Drug Discovery from Plant Sources: Scope, Approach and Challenges
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Javed Ahmad and Javed Ahamad
Medicinal plants are recognized to fulfill human necessities like food,
clothes, shelter and health. The search for eternal health and longevity to seek remedy
to relieve discomfort prompted mankind to develop many ways and means of health
care systems. Traditional medicines were practiced in ancient civilizations for the cure
of ailments. In recent years, natural products play a very important role in drug
discovery for life-threatening ailments like cancer, malaria, diabetes and cardiovascular
problems. Recently, drug discovery from plants for the treatment of cancer gets more
focused and leads to the discovery of novel anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel,
docetaxel, topotecan, irinotecan, vincristine and vinblastine. Drug discovery from
plants is a long and tedious process, and it requires selecting suitable plants, preclinical
screening, clinical evaluation and drug approval for marketing. Herbal
medicines obtained from plants are generally considered safe compared to synthetic
drugs, and secondary metabolites obtained from plants have more chemical diversity
and considered superior to synthetic combinatorial chemicals. In this book chapter, we
comprehensively discussed the advantages and role of higher plants in drug discovery,
steps and approaches of drug discovery from higher plants.
Approaches of Drug Discovery, Cancer, Drug Discovery, Diabetes,
Malaria, Natural Products, Plants.
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tishk International University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.