This book has been written with the primary objective of providing scientific footage to medical herbalism. With advancement of our knowledge of the subject, a large number of texts have appeared which are useful in their own way but do not fully meet the interdisciplinary nature of herbalism. Herbalism coupled with phytochemistry and ethnopharmacology is a powerful tool for drug discovery.
The present treatise has been presented in a simple and lucid style so that a student who has even a limited knowledge of herbalism can understand the phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of herbalism. A simple, clear, well illustrated and a concise account of phytochemicals and experimental pharmacology has been presented. An introductory chapter in the beginning of the text is meant to acquaint the students with a general outline of various issues related to herbalism. Another objective has been to present the entire subject matter in light of new advancements in herbal drug discovery.
The book is primarily meant for students of phytochemistry, ethnopharmacology, phytotherapy and medicinal plants. For the benefit of the readers, concise information in form of tables has been included. Each chapter contains a complete bibliography which may particularly benefit postgraduate and research-oriented students and teachers.
It is certainly not possible to consider all aspects of herbalism in a single book, especially when there are genuine limitations such as lack of standardization and awareness. No originality is claimed in the preparation of this book. It is simply a compilation of work done in a manner so as to meet the needs of the students of herbalism and related subjects. A large of standard books on the subject and research journals have been consulted. I am also greatly indebted to all eminent herbal scientists of the world for sending me copies of original papers.
During the three-year period that this book passed through the different stages of preparation and production, I perforce ignored my family. For all kinds of personal help rendered to me by my parents and wife, I have no words to express my feelings. Special thanks is due to my pretty daughter Seerat Kaur for tolerating my whims and moods while working for the project. My heartiest thanks to Dr. Bhupinder Singh Bhoop,
Professor (Pharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics), University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Punjab University, Chandigarh and Dr. Samir Malhotra, Associate Professor (Pharmacology), Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chandigarh for providing the stimulus to achieve this ambitious project.
Finally, I wish to express my thanks to my publishers for providing me the facilities in the publication of the book. Constructive suggestions from readers, for the improvement of possible future editions of the book, shall be gratefully acknowledged.
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