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The author defines pharmacognosy as the science which treats of the history, production, commerce, collection, selection, identification, valuation, preservation and use of drugs and other economic materials of plant and animal origin. The aim of the work is to supply a systematic textbook for students of pharmacognosy, either from the morphologic or from the taxonomic point of view. Pharmacognosy is so wide in scope that few students can master it because of its generality as well as its specificity. The study of pharmacognosy is now confined almost entirely to schools of pharmacy, and even here the time given to it is becoming restricted more and more. Medical students are but little exposed to it. Textbooks of pharmacology have found it expedient to restrict pharmacognosy to the mere essentials of such drugs as digitalis, ergot and quinine, and many students cannot recognize any of these. Ever since Dioscorides compiled the Greek
Text-Book of Pharmacognosy. JAMA. 1943;121(11):894. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840110096036
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