As researchers we are well aware that plants provide an abundance of compounds, many of which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of ailments for hundreds of years. In the recent past, much work has been undertaken to investigate active compounds in plants traditionally used in herbal medicine, venoms and toxins of animal origin and micro organisms. Researchers have developed in vivo and in vitro models to study bioactivity and have used instrumental means to determine their structure and metabolites. Natural products versus synthetic pharmaceuticals are expanding their market share world wide, even in Western countries like France and Germany.  Many 'natural medicine' practitioners claim that by using natural whole extracts the active ingredient is accompanied by other 'synergistic compounds', including related analogues, which influence (enhance or moderate) their therapeutic effect making the action of the active ingredient safer and, thereby, diminishing unpleasant side effects (many of these claims are scientifically unproven). Patients often favor plant (or naturally derived) medications for the treatment of long term chronic diseases, for their perceived long standing efficacy and good safety record (occasionally a mistaken belief, a point that I will return to later). Therefore there is a clear need for chemical characterization of plant-derived materials, scientific rigor, clinical trails and stringent quality control measures. Often, naturally derived and isolated compounds are used by pharmaceutical companies as lead compounds (drug targets) in the development of new synthetic drugs. In 1991, Kinghorn and Balandrin estimated that over half of the world's best selling drugs owed their origin to natural products, including enalapril and capropril: ACE inhibitors; the β2-agonist salbutamol; the immunosuppressant ciclosporin, and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents - diclofenac and naproxen.