What are Homemade Drugs?
Homemade drugs refer to any natural product that can be produced in one’s home, without specialized laboratory equipment. Homemade drugs, as a term, can encompass both legal drugs, such as teas or cold-fighting medicines, to highly illegal drugs, such as meth.
The ability to produce a homemade drug is dependent on the complexity of the substance. Numerous homes are filled with chemicals and various agents that facilitate in the domestic process; for example, cleaning agents or paint is filled with chemicals that can be broken down or used to synthetically create homemade drugs.
What is a Natural Product?
A natural product is a chemical compound or substance that is produced by a living organism found in nature that typically has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in drug discovery or drug design. All natural products can be classified or considered as such even if the substance can be prepared by total synthesis. The small molecules produced from natural organisms provide the source for the majority of FDA-approved agents and homemade drugs. As a result of this relationship, natural products continue to be one of the primary sources of inspiration for drug discovery.
Sources of Homemade Drugs:
Homemade drugs, which typically come from natural products, may be extracted from tissues of terrestrial plants, microorganism fermentation broths or marine organisms. Those homemade drugs that come from crude or untreated extracts typically will contain novel, structurally diverse chemical compounds, which a natural environment is a rich source of.
Chemical diversity in the earth’s natural environments is primarily based on geographical and biological diversity; as a result, researchers and scientists will travel around the world in hopes of obtaining samples to analyze and evaluate bioassays or drug discovery screens, which may in the future, yield beneficial drugs. This effort to search for natural drug sources is referred to as bioprospecting.
Following evaluation of a natural product and the observation that the substance can be beneficial, the scientists must screen the agent to identify, select and process the natural products destined for medicinal use.