Chemistry/Biology 491 "Pharmacognosy and How Drugs Work"

Pharmacognosy Resources

  1. American Society of Pharmacognosy
  2. National Cancer Institute Laboratory of Drug Discovery and Development
  3. National Center for Natural Products Research
  4. The American Botanical Council, publishers of Herbalgram.
  5. Monographs from the American Botanical Council on Echinacea, Garlic, Gingko, St.John's Wort and Hawthorn.
  6. Healthcare Reality Check- a healthy dose of skepticism in case you get caught up in anecdotal evidence!
  7. Herbs for Health- a generally authoritative review of the evidence of many popular  herbs.
  8. Ethnobotanical Leaflets- a good historical anthropological source of info
  9. The US Pharmacopea: A must reference guide to see whether a given botanical substance is currently recognized as effective in well-designed human trials. A great search engine. See for example the positive report on Saw Palmetteo and the negative report on Valerian. Generally reliable reviews of clinical data in easily digestible mongraphs. I would try here first!
  10. A Medical Terminology Dictionary. You'll need this if you ever hope to understand whether you should be insulted if accused of "intermittent claudication"!

Individual Pharmacognosy Articles of Interest

    1. Can Bioflavonoids Cause Cancer?-See this article in The Scientist. If this site asks for a password, just enter
    2. The Placebo Effect- A placebo is not "nothing". A very good introduction into this important aspect of therapeutic action of drugs and evidence of efficacy. This article is from The Scientist ,so again, if this site asks for a password, just enter
    3. A Possible Herbal Remedy for Malaria- This article in Science explores the use of the Chinese herb Artemisia annua as a malaria remedy.
    4. Regulation of Nutraceuticals. This article in Science examines who is (and is not) keeping an eye on the supplement market.
    5. Hazel Trees as a Source of Anticancer Drugs.
    6. St. John's Wort Set for clinical trials in US. A description of an ongoing study in The Scientist
    7. Cancer and Herbs- A NEJM article on the tragedy of Aristolochia , a Chinese herb that has led to cancer in  Belgiasn women. Ample proof of an important point: natural does not equal safe. 

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