The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as “the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources”.
HISTORY: The early man sought to palliate his mournings of illness and injuries by using shops. They acquired knowledge of medicinal parcels of shops by guesswork or trial and error, while searching for food, by superficial resemblance between the factory corridor and the affected organs, i.e., by examining the “ Hand of Nature”, by observing other creatures, spontaneous demarcation between poisonous and palatable shops or by accidental discovery.
In course of time a group of people surfaced in each community who acquired moxie in collecting, testing and using medicinal shops for treating conditions. These people latterly came known as Medicine Men’. They transferred this secret knowledge only to their trusted forerunners of the consecutive generations, who gradationally increased the volume of knowledge about medicines and their medicinal uses. Originally the transfer of the acquired knowledge from generation to generation used to be done verbally by the use of signs and symbols. As civilization progressed, transfer and recording of the knowledge were done in jotting.