Ethnopharmacology in drug discovery: an analysis of its role and potential contribution

Michael Heinrich, Simon Gibbons

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200 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we discuss some examples of ethnopharmacological research as it has been conducted during the last two centuries and look at the current role of this discipline in drug discovery (especially with respect to the American and European markets) and the further development of these phytotherapeutical resources for local use in the countries of origin (ethnopharmacology). Examples from 19th century research on curare (Humboldt and Bernard), from the 20th century on hallucinogenic mushrooms (Wasson), on Mexican Indian indigenous plants (our own research) and of current industry based research are used to illustrate the development of this discipline and to highlight the challenges for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001

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