A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural products can also be prepared by chemical synthesis (both semisynthesis and total synthesis) and have played a central role in the development of the field of organic chemistry by providing challenging synthetic targets. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients.
Natural products and traditional medicines are of great importance. Natural products and their derivatives have been recognized for many years as a source of therapeutic agents and structural diversity. Natural products have a wide range of diversity of multidimensional chemical structures; in the meantime, the utility of natural products as biological function modifiers has also won considerable attention.
Drug discovery is leading to be a challenging scientific task to find robust and viable lead candidates, which is nothing but the process flow from a screening of natural product to a new isolate that requires expertise and experience. However, in addition to their chemical structure diversity and their biodiversity, the development of new technologies has revolutionized the screening of natural products in discovering new drugs. Applying these technologies offers a unique opportunity to reestablish natural products as a major source for drug discovery. The present article attempts to describe the process of isolation, characterization, and utilization of bioactive compounds derived from natural products as drug candidates called as lead, which focus on the success of pharmacological activity in the process of finding new and effective drug compounds; this process is commonly referred to as “natural product in drug discovery.”
Natural products played a vital role on this earth, so man’s existence has been made possible. The outstanding phenomenon of nature always stands as golden mark for achieving the herbal drug discovery.
From earlier decades medicinal plants existed on earth. Thus, medicinal herbs are of global and paramount importance. The world is decorated with medicinal herbs, which is a rich wealth of endurance. Every plant is identified by its own different therapeutic properties due to active bioactive molecule. In the modern system of medicine, natural drug substances are reported to be vital and have appreciable roles. Their therapeutic role was justified by the presence of their bioactive molecules. Due to disease-inhibiting capabilities, they are extremely useful as natural drugs, provide basic bioactive compounds that are less toxic and more effective, and bring biological and chemical means of modification and extraction of natural products into potent drug.
The raw materials for Ayurvedic medicines were mostly obtained from plant sources in the form of crude drugs such as dried herbal powders or their extracts or mixture of products. Apart from these systems, there has been a rich heritage of ethnobotanical usage of herbs by various colorful tribal communities in the country.
With growing interest in herbal drug development with minimum side effects, there are better opportunities to explore the medicinal and other biological properties of previously inaccessible natural products. To establish its usefulness, it is mandatory to focus on visualization and identification of unused herbal plants over the world.
By Garibli A.