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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82  

Herbal drug development from natural sources

President, APTI (Haryana), Professor and Principal, Hindu College of Pharmacy, Sonipat, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication16-Jun-2012

Correspondence Address:
Satish Sardana
President, APTI (Haryana), Professor and Principal, Hindu College of Pharmacy, Sonipat, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-4040.97274

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How to cite this article:
Sardana S. Herbal drug development from natural sources. J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2012;3:82

How to cite this URL:
Sardana S. Herbal drug development from natural sources. J Adv Pharm Technol Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 May 20];3:82. Available from: https://www.japtr.org/text.asp?2012/3/2/82/97274

Natural products including plants, animals, and minerals have been the single most productive source of leads for the development of drugs. A number of compounds derived from natural sources are currently undergoing clinical and preclinical studies, particularly as anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-malarial, anti-viral, and anti-neoplastic agents. Most of these compounds are derived from leads of plant origin.

Though the drugs from natural sources have been used since long for cure of a number of diseases and also prophylactically, they have been neglected as far as scientific records of their efficacy and safety are concerned. This may be due to the complex nature of plants as they contain a number of phytoconstituents, therefore making a polyherbal formulation an easy alternative.

Very few pharmaceutical companies are involved in drug discovery screening from natural sources. This may be due to the high cost involved in isolation and identification of pure compounds, difficulty in collection, the complex nature of plants, and absence of clear-cut regulatory guidelines for natural products. Their main focus has been herbal formulations, but the issue of efficacy and safety still remains.

In the conventional drug discovery process, a single pure active constituent is isolated, purified, and standardized. Multi-constituent herbal formulations can be standardized with newer techniques such as DNA fingerprinting, high-pressure thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), and liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LCMS). In-house monographs need to be developed and critically followed.

Developing a herbal drug involves collection and authentication of the material, pharmacognostic, phytochemical, and pharmacologic evaluation, and standardization. A number of molecules like caffeine, reserpine, quinine, artemisin, etc. have replaced their extracts. Despite the use of herbal drugs and extracts in a number of diseases, they have failed to get to the prescription level by the physicians.

The newer approaches to drug discovery process from natural sources are to utilize the application of molecular biology techniques and to develop and screen a large number of pure compounds and plant extracts so as to develop a database. Virtual screening of these libraries will help in identification of newer compounds and will improve the drug discovery process.


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