Herbology And Herbal Medicine

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INTRODUCTION
1.1 Herbalism

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, and phytotherapy. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts (Acharya and Shrivastava, 2008). Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. Traditional use of medicines is recognized as a way to learn about potential future medicines. In 2001, researchers identified 122 compounds used in mainstream medicine which were derived from "ethnomedical" plant sources; 80% of these compounds were used in the same or related manner as the traditional ethnomedical use (Fabricant and Farnsworth, 2001).
1.2 Plant Metabolites
Plants have evolved the ability to synthesize chemical compounds that help them defend against attack from a wide variety of predators
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or control of any living system is critical for its survival, growth and maintenance. From a unicellular bacterium to the highly complex multicellular forms of life, there is evidence of ?control checkpoints? for all the crucial cellular processes. One of the most important of such processes is proliferation. Alterations in the checkpoints may lead to ?cancer?, a fatal disease of uncontrolled proliferation of genetically altered cells. The term cancer is derived from the Greek word ?Karkinos? which means crab and this name comes from the appearance of the cut surface of a solid malignant tumor, with the veins stretched on all sides. In all known cases, cancer cells are derived from the repeated divisions of a mutant cell (Dey et al., 2007). Some of these mutations may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco, smoke, radiation, chemicals or infectious agents. A few other cancer-promoting mutations may be acquired through errors in DNA

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