The use of medicinal herbs in therapeutics comes from the depths of centuries. The ancient Greeks and Chinese indulged in the therapeutic properties of medicinal plants and transferred their valuable knowledge to future generations. The development of chemistry and life sciences contributed to the maximum utilization of this knowledge. In principle, they led to the isolation of active substances, to which the therapeutic effects of herbs are assigned. Subsequently, improved molecules were synthesized with improved pharmacological and toxicity profiles. The mechanisms underlying their pharmacological or toxic effects were also studied. 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. They are a source of inspiration for contemporary researchers. 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.
This electronic database is designed to provide information about the herbs of the region of Epirus, a land with wide diversity of medicinal plants. One can retrieve information 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 and applications as well as the undesirable properties and potential toxicity. Some indicative bibliography is also included for further study. 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.