Subject :- Pharmacognosy

Nagassar tree

Scientific name:

The scientific name of Nagassor is Mesua ferrea L. which is also known as Mesua nagassarium (Family: Clusiaceae)



Geographical souce:-

Rather slow-growing, the Mesua Nagassarium evergreen attains only a modest size as it flourishes in the low country rain forests of Sri Lanka. A cultivated form of the tree is used to decorated city parks and the lovely temple grounds for which Sri Lanka is so well-known. It is indeed an attractive addition to any garden for it bears white, fragrant flowers. Leaves of the plant are a deep, dark green color on the upper surface, and a white color on the underside which complements the beauty of the leaves' upper surfaces. New leaf growth displays a bright red or pink color which further adds to the ornamental value. In April or May, this eye-catching plant reaches full bloom. It is then that it is most cherished in temple gardens or wherever it may be found in Sri Lanka.



Botanical source:

Nagassor is the crushed flower of Mesua ferrea L. or Mesua nagassarium with some Stamens, its bark is also used in the preparation of medicine.




01. Its flowers are used as astringent and used in stomachiac.

02. I is used in cough attended with expectoration.

03. Its flowers are paste with butter and sugar used in bleeding piles and burning of the feet.

04. Flower buds of Nagassor is used in dysentery.

05. Unripe fruits aromatic and sudorific. Bark astringent, aromatic and combined with ginger and used as sudorific.

Champa tree

Scientific name:

The scientific name of champa is Michelia champaca it is also known as Michelia aurantiaca (Family:-Magnoliaceae).




Geographical source:

Michelia champaca is native to India, where it occurs in humid tropical evergreen forests from 250-1500 m in elevation.

It is found throughout Indo-China, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, and southwestern China. Outside of India the native range of this species is difficult to determine as it has been dispersed extensively by humans throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia on account of the use of the trees. The genus Michelia contains about 40 species with a distribution in from India, to Malaysia and Indonesia, and in southern Japan and Taiwan.


Botanical source:

Michelia, known by the scientific name Michelia champaca, is a very tall tree that grows up to 30 m tall.

The young branches are covered with grey hairs. The leaves are ovate in shape and are up to 30.5 cm long and 10.2 cm wide narrowing to a fine point at the apex. Small bracts, known as stipules, are present on the leaf stalk of the alternately arranged leaves. The flowers are pale yellow to orange and fairly large growing up to 5.1 cm in diameter. They are also very fragrant and when a Michelia tree is in flower the fragrance produced is noticeable some distance from the tree. The flowers have 15 tepals that curve up towards the tips and many stamens (pollen producing structures). The fruit of Michelia is made up of up to 3-20 brown follicles that are dry at maturity and split open at one side. Each follicle contains 2-6 reddish seeds.





01.Fuel: The gross energy value of the heartwood is about 21 070 kJ/kg and the tree is used as fuelwood.


02.Essential oil: Flowers yield an essential oil used in perfumery.


03.Analyses of seeds showed low (20%) kernel contents but high oil contents of kernel (32.2%) and 6.44% of seed. It has potential for commercial exploitation for oil production for various uses.


04.Poison: Leafs extract is toxic to the rice fungus, Pyricularia oryzae. Fatty oils extracted from the seeds show antibacterial activity against Bacillus pumilus, B. subtilis, Salmonella typhosa, S. paratyphi, Micrococcus pyogenes var. albus and Staphylococcus aureus.


05.Medicine: A decoction of the bark and leaves is given after childbirth; the bark is used as a febrifuge. In Myanmar the flowers are used to treat leprosy and leaves used against colic.

Bandor-hula tree

Scientific name:

The scientific name of Bandar-hula is Duabanga grandiflora (Family: Lythraceae).




Geographical source:

Duabanga grandiflora is native to Cambodia, Eastern India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam where it is found in evergreen rain forests between 900-1500 m in elevation.

It is found in open forests including vegetation adjacent to riverbanks and in valleys. The genus Duabanga contains only two other species including Duabanga moluccana, and a cultivated, proposed hybrid species Duabanga x taylorii. Duabanga x taylorii is unusual as it is known only in cultivation at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. It was grown from seed obtained from an unknown source and is thought to have come from Indonesia, however, its geographic origin and its proposed hybrid origin cannot be confirmed





Botanical source:

Duabanga grandiflora is a tree that grows up to 30 m in height and has large buttresses. Buttresses are support structures that grow at the base of a tree trunk that provide a wide base and additional support for tall trees that grow in shallow soil to prevent them from tipping over.

The large leaves of this species are 18-30 cm long and 6-10 cm wide and are arranged opposite each other in a single plane on the branches. The flowers are arranged in clusters containing 3-20 flowers that grow at the ends of the branches. The white flowers are quite small (5.0-6.0 cm wide), with 4-8 petals, but they contain up to 50 stamens (pollen producing structures) which stick out beyond the petals. The fruit is dry at maturity, is 2-4 cm long and 4-4.5 cm wide, and releases the seeds through 6-9 valves the develop when the fruit is mature. The fruit contains many seeds each of which is 4-6 mm long.






01.In a number of cultures the root is applied as a poultice for application to inflammation and fever.


02. Powdered roots of  Duabanga grandiflora  are mixed in water and applied externally as a poultice or rub to rheumatic swellings.


03. The bark is considered astringent and is utilized for the treatment of smallpox, in the Philippines for the treatment of ulcers in the mouth and alimentary canal.


04. It is used for the treatment of thrush and infantile disorders of the stomach, and in Cambodia the pounded bark is applied to scabies.


05. The juice of the leaves is considered anthelmintic and tonic and is used to treat worms, biliousness, fever, gout, and itchiness, and leprosy. Malayans apply crushed leaves to sprains and bruises.

Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy

Crud drug and its classification

Crude Drugs:



Crude drugs are vegetable or animal drugs that have undergone only the processes of collecting and drying.

It also defined as the drugs that have not been advanced in value or improved in condition by shredding, grinding, chipping, crushing, distilling, evaporating, extracting, artificial mixing with other substances or any other process beyond that which is essential to its proper packing and to prevention of decay or deterioration during manufacturing.




Crude drugs are used usually as therapeutic agent. Their chief constituents are separated by various means and they are employed in a more specific manner.





Advanced Crude Drugs:


Advance crude drugs are those drugs, which have been advanced in value or improved in condition by shredding, grinding, chipping, crushing, distilling, evaporating, extracting, artificial mixing with other substances or any other process beyond that which is essential to its proper packing and to prevention of decay or deterioration during manufacturing.







Classification of Crude Drug:


In Pharmacognosy crude drugs are classified in the following category-


  1. Alphabetical classification
  2. Taxonomic classification
  3. Morphological classification
  4. Pharmacological classification
  5. Chemical classification.


 Descriptions are given in below:

01. Alphabetical classification:

 Here drugs are classified using either their Greek name or Latin name. The drugs are arranged in alphabetical order and this type of classification is not used now-a-days because it has no scientific value.


02. Taxonomic classification:

Here drugs are arranged according to the plant and animal which they are obtained in classes, orders, families, genus and species. So this type of arrangement is sometimes called the botanical arrangement of plants or the zoological arrangement of animal drugs.


03. Morphological classification:

To identify the specific drug a morphological classification is applicable. In this system the drugs are grouped according to the collecting part of plant or animal. Such as: organized drug (Roots and rhizomes, flower, leaf, fruit, bark, seed, wood and fiber etc), unorganized drug (dried lattices, dried juice, gum, wax, oil etc).

In commercial market the drug may be available not in intact form. In that case the morphological classification is not so sweet able and acceptable.


04. Therapeutic /Pharmacological classification:

Drugs are used medicinally because of their therapeutic effect. So the therapeutic activity produced by the drug can be used as a method of classification. So here the drugs are classified depending upon their particular disease and therapeutic activity.

Example: veratrum, digitalis etc are grouped in a similar group because of their therapeutic activity on cardiac muscle.



05. Chemical/Biogenetic classification:

Since the activity and therapeutic use of drugs are based on chemical constituent, it could be appeared that a chemical classification is actually related to the pharmacological classification. Here the structure of active constituents are determined some of them are therapeutically active and others are chemically active. 







Evaluation of Drugs:


It indicates the process of identification of drugs. This can be classified as follows-


  1. Organolaptic evaluation
  2. Microscopic evaluation
  3. Biological evaluation
  4. Physical evaluation
  5. Chemical evaluation






 Preparation of Crude Drugs for the Commercial Market:


Before sending a crude drug for sale to the local or international market, it should be properly packed so that, the active constituents and the appearance of the drug do not deteriorate before being used.

The preparation of a crude drug for the market depends on the following processes-


01.  Collection

02.  Harvesting

03.  Drying

04.  Garbling

05.  Packaging

06.  Storage

07.  Preservation


Above's processes are given in below with description:


01. Collection:

Collection of drugs from cultivated plants always ensures a true natural source and reliable products. This may or may not be this case when drugs are cultivated from wild plants.



02. Harvesting:

Harvesting is the process which indicates how we will collect the drug from its source. The mode of harvesting varies with each drug produced and with the pharmaceutics requirements of each drug. Some drugs may collect by hand labor and some requires mechanical device. But in all case it should be less costly.



03. Drying:

Drying is essential for the maintaining the quality of crude drugs that was collected. It is important for the following:-


01.  It removes moisture which may cause decomposition of plants.

02.  It prevents molding, the actions enzymes, the action of bacteria and other possible chemical changes.


Drying may be performed by the following ways:-


01.  Air drying

02.  Sun drying

03.  Shade drying

04.  Artificial drying.


Proper and successful drying depends on control of temperature and regulation of air flow.



04. Garbling:

Garbling is the final step of the preparation of crude drug. Garbling.



05. Packaging:

Packaging is the process by which a newly produced drug is protected by a packet or some kind of bottle or in to a container.



06. Storage:

Storage is another important process for the production and distribution of a drug. Such heat sensitive drugs should be kept in a cool place etc.




 Drug Adulteration:




When a drug is substandard by any process, that is known as drug adulteration.


Different ways of drug adulteration-


01.  Inferiority

02.  Spoilage

03.  Deterioration

04.  Admixture  

05.  Sophistication

06.  Substitution



Details are given in below:


Inferiority refers to any substandard drug or substance regardless of cause. A plant or animal crude drug may inferior in quality when it is found in nature. Example: The dried ripe seeds of Strychnos nuxvomica contain 1.15% of strychnine. Seeds containing less than 1.15% of strychnine, considered as inferior substandard drug.





Spoilage refers to a form of substandard drug in which the quality of the drug has been destroyed by the action of fungi or bacteria, as to render the product unfit for human consumption.

Example: All drugs which are unfit for human or animal consumption are considering as spoilage.





Deterioration refers to any impairment of the quality of any product by destruction of any valuable constituent by distillation, extraction, moisture, heat, fungi, and insects or by various means.

Example: Coffee that has largely lost its caffeine through over roasting is an example of deterioration.





Admixture means the addition of one product to another through accident, ignorance or carelessness.

Example: Buchu containing a few stems is an example of admixture.





Sophistication means the addition of inferior material to any substance to defraud. Sophistication is a true adulteration because it is intentionally done to cheat.

Example: The addition of wheat flour to powdered ginger is an example of sophistication. 





Substitution occurs when an entirely different material is used or sold in the place of required one. Substitution is not sophistication because none of the true substance is used here. All types of substitution is considering as adulteration.

Example: Cotton seed oil is sold in the place of olive oil is an example of substitution.









Official Categories of drug

Official drug:


Drugs that have been included in the official pharmacopeia or in national formulary or standard book of medicine like BP, USP etc are called official drug.

AS for example:

01.  Acacia is an official drug according to BP and USP.

02.  Belladonna leaf is an official drug according to USP.

Bangladeshi drugs are usually prepared according to BP and USP standard.



Unofficial drug:


Drugs that have been included in previous pharmacopeia or national formulary, but the current issue have omitted are said to unofficial drug.

As for example:

Veratrum used in cardiac pressure. It is cancel from pharmacopeia by drug rule. It will never appear in the pharmacopeia.




Nonofficial drug:


 Drugs that have never been included in the pharmacopeia or in the formulary are called nonofficial drug. This drug may be under research and investigation and may become official in future.

As for example:  Steroidal alkaloid from Marsclenia tinctoria is an example of nonofficial drug.



Official Rubric:


 The rubric follows the official definition where the potency of the drug must be mentioned.

As for example: In case of opium it must be stated that the anhydrous morphine contained drug must be 10-10.5%.







Formulary and Pharmacopoeia

National Formulary:


 A formulary is simply a list of drugs. This list may also change after a certain period of time. The national formulary indicates the list of those drugs which are available in a certain area.


Drug Formulary: Drug formulary is also a list of drugs which may be subject to change as new products and information which become available.

As for example-

01.  British national formulary ( BNF )

02.  Bangladesh national formulary ( BDNF )








Pharmaceutical codex:


 Pharmaceutical codex is an authorized formulary which is a publication of the pharmaceutical society intended to be complementary to the pharmacopeia providing additional information about official drugs and other medicinal substances.

As for example: British pharmaceutical codex is the publication of the pharmaceutical society of Great Britain intended to be complementary to the BP.






Pharmacopeia is a reference book of medicine for consultation regarding drugs. It gives all information about a drug and its preparation. It consists of the following:



01.  The official title

02.  Category

03.  Identification

04.  Action

05.  Assay method of drugs

06.  Description

07.  Method of analysis

08.  The dose and dose range

09.  Determination of impurities

10.  Assay of foreign organic matters

Pharmacopeias are edited after every five years. During this time in between two editions a large number of drugs are discarded because of discovery of many untoward reactions and development of new safe drugs with similar actions. Pharmacopeia is published by authority of government or a medical or pharmaceutical society.

The main pharmacopeias are-


01.  The United States pharmacopeia ( USP )

02.  The British pharmacopeia ( BP )






Lipids are fat or fat like substances which occur in animal and plant. It contains some organic substances.

 According to their chemical structure lipids are classified into the following classes-


01.  Fixed oils and fats

02.  Waxes

03.  Sterols

04.  Phospholipids

05.  Glycolipids


 Now aboves classes are described in below with description and examples.



The Fixed oils and fats:


Acid value:

It indicates the amount of free fatty acid present in oils and fats. It is the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide required to neutralize the free fatty acid in 1 gram of fats or fixed oils.



Saponification value:

 It is the number of milligrams of KOH needed to saponify completely 1 gram of oil or fat.



Iodine value:

It indicates the degree of instaurations. It is the numbers of grams of iodine, absorbed under prescribe condition by 100 grams of fats or oils.



Extraction of fixed oils or fats:

Extraction of fixed oils and fats obtain from plant and animals. Many drugs contain fixed oils and fats as their chief constituents. If the extraction is carried out in heat then the oil is called hot pressed oil and if the extraction is carried out in cold then the oil is called cold pressed oil or virgin oil. So the extraction of fixed oils and fats is done by expression in hydraulic presses.




Vegetable oils and fats are obtained from various parts of plants. Generally seeds are containing a large quantity of fixed oils and fats. Animal fats are separated from tissues or other organs with steam and pressure.





Some Examples of Fixed oil and Fats:


Castor Oil:



 It is obtained from the seeds of Ricinus communis (family: Ephor biceae). The plant is an annual herb which is cultivated in temperate climate and it is about 15 meter height in tropics. It is indigenous to India and is widely cultivated in Brazil, USA and various parts of Africa.




Castor oil is composed of a mixture of triglycerides about 75% of which is triricinoline. The remaining part is diericinoleoglyceride. It is also contains Oleic, Linolic, palmitic, Stearic acid.




Castor oil is a cathartic. Commercially it is used in the manufacturing of soap and as a lubricant. It is also used in some pharmaceutics preparation.






Coconut Oil:



Coconut oil is the fixed oil obtained from Cocos nucifera (family: Palmeae). The coconut palm grows in the coastal region of all tropical countries.




 Coconut oil contains tri laurin up to 50% and trimyrisin up to 20% and other glyceroids including tripalmitin, tristearin, triolein, tricapriline. The free acid of tricapriline gives the oil bad odor.




 Coconut oil is widely used in the preparation of candies, chocolates, hair dressing and other cosmetics. It is also used in the manufacturing of soaps and pharmaceutically in ointment bases. 





Linseed oil:



It is obtained from the dried ripe seeds of Linum usitatissimum (Family: Linanceae) It is an annual herb which is cultivated in temperate and tropic areas.




Linseed oil contains glyceroids of unsaturated fatty acid like linoleic, linolenic and iso linolenic acid. It also contains myreistic, plamitic and stearic acid.




01.  It is used as a laxative.

02.  It is used as a protective when applied externally usually in the form of carron oil on the burn area.

03.   In Egypt it is used as edible oil.

04.  Commercially it is used in the manufacturing of soaps, oil cloth, printers ink, paints etc.




Olive Oil:



Olive oil is the fixed oil obtained from the ripe fruit of Olia europea (family: Oleaceae). The plant is an evergreen tree about ten meter s in height. The olive is native to Palestine but widely cultivated in Mediterranean regions.




Olive oil contains chiefly of tryolein. It is also contains linolein, Palmotin and arachin.




Olive oil is used as edible oil. It is also used as emollient, nutrient, demulcent and laxative. Commercially it is used in the preparation of soaps, plaster. It Is widely used as salad oil.






Peanut Oil:



 Peanut oil is the fixed oil obtained from the ripe fruit or seed of Arachis hypogaea (family: Leguminosae). The plant is a low annual herb. It is native to Brazil but widely cultivated in southern United States, Gambia, Nigeria and other localities with similar climates.



Peanut oil consists of a mixture of glyceroids containing 50-65% of oleic, 18-30% of linoleic, 8-10% of plamitic, 10-12% other acids.



Peanut oil is a solvent for intramuscular injections. It is a valuable livestock food.

Bees Wax:



 It is the purified wax obtained from honey comb of Apis mellifera (family: Apidae). Wax is secreted from the abdomen of worker bees. Bees wax is solid and in colors from yellow to grayish brown. It also gives an agreeable honey like odor and taste. When cold it is somewhat granular and non crystalline.




 Bees wax contains-


01.  About 72% of myricin which contains myricyl palmitate and myricyl stearate.

02.  14% of free wax acid.

03.  12% of hydrocarbon.

04.  Other constituents



Bees wax is a stiffening agent and the yellow wax is used as ingredient of yellow ointment. It is also used in plasters and commercially it is used in the manufacturing of polishes.