Plants have been used as a source of medicine for the treatment of different diseases from thousands of years ago. There is numerous evidences are available for use of plants as a medicine in the treatment of diseases in Indian, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Roman system of medicine. Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources, mainly from plants which may further lead to development of new drug. The exploration, extraction and screening of biological diversity such as herbs, spices, microbes and other natural resources is the worldwide activity in recent years. Phytochemicals are the naturally available bioactive compounds which are derived from different plant parts and are primarily responsible for biological activities. The most important chemical compounds which are present in the plants are alkaloids, phenols, saponins, carbohydrates, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids and tannins etc.
Part of the book: Natural Medicinal Plants