About This Special Issue
A medicinal plant is any plant which, in one or more of its organs, contains substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes, or which are precursors for chemo-pharmaceutical semi-synthesis. When a plant is designated as ‘medicinal’, it is implied that the said plant is useful as a drug or therapeutic agent or an active ingredient of a medicinal preparation. Medicinal plants may therefore be defined as a group of plants that possess some special properties or virtues that qualify them as articles of drugs and therapeutic agents, and are used for medicinal purposes.
Plants have formed the basis of sophisticated traditional medicine (TM) practices that have been used for thousands of years by people in China, India, and many other countries. Nowadays plants are still important sources of medicines, especially in developing countries that still use plant-based TM for their healthcare.
Plants can provide biologically active molecules and lead structures for the development of modified derivatives with enhanced activity and reduced toxicity. Some of the useful plant drugs include vinblastine, vincristine, taxol, podophyllotoxin, camptothecin, digitoxigenin, gitoxigenin, digoxigenin, tubocurarine, morphine, codeine, aspirin, atropine, pilocarpine, capscicine, allicin, curcumin, artemesinin and ephedrine among others. In some cases, the crude extract of medicinal plants may be used as medicaments.
Plants have provided humans with many of their essential needs, including life-saving pharmaceutical agents. There are more than 270,000 higher plants existing on this planet. But only a small portion has been explored phytochemically. So, it is anticipated that plants can provide potential bioactive compounds for the development of new ‘leads’ to combat various diseases. As a vast proportion of the available higher plant species have not yet been screened for biologically active compounds, drug discovery from plants should remain an essential component in the search for new medicines & the scientific study.Therefore this issue is dedicated to “Medicinal Plants” which will include but not limited to:
1. Medicinal plants and their importance for the mankind
2. Medicinal plants and their properties
3. Review of medicinal plants
4. Medicinal plants of different regions of India
5. Ethanomedicinal plants
6. Tissue culture of medicinal plants
7. Bioactive plants from medicinal plants