Scope of medicinal phytochemistry

Modern Ayurveda

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Medicinal phytochemistry seems to be an interdisciplinary subject. For a well-trained medicinal phytochemist, knowledge of subjects like medicinal or pharmaceutical botany, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacognosy, ethnopharmacology, chemical ecology, conventional phytochemistry, toxicology, traditional systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Unani), clinical research and biostatistics are prerequisites. While several complementary and alternative systems of medicine are in practice, the Traditional Chinese System (TCM) has made tremendous progress regarding the application of phytochemistry in medicine.

A typical medicinal phytochemistry course can be postgraduate and of a 2-yr duration. In case of the Ayurvedic curriculum, medicinal phytochemistry can combine well with Dravyaguna. Dravyaguna is defined as a study of Ayurvedic perspective of medicinal plants. A comparative curriculum blending ancient and modern concepts of ancient therapy will be helpful for students of Ayurveda. A curriculum of herbal medicine taught in Australia, Europe and the United States have some courses of medicinal phytochemistry but it needs significant expansion.

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