Planta Med 2003; 69(6): 491-495
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-40656
Review
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

50 Years of Medicinal Plant Research - Every Progress in Methodology is a Progress in Science[*]

J. David Phillipson1
  • 1Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, London, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Received: April 8, 2003

Accepted: April 18, 2003

Publication Date:
16 July 2003 (online)

Abstract

Many scientific methods of analysis have been developed for the investigation of the constituents and biological activities of medicinal plants during the 50 years since the inaugural meeting of the Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzenforschung (GA). The chromatographic (e. g., TLC, GLC, HPLC), spectroscopic (e. g., UV, IR, 1H- and 13C-NMR, MS), and biological (e. g., anticancer, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, antiprotozoal, CNS) techniques utilized for medicinal plant research are briefly reviewed. The contribution that advances in scientific methodology have made to our understanding of the actions of some herbal medicines (e. g., Echinacea, Ginkgo, St John’s wort, Cannabis), as well as to ethnopharmacology and biotechnology, are briefly summarized. Plants have provided many medicinal drugs in the past and remain as a potential source of novel therapeutic agents. Despite all of the powerful analytical techniques available, the majority of plant species has not been investigated chemically or biologically in any great detail and even well known medicinal plants require further clinical study.

1 Lecture presented during the Symposium ”50 years Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzenforschung”. History and Future of Medicinal Research

References

1 Lecture presented during the Symposium ”50 years Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzenforschung”. History and Future of Medicinal Research

Prof. J. David Phillipson

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