Crude Drugs and Plant Products

Crude drugs are unmodified natural preparations of plants, fungi, animals, bacteria, or minerals that are used for the prevention or treatment of an disorder. Crude drugs are derived from any part or parts of plants and may contain one or more active ingredients. Many crude drugs are in use globally. Plant crude drugs have numerous classes of active components, like primary metabolites—proteins, carbohydrates and fats—and secondary metabolites—alkaloids, glycosides and among others.  Research shows that antimicrobial properties of essential oils extracted from some of these drugs are traced to phenols along with terpenes and flavonoids. This comprises the therapeutically use of the plant crude drug based on its active compounds and its potency as a treatment for a particular disease. In inclusion to benefits to humans, essential oils in crude drugs are shown to be effective in plant protection with phytopathogen activity documented in various crude drugs even after plant pathogens have developed resistance to traditional antibacterial agents. The understanding that many completely unknown compounds are yet to be discovered from crude drugs has discovered a new interest in pharmacognosy and has driven to many medical breakthroughs.

The use of and hunt for drugs and dietary supplements extracted from plants have increased in recent years. Ethnopharmacologists, microbiologists, botanists and natural-products chemists are merging the Earth for phytochemicals and “leads” which could be a for treatment of infectious diseases. 


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