Inderscience Publishers

Opportunities and threats for biological screening of medicinal plants: Importance for the pharmaceutical industries in developing countries

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Importance of medicinal plants has been continually increasing both for pharmaceutical industry and traditional users. This review outlines opportunities and threats for biological screening of medicinal plants, focusing on methods useful for the industry and trends in the pharmacological investigations of natural products. Stages and techniques biological (pharmacological) screening and methodological differences between synthetic and natural products' screening are also summarised. In conclusion, proper strategies for the utilisation of medicinal plants through biological screening are discussed taking into account that environmental changes due to global warming will have a deep impact on natural resources of developing countries.

Keywords: medicinal plants, traditional medicine, pharmaceutical industry, biological screening, environmental changes, developing countries, global warming, natural resources

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