chapter  11
From Identication to Clinical Translation of Medicinal Plants
Pages 10

The rst records, written on clay tablets in cuneiform, are from Mesopotamia and date from about 2600 bc; among the substances that they used were oils of Cedrus species (cedar) and Cupressus sempevirens (cypress), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Commiphora species (myrrh), and Papaver somniferum (poppy juice), all of which are still in use today for the treatment of ailments ranging from coughs and colds to parasitic infections and in¤ammation (Cragg and Newmann, 2002). Egyptian medicine dates from about 2900 bc, but the best-known Egyptian pharmaceutical record is the “Ebers Papyrus” dating from 1500 bc; in these documents are described some 700 drugs (mostly plants) and include formulas, such as gargles, snuffs, poultices, infusions, pills, and ointments, with beer, milk, wine, and honey being commonly used as vehicles (Cragg and Newmann, 2002). The Chinese Materia Medica has

11.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 187 11.1.1 History of Drug Development .......................................................... 187

11.2 Incorporating Tradition and Future .............................................................. 188 11.3 Traditional Procedure-Based Therapies and Ethnomedicine ....................... 189 11.4 Herbal Medicine ........................................................................................... 191 11.5 Genomic and Fast-Track Development of Herbal-Based Active Principles ........................................................................................... 192 11.6 Conclusions ................................................................................................... 194 References .............................................................................................................. 194

been extensively documented over the centuries, with the rst record dating from about 1100 bc (Wu Shi Er Bing Fang, containing 52 prescriptions), followed by works such as the Shennong Herbal (~100 bc; 365 drugs) and the Tang Herbal (ad 659; 850 drugs). Similarly, documentation of the Indian Ayurvedic system dates from about 1000 bc (Susruta and Charaka), and this system formed the basis for the primary text of Tibetan Medicine, Gyu-zhi (Four Tantras) translated from Sanskrit during the eighth century ad (Cragg and Newmann, 2002).