Natural products and its scope and applications

Scientific Essay, 2018
15 Pages, Grade: 12



1. Introduction

2. Sources of natural products
2.1 Natural products from Plant sources
2.2 Natural products from Animal sources
2.3 Natural products from Microorganisms
2.4 Natural products from Marine organisms

3. Applications of natural products
3.1 Drugs and Drug leads
3.2 Cosmetics and perfumes
3.3 Defence
3.4 Pesticides

4. Medicinal plants

5. Ayurveda and Traditional medicines

6. Positive contributions from traditional medicines


1. Introduction

A natural product is a chemical compound/ substance, generated by living organisms found in nature. In the broad sense, it includes any substance produced by life. It has a pharmacological/ biological activity which is used in pharmaceutical drug discovery and design. A natural product can be prepared by total synthesis (Fig 1.1).

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Natural products have played a vital role in the development of organic chemistry (purified organic compounds isolated from natural sources) by providing hectic synthetic targets. The term, Natural product has been extended to commercial purposes like cosmetics, dietary supplements and food produced without any artificial ingredient.

Natural products are the active components of traditional and modern medicines. As the structural diversity of natural products helps in the chemical synthesis, and synthetic analogs can be prepared with improved potency and safety, these are often used as the starting points of drug discovery. In the field of organic chemistry, natural products are often defined as primary and secondary metabolites. Another definition limiting natural products to secondary metabolites is used in the fields of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy23.

At present, there are more than 120 chemical substances obtained from plants that are considered as important drugs which are currently used in a number of countries of the world. These chemical substances are given in the Table (1.1) shown below18.

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Some of the drugs/ chemicals shown in Table 1.1 are still sold as plant based drugs, requiring the processing of plant material. Others have been synthesized in laboratories and no plant materials are used in the manufacture of drugs. A good example of this is the plant chemical quinine, which was extracted from the bark of Cinchona ledgeriana tree and processed into pill to treat malaria. Nowadays, all quinine drugs available are manufactured chemically without the use of tree bark.

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Natural products and its scope and applications
Vikram University  (Vikram University)
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Dr. Faizan Danish Khaleel (Author), 2018, Natural products and its scope and applications, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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