Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2022-2023

Course director

Number of hours/semester

Lectures: 28 hours

Practices: 0 hours

Seminars: 0 hours

Total of: 28 hours

Subject data

  • Code of subject: OPG-O1E-T
  • 2 Credit
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science and Pharmacy module
  • autumn

OPO-G2E-T completed , OPG-O1G-T parallel , OPA-SGE-T completed

Exam course:

Course headcount limitations

min. 5 people – max. 50 people


Pharmacognosy covers general aspects of medicinal plants (such as industrial applications, research, cultivation and cultivars, gene technology, critical evaluation of holistic medicine and homeopathy, possibilities of phytotherapy) and discusses the chemical composition and other qualitative characteristics, as well as the most important areas of usage and pharmacology of herbal drugs and drug fractions such as oils and essential oils. Based on their previous pharmacobotanic knowledge students become acquainted with medicinal plants and drugs that are used in pharmacotherapy (especially in phytotherapy) both in Hungary and abroad. Students are required to recognize the most important tea drugs and drugs with strong physiological effect that are traded and/or imported in Hungary. In the frame of practices students obtain experience in drug analysis and identification methods and the ability to solve daily arising problems, with special emphasis on processing information from literature, databases and the internet.
Course objective and role in the curriculum: students should become familiar with plant materials and drugs, as well as their effective substances in general.


  • 1. Introduction of the requirements of the course. Scope and subject of Pharmacognosy. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 2. Natural substances in pharmaceutical research. (Traditional) herbal medicines and dietary supplements. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 3. Wild, protected and cultivated medicinal plants. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 4. Tea drugs, primary processing of medicinal plants, plant extracts. Qualification and phytochemical evaluation of medicinal plants. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 5. Carbohydrates. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 6. Drugs containing carbohydrates. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 7. Biosynthesis and classification of terpenoid. - Dr. Deli József
  • 8. Drugs containing monoterpenes. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 9. Triterpenes. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 10. Drugs containing triterpenes, steroids, saponins. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 11. Phytotherapy. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 12. Aromatherapy. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 13. Iridoids. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 14. Drugs containing iridoids. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 15. Other therapies based on medicinal plants. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 16. Drugs of animal and fungus origin. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 17. Written test. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 18. Medicinal plant biotecnology. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 19. Synthesis, role and usage of lipids. Oils and waxes. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 20. Drugs containing vegetable oils and waxes. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 21. Cianogenic glycosides and glycosinolates. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 22. Drugs containing cianogenic glycosides and glycosinolates. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 23. Essential oils. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 24. Essential oils. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 25. Sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and phloroglucinols. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 26. Drugs containing sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and phloroglucinols. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 27. Special amino acid derivatives. Cardenolides and bufadienolides. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi
  • 28. Drugs containing special amino acid derivatives. Cardenolides and bufadienolides. - Dr. Horváth Györgyi



Reading material

Obligatory literature

Literature developed by the Department

1. Farkas Á., Horváth Gy., Molnár P.: Pharmacognosy 1, digital learning material, 2014 TÁMOP-4.1.2.A/1-11/1-2011-0016
2. Farkas Á., Papp N., Bencsik T., Horváth Gy.: Digital Herbarium and Drug Atlas, digital learning material, 2014 TÁMOP-4.1.2.A/1-11/1-2011-0016
Course materials will be sent by Neptun for students.


Recommended literature

1. Evans W.C.: Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy, Saunders, London-New York, 2000
2. Aronson J.K. (ed.): Meyler?s Side Effects of Herbal Medicines, Elsevier, Amsterdam-Oxford-Tokyo, 2009
3. Barnes J., Anderson L.A., Phillipson J.D.: Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition, Pharmaceutical Press, London-Chicago, 2002
4. ESCOP Monographs, The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition, Thieme, Exeter, Stuttgart, New York, 2003
5. Poole C.F., Poole S.K.: Chromatography Today, Elsevier, Amsterdam-Oxford-New York-Tokyo, 1991
6. WHO Guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) for Medicinal Plants, 2003
7. Kayser O., Quax W. (eds.): Medicinal Plant Biotechnology, volume 1-2, Wiley, Weinheim, 2007.

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Maximum of 25 % absence allowed

Mid-term exams

Students need to write 1 written exam based on the lectures (acceptance: min. 60%). In the case of failed exam, there is one possibility to rewrite it. In the case of failed practice result, there is no possibility to try the oral exam. At oral exam: 2 topics. Final results of oral exam: oral communication + lecture written exam + practice result
If somebody writes the 4 drug reports with min. fullfill 90% (4 x 90%)during the semester, will receive rid of the drug entrance exam in Pharmacognosy 2. oral exam.

Making up for missed classes

There is no possibility to make up for the missed lectures.

Exam topics/questions

The criterion of admission to the exam is the successful completion of the practice carried out in paralell (midsemester grade with the result different from ?failed?).

1. Definition of Pharmacognosy. Herbariums.
2. Ethno-pharmacobotany.
3. Natural substances in pharmaceutical research.
4. Hierarchy of herbal products traded Hungary: Herbal medicine, Traditional herbal medicinal product, Herbal tea, Dietary supplement.
5. Wild and protected medicinal plants, collection of medicinal plants.
6. Plant biotechnology and gene technology.
7. Tea drugs, primary processing, extracts.
8. Industrial medicinal plants.
9. Qualification and phytochemical evaluation of medicinal plants, requirements of the pharmacopoeia.
10. Phytotherapy.
11. Aromatherapy.
12. Homeopathy.
13. Drugs of fungus and animal origin: Secale cornutum, Tinder fungus, Laricis fungus, Reishi, Shii-take, Schizophyllum commune, Lichen islandicus, Lichen quercus, Blatta orientalis, Cantharis, Cetylis palmitas, Gelatin, Hirudo medicinalis, Jecoris aselli oleum, Mel.
14. Significance of photosynthesis, structure and chemical composition of the chloroplast. Light reactions of photosynthesis.
15. The nitrogen cycle, nitrogen fixation.
16. Nitrogen assimilation and sulphate reduction. Nitrogen- and sulphur-containing compounds in the pharmaceutical practice.
17. Carbohydrate synthesis during photosynthesis: the Calvin-cycle; structure and role of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and malic acid; C4 and CAM type plants.
18. Synthesis, role and usage of di- and polysaccharides [sucrose, maltose, starch (amylose, amylopectin), cellulose]. Pectins, mannans, gummi arabicum, heteropolysaccharides: occurrence, medicinal usage.
19. Biological functions and classes of lipids. Building blocks of phosphoglycerides: L-?-phosphatidic acid, cholamine, choline, serine, inositol. Structure of cephalin, lecithine, phosphatidyl serine and phosphatidyl inositol. General characterisation of sphingosine, sphingo- and glycolipids.
20. Fats and oils. Biosynthesis of fatty acids. Structure of important saturated and unsaturated fatty acids occurring in plants.
21. Structure of arachidonic acid, ricinoleic acid, ricinine and ricin; occurrence, biological and medicinal importance. Physical and chemical parameters of fats and oils, occurrence in plants, medicinal usage.
22. Oils of animal origin: chemical structure of the most important compounds in cod-liver oil, medicinal usage. Structure and utilisation of waxes.
23. Prostaglandins: discovery, occurrence; chemical structure; biosynthetic precursor; biological effects, medicinal usage. Polyacetylenes: synthesis, features, occurrence in plants, biological role.
24. Isoprenoid compounds I. Isoprene rule; modes of linking of isoprene units; natural and artificial polyisoprenes.
25. Isoprenoid compounds II. General features of terpenes; occurrence; precursors of biosynthesis [mevalonic acid (MVA), isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP)]; main steps of biosynthesis.
26. Isoprenoid compounds III. Classification of terpenes. Chemical structure of linear and cyclic monoterpenes with a few examples; occurrence, biological role, medicinal usage.
27. Isoprenoid compounds IV. Iridoids, pyrethroids, sesquiterpenes: chemical structure of the cyclopenta-pyranoid skeleton; occurrence in plants, biological role, application in medicine.
28. Isoprenoid compounds V. Diterpenes, triterpenes. Chemical structure, occurrence and biological significance of phytol and squalene. Occurrence, biological role and medicinal usage of triterpenoid saponins.
29. Proteinogenic amino acids I.: structural formula and chemical name of alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, asparagine, cysteine, glycine, glutamic acid, glutamine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine.
30. Proteinogenic amino acids II: Structural formula and chemical name of lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, hydroxyproline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine.
31. Important amino acid reactions I. a.) Basic reaction of transamination; b.) reductive desamination ? formation of ?-amino acids from ?-keto acids ?-oxo acids); c.) formation of glutamine from glutamic acid.
32. Important amino acid reactions II: a.) Decarboxylation; b.) oxidative desamination; c.) formation of asparagine from aspartic acid.
33. Breakdown of xanthine, caffeine and other purine-derived effective substances: formation of ureids, glycolic acid, glyoxylic acid and carbamide. Allantoin, as the most well-known plant ureid.
34. Specific amino acids: chemical structure of ?-amino-butyric acid (GABA), ?-amino-butyric acid (BABA) and ?-alanine; formation, significance in plants; chemical transformation.
35. Occurrence and significance of canavanine. Structure, occurrence and biological effect of L-dihydroxy-phenylalanine (L-DOPA). Occurrence of alkyl- and allyl-derivatives of cysteine; chemical structure and occurrence of diallyl-sulfide and diallyl-disulfide. Occurrence of propenyl-cysteine.
36. Peptids, proteins. Classification of proteins based on solubility relations. Biological and biochemical role of enzymes, classification according to their functions. Occurrence and medicinal usage of some enzymes (papain, bromelain, ficin).
37. The place and main steps of plant protein biosynthesis. Occurrence and biological role of stored proteins. Features, occurrence, biological role and application of lectins (phytohemagglutinins), toxic (ricin) and other plant proteins.
38. Alkaloids I. Definition and general characteristics of alkaloids; natural occurrence. Structure of the most important amino acids in their biosynthesis (ornitin, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, histidine).
39. Alkaloids II. Structure of N-containing heterocyclic compounds, characteristic for alkaloids (pyrrole, pyrrolidine, pyridine, piperidine, indole, quinoline, isoquinoline, pyrimidine, imidazole, purine, sterane structure).
40. Alkaloids III. Phenylethylamine-type alkaloids: ephedrine as a protoalkaloid. Mescaline as a protoalkaloid. Occurrence, biological features, application.
41. Alkaloids IV. Alkaloids containing pyridine, pyrrolidine, piperidine cycle: chemical formula and name, biological effect of nicotine and coniine. Occurrence of other alkaloids with pyperidine cycle (piperine, lobeline).
42. Alkaloids V. Tropane alkaloids ? Alkaloids with a condensed pyrrolidine- and piperidine cycle. Structure of nortropane, tropane, tropine (3?-hydroxi-tropane) and tropic acid. Atropine, hyosciamine, scopolamine ? structure, occurrence, biological effect, application in medicine and elsewhere.
43. Alkaloids VI. Structure of pseudotropine (3 ?-hydroxi-tropane), ecgonine and cocaine; occurrence and biological effects of cocaine. Structural comparison of novocaine (non-alkaloid) and cocaine, focusing on the atom group responsible for biological effect.
44. Alkaloids VII. Alkaloids with quinoline structure. Structure, occurrence, biological effects and application of quinine.
45. Alkaloids VIII. Opium alkaloids: a.) Structure, biological effect and usage of papaverine as an isoquinoline structure alkaloid.
46. Alkaloids IX. Opium alkaloids: b.) Structure of morphine; biological effect, medical usage. Biological effects and medical application of some important morphine derivatives [codeine, tebaine, ethylmorphine (dionine), heroin].
47. Alkaloids X. LSD as the most important derivative of lysergic acid. Biological effects and medical application of important ergot alkaloids.
48. Alkaloids XI. Purine alkaloids: tautomeric lactam-lactim equilibrium of xanthine; structure of theophylline, theobromine and caffeine; occurrence, biological effects, usage.
49. Phenoloids I. Structure of amino acids in their biogenesis (phenylalanine, tyrosine). Structure of ?-phenyl-propionic acid, trans (E)-cinnamic acid, cis (Z)-cinnamic acid (allo-cinnamic acid), para-coumaric acid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid (the ester of caffeic acid and quinic acid).
50. Phenoloids II. The hydroquinone ? para-benzoquinone transformation. Quinone derivatives and their significance in plant biochemistry. Phenol-carboxylic acids of benzoic acid origin, e.g. gallic acid: structure, occurrence in plants, significance in biology and medicine.
51. Phenoloids III. Structure and occurrence of salicin in plants. Chemical structure of salicylic alcohol, salicylic acid, acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) and its Ca-salt (Kalmopyrin); their significance in pharmacy.
52. Phenoloids IV. Structure of some unsaturated phenol alcohols. Trans (E)-cinnamic alcohol and its derivative: para-coumaryl alcohol. Features of lignins, lignans, flavonolignans: occurrence, biological and medicinal importance.
53. Phenoloids V. Coumarins. Chemical structure of coumarin and coumaric acid. Aesculin, dicoumarol and furanocoumarins; occurrence in plants; biological and medicinal significance.
54. Phenoloids VI. Flavonoids: Structure of ?- and ?-pyran, ?- and ?-pyrone and coumarin (?-pyrone condensed with benzol). Structure of chromane, chromene, chromone, flavan, flavene, flavon, flavonol (3-hydroxi-flavon) and quercetin. Structure, occurrence and isolation of rutin (vitamin P).
55. Phenoloids VIII. Tannins. Classification of tannins. Structure of gallic acid, pyrogallol, meta-digallic acid, penta-meta-digalloyl ?-D-glucose. Occurrence, features and application of tannins.
56. Phenoloids IX. Quinones and terpenophenols. Structure of juglone, anthraquinone (9,10-anthraquinone) and anthrone. Biological effect, features and usage of juglone. Occurrence and medicinal significance of plant effective substances with anthraquinone and anthrone (naphtho-dianthrone) structure. Terpenophenols (cannabinoids). Occurrence and biological effect of THC; effective substances of hop and their structure.


  • Dr. Farkas Ágnes
  • Dr. Horváth Györgyi

Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars