Health Sciences: Pharmacognosy in the United Kingdom

| October 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Pharmacognosy is a pharmaceutical science vital for the discovery of future medicines. It has become particularly popular in the past two decades, with the UK being very active in the field.

Researchers and specialists can find a strong career path in pharmacognosy as the demand for herbal medicine increases in the United Kingdom.

What is pharmacognosy?

Pharmacognosy is the study of medicinal drugs derived from plants or other natural sources.

It is an interdisciplinary study comprised of botany, pharmacology and chemistry and includes analysis of the biology, biochemical, chemical and physical properties of these natural sources.

Around 25% of prescription medicines have an active ingredient from a natural source, making pharmacognosy an incredibly important science to our wellbeing.

Pharmacognosy education in the UK

In the UK, pharmacognosy is an established pharmaceutical science taught in all institutions of pharmacy. The science goes back over 200 years, making it one of the most exhaustive resources in the field.

Students may acquire an MSc in Phytochemistry or take pharmacognosy courses within their Pharmaceutical sciences degrees.

In the past 20 years, the subject has become increasingly important. With today’s scientific explosion of new drugs, nutraceutials, phytomedicine and dietary supplements, pharmaceutical students must understand medicinal plants and their validity in the healthcare system.

Students of pharmacognosy learn about the history, biology and chemistry of plant-based medicines. They must also learn how to derive a reference substance from a plant and implement analytical standards. Additionally, they become informed on the role of medicinal plants in healthcare systems across the world, and of course, the effects plant-based medicines have on the body.

Career path options

Pharmacognosy is a highly specialized career path.

Among career options available in the UK there are those in academia, research and analysis. Pharmaceutical science schools require lecturers and professors to educate their students in this science, and there are ample openings available.

Biomedical labs require research associates to help with extraction, research and development and technical analysis.

Additionally, there are positions available to those interested in developing herbal medicine. Specialists can either work in the phytochemical process of deriving chemicals from plants or alternatively, use herbal standard reference materials to develop medicine.



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Category: Sci Tech

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