This generalist nature both reflected pharmacognosy’s uniqueness and caused its relative downfall under the pressures of mining for modern pharmaceuticals and the simultaneous decrease in use of herbal medicine. Botanical microscopy, a very unique aspect of pharmacognosy, was a prevalent focus of pharmacognosy at a time when the evolution of medicine was moving away from the physical and into the chemical. Thus, in order to survive, pharmacognosy had to evolve into a science that encompassed the chemical and molecular realities of modern drug development. As a consequence, much of the botanical skills of early pharmacognosists were cast aside.