Pharmacognosy

Terra Sigillata

Category archives for Pharmacognosy

Regular readers know that I hold equivocal views of the broad area of dietary supplements, particularly botanical supplements. On one hand, I have seen some great new compounds come from the systematic investigation of herbal and fungal concoctions to the point that 25% of prescription drugs are derived from natural products. On the other hand,…

Reuters and Bloomberg reported earlier this week on an ongoing patent battle (read: pissing match) between Pfizer and Eli Lilly & Co. relating to their erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis, respectively. A US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) appeals committee has ruled that an element of Pfizer’s patent on sildenafil, the active chemical in…

Update: New ScienceBlogs colleague, Sharon Astyk at Casaubon’s Book, brought my attention to the fact that this local southern Colorado story has been picked up by CNN. Although I originally wrote this post rather tongue-in-cheek, some scientific evidence has accumulated for the benefits of cannabis in neuropathic pain, cancer pain and nausea, as well as…

Earlier this week, I saw one of the best treatments of a misinterpreted story that has me thinking about how all news outlets should report in vitro laboratory studies. Only thing is that it didn’t come from a news outlet. It came instead from a brainwashing site run by those medical socialist types – I…

This post appeared here originally on 31 October 2007 Have you ever wondered, perhaps on 31 October, why witches are depicted as riding brooms? The answer is alluded to by Karmen Franklin at Chaotic Utopia in her post as to why witches need to know their plant biology. The excerpts I’m about to give you…

Welcome visitors coming from a recommendation by Dr Carmen Drahl at C&ENtral Science, the blog of the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN): Terra Sig has a fantastic post about the chemistry prize. The money quote: “If I see electrons being pushed around, it’s chemistry.” Thank you for the kind words, Dr Drahl.…

I love it when new readers stumble upon old posts. Such was the case when I received the following delightful comment from Seattle-based psychologist, Dr Gary Grenell, on my April 2008 post about the passing of Dr Charlotte Tan, a pediatric cancer chemotherapy pioneer: I was probably in one of her earliest actionmycin-D trial groups…

Salvia divinorum (Salvia, Magic Mint) is a plant used for entheogenic purposes by the Mazatec people of Mexico. A relative of the common garden plant “scarlet sage” (Salvia splendens), S. divinorum contains several hallucinogens that include salvinorin A, the first non-nitrogenous agonist known for kappa opioid receptors (KOR). I had known of salvinorin A since…

Heroin Hits The Heartland

When one thinks of a heroin user, thoughts most often come to mind of a person living in squalor in a big metropolitan city or that of an artsy, poetic hipster (while there are many literary works on the life of heroin users, my all-time favorite is Basketball Diaries, an autobiographical account written by Jim…

Poppy seed tea can kill you

A little over a week ago, we posted on the very sad story of the accidental death of a University of Colorado sophomore from ingesting poppy seed tea. The poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the commercial source for prescription narcotic painkillers such as morphine and codeine. The seeds can be had online and in retail stores.…