Phytochemistry is an important part of the field of botany, but one that is not widely known to those fascinated by the medicinal gifts bestowed by Mother Nature.
Today we look into what phytochemistry is and how it contributes to our medical healing.
What is phytochemistry?
Put simply, phytochemistry is the study of chemicals derived from plants. It is the bridge that connects chemistry and botany.
A phytochemist isolates compounds from plant material, determines its molecular structure and studies its properties.
Through this procedure, phytochemistry makes significant contributions to the fields of chemistry, biology and botany.
Phytochemistry concerns itself with two major issues: the study of chemical composition of plants and an explanation of plant processes and its chemical phenomena.
Why is phytochemistry so important?
Phytochemistry is widely used for herbal and pharmacological medicine.
Many plants produce chemicals to defend themselves against herbivores. These chemicals, once derived from the plant, may be used for drugs.
In addition, phytochemical techniques are used widely for herbal medicine, particularly in the field of Chinese medicine.
These herbal standard materials are sourced using phytochemical techniques that require quality control and screening for bioactive components.
How phytochemistry contributes to pharmacology and herbal medicine
To better understand how phytochemistry is used in the development of herbal and pharmacological medicine, let’s take a look at an example: Ginseng.
Ginseng is one of the bestselling natural herb remedies in the world, known for its positive effect on the body.
Among its benefits, it’s been known to help boost the immune system, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve brain function.
Phytochemistry investigates this root for its health and pharmacological properties, particularly cardiovascular diseases prevention, or as anti-diabetics and chemoprevention.
However, in order to properly study its effects, it must first be derived from the plant as a high quality ginsenoside standard reference material.
This material comes in a wide variety of formulas and prices and is meant to be used as analytical standards for biological studies.