It is indeed an honour to be invited to write the Foreword for book titled 'Herbalism, Phytochemistry and Ethnopharmacology' with its twin lofty motto both to educate and to provide much needed scientific validation to herbal medicine.
The author has achieved in this book the multi-faceted objectives of emerging herbal science which is a blend of ancient knowledge coupled with scientific proofs. When I received an invitation from the author to write the Foreword to the book I was somewhat puzzled by the invitation. After all, during the past one decade, my work has focused upon the pharmacological aspects of Ayurvedic and herbal medicine. I have coauthored a number of research and review papers along with the author detailing herbal medicine and ethnopharmacology. And prior to that, my original scientific training and qualifications were as pharmacologist, rather than Herbal Medicine.
The scope of this book is truly impressive, reviewing the phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of herbal drugs. The book is thoroughly referenced and illustrates the scientific approach to herbalism. The book is not limited to one class of Complementary and Alternative Medicine but also highlights medicinal applications of lesser known systems like Amchi. The book clearly warrants application of algae, fungi and mosses in drug discovery. This book was need of the hour to provide clarifications regarding issues related to herbalism.
Herbalism and traditional medicine are backbone of the modern pharmaceutical industry. In China and Western countries, herbal medicine has come into the limelight because of advancement in research and development. Taxol (Taxus brevifolia), Silymarin (Silybum marianum), Artemisinin (Artemisia annua) are some reputed drugs in synthetic system of medicine. All the three drugs owe their origin to plants. We need to explore other systems of Complementary and Alternative Medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and Amchi for more potent and life saving drugs. I believe that this book should be of great help to people concerned about the value of herbalism in future healthcare.
Dr. Samir Malhotra
Associate Professor, Dept of Pharmacology Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Chandigarh
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