Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Carmela PARENTI

Expected Learning Outcomes

To provide students with knowledge about the herbal drugs with regard to composition,  identification methods, quality control, pharmaco-toxicological effects of the active principles and their use in the pharmaceutical field

At the end of the course,  to pass the exam, the student must demonstrate to have acquired the knowledge related to:

  • sources of drugs of plant origin
  • Drug collection,  preparation and storage
  • macro-micromorphological characterization of the drugs indicated in the program
  • phytochemistry of the drugs indicated in the program
  • therapeutic effects of the drugs indicated in the program

Course Structure

Face to face lessons

If the teaching is given in a mixed or remote mode, the necessary variations with respect to what was previously stated may be introduced, in order to respect the program envisaged and reported in the syllabus

Information for students with disabilities and / or SLD: To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and / or dispensatory measures, based on the teaching objectives and specifications needs. It is also possible to contact the CInAP contact person (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and / or SLD) of the DEPARTMENT OF DRUG AND HEALTH SCIENCES, Prof. Teresa Musumeci.

Required Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of anatomy and plant biology and correct use of the related terminology

Attendance of Lessons

Obligatory frequency according to the rules of the teaching regulation of the CdL in CTF as reported in the link:

Detailed Course Content

General Pharmacognosy  (Module 1)

Meaning and scope of Pharmacognosy. Definition of drug. Classification and characteristics of herbal and animal drugs, organized and unorganized drug. Definition of factors that influence the composition and activity of drugs: natural endogenous and exogenous factors, exogenous factors depending on the drug preparation.
Collection, preparation and storage of drugs. Recognition and quality control of drugs, made ​​in accordance with the rules given in the FU Assays and bioassays. Conservation of drugs. Pharmaceutical forms of herbal medicines. Drug quality control.

Special Pharmacognosy  (Modulo 2)

Recognition, biological activity and uses of the main herbal drugs and their active principles

  • Carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing drugs

Monosaccharides: glucose, fructose, sorbitol.
Oligosaccharides: saccharose.
Polysaccharides: starch, cellulose, dextrans, inulin, pectins, gums, mucilage, carrageenans, alginates
- Laxative Drugs: Manna.
- Protective Drugs: Starch, Altea, Lino, Mallow.
- Drugs for technical uses: Gum Arabic, Gum Tragacanth.
- Purgative Drugs: Psyllium, Agar-Agar.

      • Lipids and lipid-containing drugs
Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, glycerides, waxes.
-Main-drugs: sweet almond oil, linseed oil, castor oil.

     • Drugs containing proteolytic enzymes
- Pineapple
- Papaya.

    • Drugs containing essences and resins
Monoterpenes, diterpenes, sesquiterpenes
-Sedative Drugs: Valerian, Chamomile, Linden
- Revulsive and antiseptic: Camphor
- Eupeptic Drugs: Orange, Anise, Fennel, Lemon Balm
- Expectorant drugs: Eucalyptus, Mint, Thyme.
- Adaptogen drugs: ginko
-Drugs with antitumor activity: taxus

     • Drugs containing glycosides
-Anthraquinones: aloe, cascara, rhubarb, senna, St. John's wort.
-Sulfur: garlic
-Saponinic: licorice, ginseng, horse chestnut, centella.
-Alcohol: willow.
-Aldehyde: vanilla.
-Phenolic: bearberry, rhodiola rosea
-Cardiac glycosides: digital, strophanthus, scilla.
Iridoid glycosides: Harpagophytum

    • Drugs containing phenylpropanoids
-Flavonoids: Silybum marianum, passion flower, blueberry, artichoke.
-Lignans: podofillo.
-Tannins:, Hamamelis, gall, green tea.

    • Drugs containing alkaloids
-Phenylalkylamine: capsaicin, ephedra,
-Isochinolinic: boldo, colchicum, curare, ipecac, opium.
-Indole: Rauwolfia, Calabar bean, ergot, vinca.
-Quinoline: china.
-Imidazole: jaborandi.
-Pyridine: tobacco.
-Tropane: belladonna, henbane, jimson weed, coke.
-Purinoceptors: caffeiche drugs

--Serenoa repens


Red Rice

- Drugs used in weight control

Textbook Information

1) A. Bruni - Farmacognosia generale e applicata – Piccin

2) F. Capasso, R. De Pasquale, G. Grandolini, N. Mascolo – FARMACOGNOSIA – Springer

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Definizione e classificazione delle droghe1, 2
2Definizione di principio attivo e fattori che influenzano la composizione e l’attività delle droghe1,2
3Raccolta, preparazione e conservazione delle droghe1,2
4Riconoscimento e controllo di qualità delle droghe, effettuati secondo le norme riportate nella F.U1,2
5Forme farmaceutiche nelle quali vengono preparati i medicinali fitoterapici1,2
6Monosaccaridi: glucosio, fruttosio, sorbitolo. Oligosaccaridi: saccarosio. Polisaccaridi: amido, cellulosa, destrani, inulina, pectine, gomme, mucillagini, carragenani, alginati2
7-Droghe ad azione lassativa: Manna1,2
8-Droghe ad azione protettiva: Amido, Altea, Lino, Malva1,2
9-Droghe per impieghi tecnici: Gomma arabica, Gomma adragante1,2
10Lipidi e droghe contenenti lipidi; Acidi grassi saturi e insaturi, gliceridi, cere1, 2
11-Principali droghe: olio di mandorle dolci, olio di semi di lino, olio di ricino1,2
12Droghe contenenti enzimi proteolitici: ananas, papaia1,2
13Droghe contenenti essenze e resine1,2
14-Droghe ad azione sedativa:Valeriana, Camomilla romana, Camomilla comune, Tiglio1
15-Droghe ad azione revulsiva cutanea ed antisettica: Canfora1
16-Droghe ad azione eupeptica: Arancio, Anice, Finocchio, Melissa 1,2
17-Droghe ad azione espettorante: Eucalipto, Menta, Pino mugo, Timo1,2
18-Droghe adattogene: ginko1,2
19-Droghe ad attività antitumorale: tasso1
20Droghe contenenti glicosidi1,2
21-Antrachinonici: aloe, cascara, frangola, rabarbaro, senna, iperico1,2
22-Solforati: aglio 1,2
23-Saponinici: liquirizia, ginseng, ippocastano, centella1,2
24-Alcolici: salice1,2
25-Fenolici: uva ursina1,2
26-Glicosidi cardioattivi: digitale, strofanto, scilla1,2
27-Glucosidi iridoidi: Arpagofito1,2
28Droghe contenenti fenilpropanoidi 1,2
29-Flavonoidi: cardo mariano, passiflora, mirtillo, carciofo1,2
30-Tannini: amamelide, noce di galla, tè verde1,2
31 Droghe contenenti alcaloidi1,2
32-Isochinolinici: boldo, colchico, curaro, ipecacuana, oppio1,2
33-Indolici: rauwolfia, fava del Calabar, segale cornuta, vinca1,2
34-Chinolinici: china1,2
35-Imidazolici: jaborandi1,2
36-Piridinici: tabacco1,2
37-Tropanici: belladonna, giusquiamo, stramonio, coca1,2
38-Purinici: droghe caffeiche1,2
39-Altre: serenoa repens, Echinacea, droghe utilizzate nel controllo del peso1,2

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral exam

The assessment of learning can also be carried out online via Microsoft Teams, should conditions require it

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

1) Drying of a drug

2) Extraction of the active principles by percolation

3) Drug and active principles of papaver somniferum

4) Drug and active principles of physostigma venenosum