Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy book cover

Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

‘A new classic’ in a new edition!

  • Fully revised and updated throughout
  • New sections on antimicrobials




From journal reviews of the previous edition:

‘Drawing on their wealth of experience and knowledge in this field, the authors, who are without doubt among the finest minds in pharmacognosy today, provide useful and fascinating insights into the history, botany, chemistry, phytotherapy and importance of medicinal plants in some of today's health care systems. This is a landmark textbook, which carefully brings together relevant data from numerous sources and provides in an authoritative and exhaustive manner, cutting edge information that is relevant to pharmacists, pharmacognocists, complementary practitioners, doctors and nurses alike.’ The Pharmaceutical Journal

‘This is the first book that I have encountered which combines the compounds and plants found in standard pharmacognosy textbooks, i.e. those used in orthodox Western medicine, with the 'new phytopharmaceuticals' which have become established in Western culture over the last 20 years. The medical establishment in this environment is finally catching up with the practices of the general population and so this book is an excellent choice for those who wish to investigate which of the many plants available have some scientific credence. I shall be adding this book to the Essential Reading list for all of the undergraduate students on our pharmacy degree course and would encourage all those involved in teaching pharmacy students to do the same." P.J. Houghton, Department of Pharmacy, King's College London, Journal of Ethnopharmacology

‘Educated pharmacists no doubt equate Pharmacognosy with hours spent hunched over a microscope identifying vegetable drugs. Many probably consider it as a subject with little importance in a modern pharmacy curriculum. How wrong they are! ... This book is designed to give an overview at an easy-to-understand level of a broad subject area... For students of science and of the healthcare professions it is a useful text and the authors are to be commended for their work.’ Irish Pharmacy Journal

From customer reviews:

‘A new classic. This is an excellent publication both for science students and the non scientific who have an interest in phytotherapy. The layout is logical and clearly set out. I love the chemical structural diagrams, and the explanations of even complex sequences are easy to understand with very little jargon. It is encouraging to see pharmacognosy being given a prominent place in a modern textbook, and interesting to see both hand drawings and chemical structures on the same page!’

‘I can recommend this to anyone who is interested in the science behind herbal products and medicines; especially if you are interested in plants. It's quite simple to follow and very concise! Good for pharmacy students.’


‘This is an ultimate textbook in this subject and a boon for students of M Pharmacy (Pharmacognosy) as well as undergraduates students of Pharmacy. Besides them, it is really suitable for every course comprising a study of plants and their medicinal use.’

‘Excellent reference book. As an editor, I instantly found the answers to various questions I had regarding botanical descriptions. And it even answered questions that I hadn't gotten around to asking. Highly recommended!’

Paperback, 336 Pages

Published: February 2012

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-7020-3388-9


  • "I consider this book excellent value for money. Although primarily intended for pharmacy students, this is the best text in English for those studying to be nursing practitioners because of its scientific approach to complementary medicine, particularly therapies that use plant material for example herbalism, aromatherapy and homeopathy. Much of the material will be also of interest to the intelligent layperson as well as to those at postgraduate level who wish to gain background knowledge in this fascinating area of research and practice."

    Nursing Times, September 2012


  • Foreword by A. Douglas Kinghorn



    SECTION 1 Phytotherapy and pharmacognosy

    1. Importance of plants in modern pharmacy and medicine

    2. Pharmacognosy and its history: people, plants and natural products

    SECTION 2 Basic plant biology

    3. General principles of botany: morphology and systematics

    4. Families yielding important phytopharmaceuticals

    5. Ethnobotany and ethnopharmacy

    SECTION 3 Natural product chemistry

    6. Natural product chemistry

    7. Methods in natural product chemistry

    8. Anticancer natural products

    SECTION 4 Plant extract derived pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals

    9. Production, standardization and quality control

    10. Toxicity of herbal constituents

    11. What makes phytomedicines unique?

    SECTION 5 Medicinal plants in selected healthcare systems

    12. Traditional systems of herbal medicine

    13. Complementary/alternative medicine


    14. The gastrointestinal and biliary system

    15. The cardiovascular system

    16. The respiratory system

    17. The central nervous system

    18. Infectious diseases

    19. The endocrine system

    20. The reproductive and urinary tracts

    21. The musculoskeletal system

    22. The skin

    23. The eye

    24. Ear, nose and orthopharynx

    25. Miscellaneous supportive and protective therapies for stress, ageing, cancer and debility

    Epilogue - a personal view by J. David Phillipson



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