First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEP4068017, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
FA0243, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHARMACOGNOSY (B PART)
Department of reference Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian

Teacher in charge EUGENIO RAGAZZI BIO/14

Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/14 Pharmacology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Annual
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 20/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: (Pharmacognosy) To provide an adequate learning of the pharmacognosy concepts, it is required a knowledge of the mechanisms of pharmacological action (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics), presented in the course of general pharmacology.
Target skills and knowledge: (Pharmacognosy) The student will acquire in-depth knowledge on the macroscopic characteristics, the pharmacological mechanisms of the main constituents and in particular on the main rational indications for the use of medicinal plants.
Assessment criteria: (Pharmacognosy) The student will be evaluated on the basis of competence to recognize the drugs of interest in herbalism, and to evaluate its properties and limits of use in rational phytotherapy.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: The purpose of the course is to illustrate the main herbal drugs, focusing on their macroscopic characteristics for a correct identification, emphasizing the pharmacological mechanisms of action related to the main constituents and rational indications for use in various diseases. The pathophysiological principles of diseases will be outlined; up-to-date and most appropriate interventions made possible by medicinal plants will be thoroughly discussed. During the lectures, real samples of the main medicinal drugs will be presented and their key aspects discussed for an appropriate recognition. The most recent scientific articles on the subject will be evaluated, and the correct use of certified scientific databases will be considered.
The program will consider:
Definitions of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. Guidelines for the use of herbal drugs. Simple remedies and mixtures. “Magistral” formulas. Bioavailability of various formulations according to the pharmaceutical form. Dosage. Dualism efficacy/tolerability for remedies of natural origin. Relevance in the association between herbals and drugs. Induction and inhibition of cytochrome P450. Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics. Metabolomics.
Evaluation of the properties of herbal drugs based on their content of active constituents.
Herbal drugs used in different diseases. - Carbohydrate drugs. Pharmacognostic classification and implications of glucose in diabetes mellitus; indications for the treatment and prevention of diseases related to diabetes.
Herbal drugs in diseases of the stomach and intestine; anti-dyspepsia remedies, eupeptics, antiulcer, antispasmodics, laxatives, anti-diarrheal remedies. Herbal drugs in liver diseases and against gallstones.
Antipyretic herbal drugs. Anti-inflammatory herbal drugs in bone and joint diseases: pathophysiological basis for a rational intervention. Herbal drugs active on the cardiovascular system and blood clotting. Herbal drugs for the treatment of headaches. Herbal drugs active on the kidney. Herbal drugs used for respiratory diseases: antitussive remedies, expectorants, anti-asthmatics. Herbal drugs active on the central nervous system. Sedatives, antidepressants. Adaptogenic drugs. Herbal drugs for the treatment of dermatitis.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of 48 hours of lectures; the topics included in the program will be discussed also with the help of slides that will present the most current and accredited scientific literature. The presented arguments will be collectively discussed and analyzed. Real samples of the main medicinal drugs will also be presented and their main characteristics discussed to allow a correct recognition. Two interactive CDs will be delivered to students; the first is a collection of hi-resolution images and data of the main drugs of medicinal interest, and the second provides recommendations for optimal literature search in qualified databases of pharmacognostic interest.
Additional notes about suggested reading: At the website of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences – formerly Pharmacology Dept., there is a learning resource consisting of a database of medicinal drugs, together with data sheets and images. Site address:
Real samples of the above medicinal drugs are viewable for personal study at the Library of the Department - Via Jappelli 2.
The slides discussed during the lectures are available in the Moodle Platform:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • F. Firenzuoli, Fitoterapia. Guida all'uso clinico delle piante medicinali. Milano: Elsevier, 2009. Testo di studio Cerca nel catalogo
  • M. Heinrich, J. Barnes, S. Gibbons, E.M. Williamson, Fondamenti di farmacognosia e fitoterapia. Milano: EDRA, 2015. Testo di studio Cerca nel catalogo
  • M.Tognolini, M.Chiavarini, Principi di Farmacognosia e Fitoterapia. Parma: UNINOVA, 2007. Testo di consultazione Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dewick PM, Chimica, Biosintesi e Attività delle Sostanze Naturali. Padova: Piccin, 2012. Testo di consultazione Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

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