cod. 1004507

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - Second semester
Francesca ZIMETTI
Academic discipline
Farmacologia (BIO/14)
Discipline biologiche e farmacologiche
Type of training activity
40 hours
of face-to-face activities
5 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: PLANT BIOLOGY - PHARMACOGNOSY

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding skills
1) To acquire the basic notions of pharmacognosy (origin of active principles, technological processes, phytochemistry, classification of active principles).
2) To remember the botanical name of the plants.
3) To acquire preliminary pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic notions for understanding the pharmacological activity of natural substances.
4) To know the pharmacological activity of the main natural molecules and their mechanisms of action.
5) To Acquire ability in using the specific language of the discipline.

Knowledge and understanding applied skills
1) To apply the knowledge of the mechanisms of action of the natural molecules to define their pharmacological activity and use.

Judgment autonomy
1) To evaluate the validity of a phytotherapy product in independent manner.

Communicative Skills
1) Possess the ability to synthesize information and effectively communicate it to specialists and non-specialists.

Learning Skills
1) Develop skills and methodology that will allow you to study in a highly indipendent manner.
2) Updating the knowledge through the consultation of scientific databases


There are not prerequisites. However, the following exams are highly recommended: Human anatomy/animal biology

Course unit content

First part: introduction to pharmacognosy and preparation of drugs; hints of phytochemistry.
Second part:
classification of active principles in the medicinal drugs.
Third part: therapeutical applications of drugs.

Full programme

Medicinal plant and crude drug.
Phytocomplex and active compounds. Toxicity.
Basics of general pharmacology: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic
Traditional medicine phytotherapy and nutraceuticals
Technology of natural medical products:
- harvesting, drying, grinding, squeezing, enfleurage, distillation, extraction.
Drug acquisition and preservation.
Galenical preparations.
Phytochemisty and secondary metabolic pathways
- carbohydrates: mono/polysacchrides, starch, cellulose, gums, mucilages, pectins, destrans, inulin
- glycosides (cardioactive, cyanogenics, sulphurated, antraquinones, saponins).
- alkaloids: purinergics, tropanics, benzylisoquinolics, indolics, quinolinics.
- lipids: oils, fats, waxes. Omega-3 (atherosclerosis) and omega-6 fatty acids
- essential oils
-proteins: enzymes.
Drugs acting on gastrointestinal system
- Aloe spp, Matricaria recutita, Althaea officinalis, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Foeniculum
vulgare, Pimpinella anisum, Illicium verum, Pimpinella Anisum, Ilicium Anisatum, Zingiber officinalis
- Constipation: manna, Rhamnus frangula, Rhamnus purshiana, Cassia spp, Aloe
spp, Rheum spp., aloe spp.
Drugs acting on CNS
- Stimolants: Coffea arabica, Thea sinensis, Theobroma cacao, Cola spp, Ilex
paraguayensis, Paullinia cupana
-Sedative: Valeriana officinalis, Piper methysticum, Passiflora incarnata, Melissa officinalis, humulus lupulus
-antidepressant; Hypericum perforatum
Drugs acting on cardiovascular system
- Antihyperlipidemic plants: Cynara scolimus, Allium sativum, Vaccinium myrtillus,
Commiphora mukulm
- Peripheral vascular disorders : Aesculus hippocastanum, Hamamelis virginiana, Vaccinium myrtillus, Ruscus aculeatus
Drugs acting on respiratory system
- saponins: Hedera helix, Poligala senega.
- essences: Eucaliptus globulus, Melaleuca spp, Menta piperita, Pimpinella anisum, Foeniculum vulgare, Myroxylon pereire, Myroxylon balsamum.
- mucilages: Althaea officinalis.
Drugs active on immune system:
- aloe spp., Eleuterococcus senticosus Maxim, Uncaria tomentosa, Astragalus membranaceus Fisch, Echinacea spp.


M.Tognolini, M.Chiavarini - Principi di Farmacognosia e Fitoterapia - UNINOVA

G. Mazzanti, M. Dall'Agli, A.A. Izzo. Farmacognosia e Fitoterapia, basi Farmacologiche e aspetti applicativi - PICCIN

G. Fassina, E. Ragazzi-Lezione di Farmacognosia Droghe vegetali- CEDAM

F. Firenzuoli- Fitoterapia, guida all'uso delle piante medicinali- MASSON

P.M. Dewick- Chimica, biosintesi e bioattività delle sostanze naturali- Ed PICCIN

Teaching methods

The lessons will be mainly frontal, but will be complemented by online bibliographic research in order to provide students with the ability to know reliable databases from which to obtain information on phytotherapy products.
The slides used to support lessons, as an integral part of the teaching material, will be uploaded weekly on the Elly platform.

In the event of a protracted health emergency, mixed teaching will be adopted, with lessons organized in person and with the possibility of synchronous use even remotely (via Teams). Guide to using the Teams platform available at:

In this case, lessons will also be carried out in asynchronous mode, and made available on the Elly page of the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination, to be performed together with Plant Biology (as single exam).
Oral testing to be supported at the same time as the Plant Biology module (they are a single exam, both modules must be sufficient to overcome it).
Scale of assessment: 0-30
Weights and evaluation criteria:
1) Acquired knowledge (up to 15/30);
2) Ability to apply the acquired knowledge and to make connections between the covered topics (up to 10/30);
3) capacity to communicate concepts through the use of the specific language of the discipline (up to 5/30).

For Erasmus students: written test with 15 multiple choice questions. There is no penalty for incorrect answers

If due to the persistence of the health emergency it is necessary to integrate with the remote modality the execution of the exams will take place as follows: remote oral exam (free conversation) using the Teams platform.
Upload of the identification document in a One Drive folder shared by the teacher, to be deleted at the end of the exam.

Other information

Reception time

Tuesday 10:00-12:00
Thursday 10:00-12:00
(please notify via phone or email before)

tel: 0521 906172

In the event of a protracted health emergency, the reception will take place remotely using the Teams platform