Medicinal Plants of Epirus
Despite the fact that today the medicines prescribed in Western countries are predominantly synthesized in the laboratories of pharmaceutical companies, the medicinal plants still hold an important share in the folk healing. In cases where the modern pharmaceutical chemistry is unable to design synthetic drug molecules for the treatment of resisting or serious diseases, scientists are seeking answers and solutions in the herbs. However, this knowledge is not always organized very well, leading in many cases in misunderstandings and misuses.
Under this framework, the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, UOI, developed a web database of medicinal plants of the region of Epirus and the mainland of Greece, that contain all basic information related to the morphology of the herbs, official and popular names, taxonomy, pharmacological properties, side effects and toxicity, etc.
The users can retrieve information related to a particular medicinal plant using its official or popular name, the active compound of interest, the disease to be treated, or the region the herb grows. For every herb there are characteristic pictures and drownings, reports on pharmacological/therapeutic and toxicity effects, methods of administration and references.
The database is already online (http://mediplantepirus.med.uoi.gr/pharmacology) and it contains information about 400 medicinal plants that grow in Epirus and in most places of the mainland of Greece. In every file, there are pictures of the herb, its official and popular names, taxonomy, the active substances and the parts of the herb containing the active substances, its pharmacological properties and potential toxicity, as well as the methods followed in herb preparations and the way of their administration. This information is based on the references mentioned in the end.
The Database is available in a Greek and an English version.
This electronic database is designed to provide information about the herbs of the region of Epirus, a land with a wide diversity of medicinal plants. One can retrieve information based on the official and popular names of medicinal plants, their morphological characteristics, the active substances they contain, the plant parts containing them, their pharmacological properties/therapeutic uses and applications, as well as their potential side effects and toxicity. Some indicative bibliography is also available for further study. It should be noted though that this database cannot be used as a personal therapeutic guide.
Impacts and weaknesses
This electronic database will assist researchers in their studies on medicinal plants, cultivators and all those interested in the use of herbal preparations for medical or cosmetic uses. It should be noted though that in any case, this database is not a therapeutic guide for individual use. It is suggested that the physician's opinion should be always taken before using any herbal preparation, because it may interact with other concomitant taken drugs, thus drastically modifying their effectiveness and toxicity outcome.
An interactive electronic platform for AMP is under development, with the corresponding Web and mobile interfaces. It will be connected with other databases providing information on the most significant herbs for the pharmacological research. There will be also links to research centers and other electronic databases related to medicinal plants. Information on the cultivation and identification-processing methods will be provided, along with access to sites for cultivators-producers-traders, sites of relevant services, legislation and regulation, the European Medicines Agency etc.