Definition of medicinal plant, crude drug, phytocomplex and secondary metabolite. Collection time.
Secondary metabolites of pharmaceutical interest: their distribution ad their role.
Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides in the vegetal kingdom. Gums and mucilages: role and use in pharmaceuticals. Polyalcohols: sorbitole and mannitole. Glycosides.
Tannins. Coumarins and furanocoumanins. Essential oils. Fats. Anthraquinones. Flavonoids and related compounds (isoflavones). Triterpenic and steroidic saponines. Alkaloids: history, properties and uses.
For each group of metabolites more notions are given about some plant drugs of particular interest in the pharmaceutical field: Milk-thistle, Dioscorea, Coffee, Opium poppy, Hemp.