Phytochemistry, the Military and Health

Phytochemistry, the Military and Health

Phytotoxins and Natural Defenses

1st Edition - March 2, 2021

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  • Editors: Andrew Mtewa, Chukwuebuka Egbuna
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128215562
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128232309

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Phytochemistry, the Military and Health: Phytotoxins and Natural Defenses comes as a response to the gap that there has for so long existed between phytochemistry and survival of both service personnel and civilian communities during and after conflicts. Armed conflicts cause a lot of devastation to communities and should be avoided as much as it can be possible. The devastation is usually evident in service provisions such as Health, Education, Water, and Food among many others. Both service personnel and civilians are affected to various degrees. Facilities usually end up being physically destroyed, with no essential supplies and/or having dysfunctional systems. Going with untreated wounds, communicable and non-communicable diseases for weeks with no medical interventions due to the conflicts, disease burdens heavily weigh down on communities as well as security personnel. To make the situation even more complicated, masses of people are forced to migrate for safety and security reasons, likely going with diseases along wherever they go. In such instances, phytochemicals become handy in providing solutions from first aid, basic analgesia, antimicrobials, and the general improvement of health. Phytochemicals are known to play a major role in the day to day management of diseases and health. There has been much research into their effectiveness as community medicines and as alternatives to conventional drugs. However, the role that phytochemicals play in the military, counterterrorism, and security has been overlooked. Phytochemistry, the Military and Health: Phytotoxins and Natural Defenses discusses the roles that phytochemicals play as friends and foes in the military, including insights aimed to help develop antidotes against phytochemicals and other chemical agents used maliciously as weapons. Filling a gap between drug discovery, security, and emergency medicine, this book describes which plants can be categorized for protection and controls, which can be helpful in times of conflicts and soon after conflicts, in military operations, and those that can be used as deterrents and as emergency medicines. Carefully designed to show the contribution that phytochemicals play in safety and security, this book is useful for researchers, regulators and anyone interested in plant chemistry.

Key Features

  • Covers the contribution that phytochemicals play in safety and security
  • Contains insights that will help in the development of antidotes against phytochemical and other chemical weapons
  • Categorizes plants in terms of their usefulness as well as the potential security risks they possess


Security experts, chemical control and regulatory agencies, government agencies, medical professionals, pharmacists and pharmacologists, toxicologists and pharmaceutical industries

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to phytochemicals and the military

    Part A: Uses and historical perspectives of plants and their chemicals
    2. Historical use of plants in warfare
    3. Importance of forests to the military beyond physical training
    4. Phytochemicals used in body agility and remediation from tissue mutilation
    5. Important histaminic and antihistaminic plants and their potential role in military operations
    6. Plants as warfare strategic tools
    7. Phyto-therapy against conflict related trauma
    8. Important plants in emergency military surgical procedures
    9. Potential wartime phyto-sedatives for the field
    10. Useful plants and phytochemicals for wound healing and physical fitness
    11. Emergency phytomedicine during armed conflicts

    Part B: Plants and phytochemicals used as therapeutics
    12. War and conventional plant-based drug development
    13. Development of phyto-antidotes against chemical agents
    14. Molecular optimization of phytochemicals into weapons and antidotes

    Part C: The good and adverse sides of phytocompounds
    15. Important military amphibious phytotoxins
    16. Classes of phytochemical weapons
    17. Phytochemical based nano-particles as military foes and friends
    18. Nanotechnology-targeted herbal drug delivery as fast and efficient antidotes against systemic poisons
    19. Terrorism, counter-terrorism and phytochemicals

    Part D: Mechanistic approach to phyto-chemical weapons
    20. Chemical and pharmacological mechanisms of nerve agent poisoning
    21. Mechanisms of phytochemicals as antidotes to chemical weapons
    22. Application of metabolomics in emergency phytochemical poisoning and remediation

    Part E: Management, protocols, regulation and future perspectives of phytochemicals
    23. Laboratory protocols on handling phytochemical warfare agents
    24. Detection and identification of phytochemical weapons
    25. Management and regulation of potential weaponizable plants
    26. All-plant emergency first aid kits innovations
    27. The future of phytochemicals in the military
    28. Conclusions

Product details

  • No. of pages: 606
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2021
  • Published: March 2, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128215562
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128232309

About the Editors

Andrew Mtewa

A member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Phytochemistry Society of Europe (PSE), the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), and an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Andrew is a Medicinal Chemist trained under the Wellcome Center for Anti-infectives Research (WCAiR) at the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee in Scotland as part of his PhD studies. He also did his PhD at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology under the Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre in Uganda and attended a Phytochemistry PhD summer School at Kenya’s Egerton University on a DAAD scholarship. His main area of interest is drug design and development using medicinal chemistry aspects and various computational and synthetic techniques to obtain logical hits to leads for particular biological targets from synthetic scaffolds in various libraries, de novo as well as from natural products. He did his MSc degree in Applied Chemistry (Natural Product Chemistry). He has a passion to coach and train upcoming drug discoverers to search for drugs beyond plant extracts to compound level towards optimization. Before joining the academia, Andrew served in various portfolios including but not limited to being Quality Assurance Manager for Valid Nutrition’s therapeutic foods’ factory, assistant Quality Manager (Shifts controller) for Alliance one international tobacco processors and graduate trainee for the Japanese Tobacco International (JTI), Malawi factory. He founded Leptons Scientific consultants in 2011 and has provided consultancy services in his areas of expertise to various clients. For close to a decade now, Andrew has also been researching military strategies, security and weaponry among others. He studied intelligence analysis and is trained in H2H close combat. He has published various journal articles and book chapters with various publishers such as Elsevier and is a reviewer for various journals including Systematic Reviews, Tuberculosis and of late, the African Health Sciences among others. Apart from this book, he is also the lead editor of the book ‘Poisonous Plants and Phytochemicals in Drug Discovery’ by Wiley. Currently, Andrew is a Chemistry lecturer at the Malawi University of Science and Technology in Malawi.

Affiliations and Expertise

Medicinal Chemist, Chemistry Section, Department of Applied Studies, Malawi Institute of Technology, Malawi University of Science and Technology

Chukwuebuka Egbuna

Chukwuebuka Egbuna is a chartered chemist, a chemical analyst, and an academic researcher. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON), the Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NSBMB), the Society of Quality Assurance (SQA) (USA), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) (United Kingdom). Egbuna is also an editor of new Elsevier series on Drug Discovery Update. The series includes books, monographs and edited collections from all areas of drug discovery, including emerging therapeutic claims for the treatment of diseases. He has been engaged in a number of roles at New Divine Favor Pharmaceutical Industry Limited, Akuzor Nkpor, Anambra State, Nigeria, and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) in Nigeria. He has collaboratively worked and published quite a number of research articles in the area of phytochemistry, nutrition and toxicology and related areas. He is a reviewer and editorial board member of various journals, including serving as a website administrator for the Tropical Journal of Applied Natural Sciences (TJANS), a journal of the faculty of Natural Sciences, COOU and as an advisory board member under toxicology for the book publisher, Cambridge Scholar Publishing. His primary research interests are in phytochemistry, nutrition and toxicology, food and medicinal chemistry, and analytical biochemistry.

Affiliations and Expertise

Nutritional Biochemistry Unit, Africa Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State; Department of Biochemistry, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, Nigeria

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