Handbook of pharmacognosy - PDF (1917) by Otto Augustus Wall

Handbook of pharmacognosy

Handbook of pharmacognosy




The object of this book is mainly to serve as notes on pharmacognosy (Waarenkunde) for students in colleges of pharmacy, for students preparing for state board of pharmacy examinations, and for the everyday exigencies of the retail pharmacist. No student can listen to a course of lectures and derive full benefit therefrom unless he makes memoranda of the most salient features of the lectures. On the other hand, many teachers maintain that while the student is making note of some fact or other, he will give superficial attention or miss altogether something else about which the lecturer is meanwhile speaking, so that the advantage of "taking notes" is offset by the information lost while taking them. 

This handbook is intended to take the place of notes which a diligent student might possibly write down for himself so that during the lectures he can give undivided attention to the words of the lecturer, and to the illustrations and specimens shown. 

This handbook also serves as a skeleton of the science of pharmacognosy, presenting only those main facts which a student should make an effort to remember, and around which he can later gather and arrange further knowledge that may be acquired in the post-graduate study; irrelevant descriptions and illustrations of plants from which drugs are derived, etc., are therefore omitted, and the illustrations represent the drugs themselves, as far as possible, in natural size, and are intended to take the place of a collection of drugs as nearly as possible.

Histological details that are not necessary for recognizing (crude) drugs are not made prominent, and many of the sections represent the appearance that can be observed with the naked eye, or by the aid of a simple lens magnifying from five to ten diameters, and by reflected light; the structure which can thus be seen is sufficient to enable one to identify the drugs, and this is, therefore, all that is necessary or of direct practical use in pharmacognosy. 

As the description of a drug and its recognition by its physical characteristics is in no degree dependent on its recognition as "official" in a pharmacopoeia, no mention is made of its being "official" or merely "officinal;" in this regard, this handbook applies equally well to any pharmacopoeia, or to all pharmacopoeias. 

As every student of pharmacy must have his pharma- copoeia, that is where he must seek the information whether a drug is official or not; the pharmacognosist, as a pharmacognosist, is not interested in this question; he is interested only in the question of whether a drug occurs in the drug trade or not. The system adopted is based on the general principles of modern pharmacognosy as established and first published in Europe by Schleiden and Berg, and in this country by Maisch; but in many details the arrangement is original.

 The numbering of the groups, and the short synopsis at the head of each group, has been found of great practical value and convenience in the actual work done with the aid of this system by the students in the author's own classes. The author submits the book to the kind consideration of the pharmaceutical public with the hope that it may contribute towards popularizing the study of pharmacognosy and lead many to become interested in this useful branch of knowledge.


The medical profession is divided into two branches: physicians who prescribe for the sick, and pharmacists who dispense the medicines. 

This division of labour has existed for thousands of years, probably because experience has taught that this arrangement is better and safer than when the same person prescribes and dispenses also. To heal the sick has always been the aim of the medical profession. 

Healing the sick presupposes an organism that is endowed with life, and the physician must study both the organism and its environments in order that he may intelligently treat any departure from health. Certain rudimentary studies are necessary for all learned men, whatever their professions may be. These studies are comprised in the phrase, "good, common school education" (better still, "collegiate education"), and include the "three R's," grammar, history, geography (including physical geography), physics or natural philosophy and the rudiments of the Latin language.

the book details :
  • Author: Otto Augustus Wall
  • Publication date: 1917
  • Company: St. Louis, C. V. Mosby company

  • Download Handbook of pharmacognosy 55.6 MB

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