01234 - Pharmacognosy

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - is able to carry out the morphological identification of the drug, the description of its origin and, if vegetable, the habitat; - is able to recognize the chemical structures that make up the active ingredients. Of the latter he knows their pharmacological activity, if used in the therapeutic field or possibly their application in other fields besides the pharmacological / therapeutic or in the technological or cosmetological fields; - is able to evaluate the use of phytotherapeutic preparations

Course contents

Module 1. Pharmacotherapeutic profile - clinical indications and adverse reactions: factors and risk groups. The herbal medicine in a pharmacy: integration between herbal products and medications. Phytotherapicl products for women, from puberty to menopause, for the elderly and for the child. Herbal products in oncology. Phitotherapy in cutaneous problems. Gender differences in pharmacology.

Module 2 - Definition and aim of Pharmacognosy; definition and classification of plant drug; factors affecting the activity: natural, endogenous, exogenous and preparation-dependent. Conditions of preservation, analysis, identification, quality control, distinctive characters, endogenous active substances, therapeutic strategies, toxic effects, potion preparation of the following drugs of vegetable origin:containing carbohydrates: Manna*, Starch, Hollyhock, Flax*, Agar, Arabic Gum*; Tragacanth Gum*, Cotton. containing lipids: Castor oil*, Cacao butter. containing essential oils and gums: Wormwood, Matricaria*, Roman Chamomile*, Cannabis, Camphor, Capsicum*, Fish (or Levant) Berry, Eucalyptus*, Male fern*, Clove*, Mint, Nutmeg, Valerian*. containing tannins: Hamamelis*. containing quinones: Aloe*, Cascara sagrada*, Rhamnus frangula*, Senna*, Rhubarb*, Saint John's wort. containing saponins: Licorice*, Ginseng. containing cardiac glycosides: Foxgloves*, Strophanthus*, .Squill. containing flavonoid glycosides: Maidenhair tree. containing alkaloids: Opium poppy, Boldo*, Ipacacuanha*, Cinchona*, Rauwolfia, (xanthines Cacao*, Coffee, Tea), Tobacco, Nux vomica*, Ergot*, Ephedras, Jaborandi, Calabar bean, Deadly nightshade*, Henbane, Thorn apple, Coca, Curare, Common periwinkle, Yew. Plant drugs containing psychotomimetic substances. Drugs of animal origin: sera, vaccines, products for transfusion, heparin.

The students must identify the plant drugs indicated by the symbol * and the botanical features of the plants they come from.



Firenzuoli F, Fitoterapia. Guida all'uso clinico delle piante medicinali" Ed. Elsevier 2009

Mazzanti, Dell'Agli, Izzo, "Farmacognosia e fitoterapia" Ed Piccin

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist in two oral tests aimed at assessing the student's understanding and knowledge of the topics set out during the course.

the exam will be carried out in the presence or via TEAMS according to the country's health situation.

The examination of the modules 1 and 2 consists of an interview; Module 2 requires the the recognition of at least 2 drugs; the two modules can be given separately.

The marks obtained for each module, in proportion to the number of credits, contribute to the final grade of thirty.

Teaching tools

PC, websites.

Office hours

See the website of Sabrina Angelini

See the website of Sanzio Candeletti