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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2005;41(1):17-22.

[Medicinal plants in phytotherapy].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Sezione di Biologia Farmaceutica, Universita degli Studi, Via Tommaso Pendola 62, 53100 Siena, Italy.


Plant kingdom has a wider biochemical diversity than animals and at least four-fifths of secondary metabolites come from vegetable world. This is probably due to the link between soil and plants, therefore these have to develop numerous adaptation mechanisms. To date, about 40% of modern monomolecular drugs derives directly or indirectly from plants. The phytotherapy today constitutes the most popular medical practice of complementary medicine, and in many countries its increase is continuous. Some vegetable preparations are marked as pharmaceutical regulation. However in the most cases, in absence of clinical tests, the empiric experience matured in a long period can be considered acceptable testimony of their efficacy. The vegetable products, that are used to cure smaller indications, are based on the Directive 2004/24/EC of March 2004.

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