1. SOURCES OF DRUGS
Crude drugs are the drugs which are obtained from natural sources like plants, animals,
minerals, marine source or from microorganisms and they are used as such as they occur
in nature without any processing, except drying and size reduction.
Drugs as such in raw form can be called as crude drugs.
Crude drugs from plants can be derived from whole plants or their anatomical parts,
vegetable saps (latex), extracts, secretions, juices, etc.
Crude drugs from animal sources are derived from whole animals, anatomical parts,
glands, secretions, etc.
3. • Organized crude drugs :
• These drugs include parts of plant which are used as drug. e.g. Leaf of senna, Mint, Bark
of cinnamon, Seeds of cardamon, Rhizome of Turmeric and Ginger, Roots of rauwolfia,
• They possess cellular structure.
• Unorganized crude Drugs:
• These drugs do not consist of part of plants & are obtained from natural sources by a
variety of extraction process e.g. Gums(Acacia, Tragacanth), oleogums, oleogums
resin(Asafoetida, Guggul), dried juice (aloe), dried latex(opium), Fixed oils and fats (Castor
oil, Cottonseed oil, Sesame oil) etc.
• They are no cellular structure may be solid or liquid.
6. 2. Drugs from Microbial sources :
3. Drugs from Animal origin :
Gelatin, Honey, Bees wax
4. Drugs from marine sources :
Sponge, Red algae, Cod liver oil, Shark liver oil, Brown algae, Agar, Alginate
5. Drugs from mineral sources :
Abraka bhasma, Loh bhasma,Talc, Shilajit, Kaolin, Bentonite,
6. Biotechnology :
Taxol, Diosgenin, Shikonin, Ginkolide, Ginsengosides, Streptomycin
7. DRUGS FROM PLANT KINGDOM
By trial & error, primitive man must have determined the food value of the available
plants & its dangerous parts to be avoided. His observations flowed from one generation
to another & new knowledge were added in the same way.
The healing powers of certain herbs, roots & juice were possibly discovered by accident
once these attributes were learnt, they were too important to be forgotten.
The history of medicinal plants begins from Vedic period, i.e. more than 5000 years ago.
The oldest document of Indian wisdom contains material which shows the rotational
attitude towards plant kingdom and its exploitation for the humanity.
About 150 plants are described in the Rigveda & Atharvaveda & for different therapeutic
uses. Prisniiparni(Uraira picta), Kustha(Saussurea lappa), Guggulu (Commiphora
mukul), pippali(piper longum), etc..
8. Plants were introduced as remedies for Various diseases like, fever, tuberculosis, kidney
stones, cough and cold, bronchitis, asthma, scrofula & many others.
After that the basic text books of Ayurveda, Charak Samhita (700 plants) & Sushrut
Samhita (570 plants) contained sufficient Valuable concepts & materials regarding
medicinal plants and their uses inVarious formulation.
Anticancer agents paclitaxel from yew tree, antimalarial agent artemisinin from
Artemisia annua, anticancer alkaloids Vincristine & vinblastine from Catharanthus roseus
are widely used in modern system of medicines.
Recent progress in synthetic drugs is also based on lead molecules derived from natural
products e.g. Morphine, Quinine.
9. DRUGS FROM MICROBIAL ORIGIN
Drug discovery from microorganism like bacteria & fungi has contributed much
for the prevalence of the modern age/ allopathic medicine. Penicillin is the
simple & most popular example of antibiotic drug used by mankind.
Study of new fungal and bacterial strains into discovery of a large number of
antibacterial agents such as the tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins
Fungal metabolic Lovastatin is the lead compound for a series of drugs that
lowers the cholesterol level, e.g. Mevastain(compectin), Simvastatin, etc..
10. • Cyclosporin is a fungal metabolite which is used as an immunosuppressant after
organ transplant operations.
• Spinosyns are a group of naturally occurring pesticidal compounds produced by
the actinomycete Saccharopolyspora spinosa that were isolated from soil collected
at sugar mill.
• Adriamycin & Cerubidine from streptomyces species posses antitumor activity.
• Vaccines used against diphtheria, polio, tetanus, typhoid, rabies, etc. are
attenuated cultures of bacteria & viruses.
11. DRUGS FROM ANIMAL ORIGIN
Leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) are used to reduced inflammation by withdrawing
blood. Hirudin, extracted from leeches (has anticoagulant properties), has been
suggested for use in thrombosis & other conditions in which the blood shows a
disposition to clot too readily, because it helps to prevent blood clot.
Bees wax & honey from bees (Apis mellifica)
Carminic acid a colorant from cochineal are the insect source.
Terrestrial animals like Sheep, goat, etc.. Provided us with gelatin, wool fat, etc..
Liver oils Halibut fish areValuable Sources ofVitamin A&D.
Epibatidine from skin extract of Ecuadorian poison frog posses analgesic activity.
12. Venoms & toxin from snakes, spiders, Scorpions, insects & microorganism are
extremely potent & so are used as a tool to study receptor, channels, Enzymes.
These toxins are polypeptide e.g. Gama-bungarotoxin from cobras.
Tetrodotoxin, a non-peptide toxin from puffer fish is extremely potent.
Tetrodotoxin has been used clinically to relieve the headache associated with
The neurotoxin from Clostridium botulinum, prevents muscle spasm. it can be
used for the development of novel anticholinergic drugs.
Thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, pituitary gland, pepsin, pancreas, etc. are the
glands or glandular secretion obtained from the animal kingdom.
13. DRUGS FROM MARINE SOURCES
The quest for obtaining new medicines has gone beyond the terrestrial regions to the
oceans & its flora & fauna. Scientists have explored novel compounds from marine source
like Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Nematoda,Chordate, Hemichordate.
Amphilectane, Cyclo-amphilectane, Sigmosceptrellin, are potential antimalarial
Porphyran derived from porphyra species possess hypoglycemic, hypotensive,
hypocholesterolemia and antiulcer activity.
Cuttle fish bone is used in tooth powder,When given internally it acts as an antacid.
Shark liver oil prevent the damage caused by radiation used in treatment of cancer.
Agar is used in microbiology as a culture medium or nutrient for growth of
14. • Cod liver oil is the great source of omega-3-fatty acids.
• Halibut fish liver oil is source ofVitamin A and D.
• Red algae are rich in protein, vitamins and anti-oxidant.
• It has moisture retaining property, hence it is used in cosmetic products especially
in Anti-aging formulation.
• Brown algae acts as an antioxidants, thus it helps to prevent damage to the body.
That lead to anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of Brown algae
15. DRUGS FROM MINERAL SOURCES
Shilajit, prepared chalk, kieselguhr, etc. are the drugs from mineral sources. Use of
shilajit as general tonic is reported in ancient Indian literature. Shilajit is produced
naturally in the mountainous areas of Himalayas, Vindhya and other mountains of
Indian and Nepal.
Purified kieselguhr (Diatomaceous earth, Diatomite) is used for the filtration of
oils, fats, syrup, etc. The chalk is used as an adsorbent and antacid. Other drugs of
mineral origin are bentonite, calamine(to treat itchiness), kaolin(wound healing),
talc, mica(used in toothpaste and cosmetics to give shiny appearance), etc.
Bentonite is used for preparing emulsions and ointment and cream bases.
In Ayurveda, Bhasma are prescribed for treating various disease. They are the herbo-
mineral formulations. e.g. Loh bhasma, jasat bhasma etc.
16. BIOTECHNOLOGY AS A SOURCE OF DRUGS
• Biotechnology is a vast and rapidly growing branch of science.As the name indicates,
biotechnology is the product of interaction between biology and technology.
• Biotechnology is defined as Biotechnology is technology that utilizes biological systems,
living organisms or parts of this to develop or create different products. Brewing and
baking bread are examples of processes that fall within the concept of biotechnology (use
of yeast (= living organism) to produce the desired product). The field of biotechnology
can be divided into eight major areas namely.
1. Recombinant DNA technology
2. Hybridoma technology
3. Enzyme and biocatalyst
4. Plant cell culture
5. Animal cell culture
6. Fermentation technology
7. Waste treatment and utilization
8. Process engineering
17. Plant tissue culture refers to growing and multiplication of cells, tissues and organs on
defined solid or liquid media under aseptic and controlled conditions and outside the
By the use of Plant tissue culture we can produce the maximum amount of secondary
metabolites, that are useful in medicine
Manufacturing of several substances such as steroid hormones, human insulin, human
growth hormone, somatostatin and interferons has now become very efficient by the
recombinant DNA technology often called genetic engineering.
Taxol and Camptothecin are the anticancer agents which are commercially produced
using plant tissue culture techniques.
Similarly Artemisinin (antimalarial), Forskolin (anti-spasmodic), Ginkgolides, Shikonin
(Lithospermum erythrorhizon), etc. are the secondary metabolites produced in high
levels by plant cell cultures.