Classification of Crude Drugs PDF | PPT

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Classification of Crude Drugs

Presented by

Dr. V. B. Ghawate,
Vice Principal,

MES’s College of Pharmacy, Sonai.


Classification of crude Drugs

• Crude drug i.e. Simple drug

• Crude drugs are plant, animal or their parts
which after collection are subjected only to
drying or making them into transverse/
longitudinal slices pieces or peeling them in
some cases. They exist in natural form.

• Crude drugs may be derived from various
natural sources like Plants, Animals, Minerals,
Marine and Micro-organisms etc.


Group of crude drugs

• Crude drugs are further grouped as –

according to whether they contain a regularly
organised cellular structure or not.



• Although each system of classification has its own
merits and demerits, but for the purpose of study the
drugs are classified in the following different ways –

• Alphabetical classification
• Morphological classification
• Taxonomical classification
• Pharmacological classification
• Chemical classification
• Chemo-taxonomical classification
• Serotaxonomical classification


1. Alphabetical classification
The crude drugs are arranged according to the alphabetical

order/form of their Latin and English names. Some of the
Pharmacopoeias and reference books which classify crude drugs
according to this system are as follows-

• Indian Pharmacopoeia. (IP) 1955 (Latin) , (IP) 1966 (English)
• British Pharmacopoeia. (BP) (English)
• United States Pharmacopoeia & National Formulary, (USP) (English)
• British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
• British Pharmaceutical Codex.
• European Pharmacopoeia (Latin Titles).
• Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in Drugs and



• e.g.: Acacia, Benzoin, Cinchona, Dill, Ergot,
Fennel, Gentian, Hyoscyamus, Ipecacuanha,
Jalap, Kurchi, Iiquorice, Myrrh, Nux-vomica,
Opium, Podophyllum, Quassia, Rauwolfia,
Senna, Uncaria gambier, Vasaka, Wool fat,
Yellow bees wax, Zedoary.


• It is simple method, in this system location, tracing

and addition of the drug is easy.
• This method provides quick reference search of the

crude drug.
• Scientific nature of the drug cannot be identified by

this method, whether they are organised or
unorganized drug.

• This system does not help in distinguishing the drugs
of plant, animal and mineral source. (Original source
is not clear)


2. Morphological classification

• Here the crude drugs are arranged (Grouped)
according to the part of the plant or animal
represented into organised (Cellular) drugs
and unorganised ( Acellular ) drugs.

• Organised (Cellular): Drugs are the direct
parts of the plant and are divided into leaves,
barks wood, root, rhizome, seed, fruit, flower,
stem, hair and fibers.


2.1 Example of organised drug

According to Plant parts –
• Leaves – Datura, Senna, Vasaka, Digitalis,
• Barks – Cinnamon, Cinchona, Kurchi,
• Wood- Quassia, Sandalwood
• Roots -Rauwolfia, Liquorice, Ipecac
• Rhizomes – Ginger, Podophyllum, Turmeric
• Flowers – Clove, Saffron, Pyrethrum
• Seeds – Nux vomica, Linseed, Isapgol
• Fruits – Fennel, Coriander, Dill
• Stems – Ephedra
• Hair and Fibres – Cotton, Hemp, Jute


2.2 Unorganised ( Acellular):
• Drugs are the products of plant, animal and

mineral sources like-
• dried latex, dried juice, dried extracts, gums,

resins, fixed oils and fats, waxes, volatile oil,
animal products, minerals (Solids, liquids,
semi solids etc).


Example of unorganized drugs

• Plant, animal, Mineral Drugs Dried latex Opium, Papain
• Dried Juice – Aloe Vera
• Dried extracts – Agar, Catechu, Pectin Gums Acacia,

Tragacanth, Stericulia
• Resins – Benzoin, Colophony, Asafoetida Fixed oils and

fats Castor , Chaulmoogra, Cotton seed
• Waxes- Beeswax, Spermaceti
• Volatile oils – Coriander, Cinnamon, Clove
• Animal products – Bees wax, Shark liver oil, Gelatin

Minerals Bentonite, Kaolin, Talc


• This system of classification is more convenient

for practical study especially when the chemical
nature of the drug is not clearly understood.

• This type of classification is very useful in
identifying the adulterants used.

• It does not give an idea about chemical

constituents and therapeutic uses of drug.
• During collection, drying and packing morphology

of the drug changes ,then they are difficult to


3.Chemical classification

• Crude drugs are divided into different groups
according to the chemical nature of their most
important constituent present in the drug to
which the pharmacological/therapeutic
activity of drug is attributed.


• Chemical constituents of Drugs –
• Alkaloids – Datura, Vasaka, Vinca, Lobelia
• Glycosides – Cascara, Senna, Digitalis
• Tannins – Catechu, Myrobalan, Ashoka
• Volatile oil – Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon
• Lipids – Castor oil, Beeswax, Arachis oil
• Carbohydrates and derived products – Acacia,

Agar, Honey, Linseed, Tragacanth, Starch
• Resins -Colophony,
• Vitamins and hormones – Yeast, Shark liver oil,

• Proteins and enzymes – Gelatin, Papain,


Advantages :
• known chemical constituents are easy to study the drug.

• popular approach for phytochemical study.

Disadvantages :
• Drugs of different origin are grouped under similar chemical

• This type of classification makes no proper placement of
drugs containing two different types of chemicals.
Eg: Certain drugs are found to contain alkaloids and
glycosides (Cinchona), Fixed oil and volatile oil (Nutmeg) of
equal importance together and hence it is difficult to
categorize them properly


4.Taxonomical classification

In this system the drug are arranged
according to taxonomical studies. The drugs are
arranged according to their phylum, order,
family, genus and species. It is purely a type of
botanical classification or biological classification
and restricted mainly to crude drugs from plant


Example of Nuxvomica ( Strychnos nuxvomica)
Division – Angiosperm
Class – Dicotyledon
Order – Gentiales
Family – Loganiaceae
Genus – Strychnos
Species – Nuxvomica


• It will provide proper idea about species and

varieties of the organism.

• The system is criticized for its failure to recognize

the organised / unorganised nature of crude
drugs in their morphological studies.

• The system fails to face into an account chemical
nature of active constituent and therapeutic
significance of crude drugs.


5. Pharmacological classification

•Here, the crude drugs are grouped according to
pharmacological action (Therapeutic action) of their chief
active constituent (most important) or therapeutic uses.

• This system of classification involves the grouping of crude
drugs according to the pharmacological action of their active
constituents or their therapeutic uses, regardless of their
morphology, taxonomical status, or chemical relationships.

• The drugs differing in mechanism of action but having same
pharmacological effects are also grouped together, e.g. bulk
purgatives, irritant purgatives, emollient purgatives


• Cardiac depressant – Cinchona, Veratrum
• Cardiotonics – Digitalis, Squill, Strophanthus
• Expectorant – Liqourice, Ipecacuanha, Vasaka
• Antiexpectorant – Stramonium leaves

Brochodilators – Ephedra, Tea (Theophylline)

• Central analgesics – Opium (morphine)
• CNS Stimulants – Coffee ( caffeine)


• The special advantage is that if even chemical

constituents of the crude drugs are not known they
can be classified properly on the basis of therapeutic
or pharmacological effect.

• Regardless of morphology, taxonomical status or

chemical nature, the drugs are grouped together,
provided they exhibit similar pharmacological uses.

• Eg: Senna, Castor oil, Jalap, Colocynth are
grouped together as purgatives/laxatives because
of their common pharmacological action.


6. Chemo-taxonomical classification
• Chemo-taxonomical classification.
• Investigation of distribution of chemical compounds or

group of biosynthetically related compounds in a series of
related plants.

• In this system, equal importance is given for taxonomical
status and chemical constituents. There are certain types of
chemical constituents which are characteristics of certain
classes of plants.

• The character most often studied in chemotaxonomy are
secondary metabolites of pharmaceutical significance such
as alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, etc. DNA hybridization,
amino acid sequencing in proteins.

• Eg: Tropane alkaloids generally occur in most of the
members of Solanaceae.

• Eg: Volatile oils occur in the members of Umbelliferae.


7. Serotaxonomical Classification
• Serology is defined as that portion of biology, which is

concerned with the nature and interactions of
antigenic material and antibodies.

• Proteins most widely used as antigen in serotaxonomy
are those which carry useful taxonomic information.

• When foreign cells or particles (antigens) are
introduced into an organism, antibodies are produced
in the blood (antiserum). The substance capable of
stimulating the formation of an antibody is called
antigen and the highly specific protein molecule
produced by plasma cells in the immune system in
response to the antigen is called antibody.


The classification is based on similar plants by means of differences in
the proteins they contain.

• For example, to know the closeness of the taxon A with B, C, D, E.
• The proteins from A are extracted and are injected into the

experimental animal rabbit or mice.
• The experimental animal in return produces antibodies. These

antibodies are extracted from the blood of the experimental animal
in the form of antiserum.

• When this antiserum is allowed to react with the original protein
extract from A, complete coagulation takes place.

• When this antiserum is allowed to react with the protein extracts
from other taxa B, C, D, E the degree of coagulation varies.

• The degrees of coagulation are compared to know the closeness of
the taxa. More the degree of coagulation more is the closeness.


Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measure
for self care during COVID 19 crisis

General Measures
1. Drink warm water throughout the day.
2. Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and
meditation for at least 30 minutes as advised by
Ministry of AYUSH.
3. Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin),
Dhaniya (Coriander) and Lahsun (Garlic) are
recommended in cooking.


Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measures
for self care during COVID 19 crisis

Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures
1. Take Chyavanprash 10gm (1tsf) in the morning.

Diabetics should take sugar free Chyavanprash
2. Drink herbal tea / decoction (Kadha) made from

Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirch
(Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and
Munakka (Raisin) – once or twice a day. Add
jaggery (natural sugar) and / or fresh lemon
juice to your taste, if needed.


Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measures
for self care during COVID 19 crisis

3. Golden Milk- Half tea spoon Haldi (turmeric)
powder in 150 ml hot milk – once or twice a day.
During dry cough / sore throat
1. Steam inhalation with fresh Pudina (Mint)
leaves or Ajwain (Caraway seeds) can be
practiced once in a day
2. Lavang (Clove) powder mixed with natural
sugar / honey can be taken 2-3 times a day in
case of cough or throat irritation.


Thank You.