PSJ Division of Natural Medicines
With the aim of contribution to maintain and improve human health by the use of natural medicinal products (plants, animals, microorganisms, minerals), the Division of Natural Medicines in PJS is planning to promote academic progress relating to natural medicines and enhance research on new drug development, by offering the opportunities for presentation of research activities of members, exchanging knowledge, and cooperating with domestic and international related organizations. Thereby, we contribute to the development of the pharmaceutical society and pharmaceutical industry.
Crude drugs / natural products are of high value as traditional drugs and treasures of development of new drugs.
Even in modern times where medicine is highly developed, the health of many people around the world is supported by traditional medicine and natural products.In developing countries, treatment with natural medicine is a familiar medical treatment and medical treatment with less economical burden.In developed countries, it is widely used as a suitable treatment for lifestyle-related diseases, age-related diseases, refractory diseases, etc. Moreover, for the purpose of maintaining the health of itself, the number of people who adopt self-care for natural products increases. The point of view of health care workers has also changed and the emphasis on patient's quality of life has become firmly established. New concepts of integrated medicine that adds traditional medicine to modern medicine have also been born.
In the curriculum of medical education and pharmacology education in Japan, Kampo medicine education are incorporated, lectures and exercises related to Kampo medicine are done at all medical schools and pharmacy schools.
Pharmacology is the academic field dealing with various natural products including crude drugs used in Kampo medicine. Natural products with wide diversity include plants, animals, microorganisms, minerals, etc. The development of medicines from natural products has been ongoing from ancient times to today. However, many unused natural resources still exist on the earth. In addition, many compounds exist in one organism, and the detailed role of many of these compounds is unknown.Thus, there is no doubt that natural resources are huge libraries of physiologically active compounds.
When studying natural products, many views different from pure chemical research are needed.
1) It is necessary to evaluate the chemical quality as a composite rather than a single compound.
2) For quality evaluation, in addition to chemical data, it is indispensable to accumulate biological data such as the origin, shape and properties.
3) The accompanying knowledge based on the valuable experience of ancient people is also valuable.
4) Many of the empirical knowledge is awaiting pharmacological clarification on active ingredients and action mechanisms.
5) Pharmacokinetics and drug interactions of active ingredients are also awaiting elucidation.
6) Conservation and reproduction of natural resources, conservation of natural environments are also a highly important issue.
7) Knowledge of organic synthesis as well as biosynthesis of active ingredients is also necessary.
In order to effectively utilize natural products for human health, it is important to develop and build an intellectual library that accumulates information from various fields, including information from the past. Division of Natural Medicines holds two symposia, "Symposium on the Development and Application of Naturally Occurring Drug Materials" and "Symposium on Pharmaceutical Food Science" every two years, as a place for researchers on this field working togather.