition, classification, properties and test for identification of Alkaloids, Glycosides,
Flavonoids, Tannins, Volatile oil and Resins

Unit V (08 Hours)

Study of biological source, chemical nature and uses of drugs of natural origin containing following drugs

Plant Products

Fibers - Cotton, Jute, Hemp
Hallucinogens, Teratogens, Natural allergens

Primary metabolites:

General introduction, detailed study with respect to chemistry, sources, preparation, evaluation, preser- vation, storage, therapeutic used and commercial utility as Pharmaceutical Aids and/or Medicines for the following Primarymetabolites:

Carbohydrates: Acacia, Agar, Tragacanth, Honey

Proteins and Enzymes : Gelatin, casein, proteolytic enzymes (Papain, bromelain, serratiopeptidase, urokinase, streptokinase, pepsin).

Lipids (Waxes, fats, fixed oils) : Castor oil, Chaulmoogra oil, Wool Fat, Bees Wax

Marine Drugs: Novel medicinal agents from marine sources