Department of Pharmacognosy

The history of the Department of Pharmacognosy started in 1922 and can be traced back to the University of Lithuania (Kaunas). In 2008, as part of the reorganisation of the faculty departments, the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy established in 1978 was reorganised into the Department of Pharmacognosy. Since 2014, the Department has been housed in the new Centre for Advanced Pharmaceutical and Health Technologies of LSMU at the Santaka Valley (Programme of the Integrated Science, Studies and Business Centre).

The staff of the Department participate in the activities of the State Medicines Control Agency (SMCA) of Lithuania and other institutions, postgraduate studies, educational activities, promotion of science, and in raising the prestige of pharmacists in contemporary society.

The Department employs 13 staff members: 5 professors, 2 associate professors, 2 lecturers, 1 administrator of studies, 1 head of the laboratory, and 2 senior laboratory assistants.


The Department participates in the execution of the following study programmes at the Faculty of Pharmacy: Pharmacy, Pharmacy (English), and Medicinal Chemistry. The Department of Pharmacognosy teaches the basic course Pharmaceutical Botany to first-year students, the minor course Pharmacognosy I to second-year students, the minor course Pharmacognosy II to third-year students, Phytotherapy to fourth-year students, and Phytopharmaceuticals Preparations to fifth-year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy, and the elective course Nutrition and Food Supplements to fourth-year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy, etc. The Department also conducts doctoral studies.

Mandatory subjects

Pharmaceutical Botany



Phytopharmaceutical Preparations

Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Final Master’s Thesis

Module: Pharmaceutical Professional Practice

Organisation and Evaluation of Phytopharmacy Practice

Research Project 1

Research Project 2

Final Master’s Thesis


Elective subjects 

Nutrition and Food Supplements


The main research field of the division is the studies of the diversification of biologically active compounds in herbal medicinal raw materials and preparations:

1)      Research on the diversity of the chemical composition of phenolic compounds of Lithuanian flora plants and medicinal herbal raw materials (Prof. V. Janulis).

2)      Development of the quantitative methodologies for determination of natural biologically active compounds in medicinal herbs and preparations (Prof. V. Jakštas).

3)      In vitro and in vivo studies of polyphenolic compounds and lectins accumulated in medicinal herbal raw materials and phytopreparations (Prof. N. Savickienė).

4)      In vitro and in vivo studies of the medicinal herbal raw materials that accumulate phenolic compounds (Prof. S. Trumbeckaitė).

5)      Phytochemical and and antioxidant activity studies of the medicinal herbal raw materials (Prof. L. Raudonė).

Over 30 doctoral theses have been defended since the establishment of the Department. Since January 2014, the Department of Pharmacognosy has been situated at the Centre for the Advanced Pharmaceutical and Health Technologies of the Santaka Valley, and has resumed its research activities with even greater intensity. The Department of Pharmacognosy is involved in the development and improvement of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques, as well as in the development of new analytical and preparative methodologies. New, modern, highly selective and informative methodologies for the evaluation of biologically active compounds in medicinal plant raw materials and preparations are being developed and validated.

The Department conducts the chemical composition and antioxidative action in vitro studies of the raw materials provided by Sorbus L., Achillea L., Perilla L., Vaccinium L., Rosa L., Artemisia L., Malus Mill., Pyrus L., Prunus L., Chaenomeles Lindl.,  Eucalyptus L‘Her, Salvia L., and plants of other genera.

The researchers of the Department are actively involved in the optimisation and validation of extraction, purification and Efficient Liquid Chromatography (ELC) methodologies of triterpene compounds, diterpene compounds, flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, and sugars for various plant raw materials and phytopreparations.

Various UV-visible spectrophotometric, ESC and ESC post-column reaction methodologies have been developed and successfully applied to the in vitro determination of the qualitative and quantitative composition and antioxidative activity of plant raw materials.

Studies have been conducted on the chemical composition and biological effects of bee products such as propolis, pollen, and other products.

The research is conducted not only in vitro, but also in vivo in order to study the effects of flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other biologically active compounds on cellular energetics during inflammation and oxidative stress. The compounds of natural origin that can protect cells against oxidative stress-induced damage are explored.

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of proteins and lectins present in medicinal plant raw materials is performed and biological effects of these primary metabolites are studied in vitro and in vivo.

Glycoproteins containing the LysM domain isolated from Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench were found to have immune-stimulating properties.

The Department conducts interdisciplinary research in cooperation with Lithuanian and foreign researchers and institutions. Prototypes of prolonged action, a self-degrading medical device for use in periodontitis have been developed and tested with a natural biologically active substance – pelargonium root extract or a proanthocyanidin fraction extracted from this extract. The effect of bioactive compounds from the fireweed leaves on mitochondria in cancer cell cultures and the protective effects of polyphenolic compounds (flavonoids, phenolic carboxylic acids, and their esters) are investigated in vitro and in vivo using the ischaemia/reperfusion, oxidative stress models.

The research conducted at the Department of Pharmacognosy is also promising in terms of its broad applicability in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries for the rapid identification and determination of the antioxidative activity in compound mixtures after chromatographic separation of analytes.

Recently, 4 doctoral students have been studying at the Department. The doctoral students pursue their degrees in the following research topics:

  • Study of the mechanism of action of the plant biologically active compounds in renal ischemia/reperfusion (Justina Dambrauskienė).
  • Study of the variation of triterpene compound composition of the apple varieties grown in Lithuania and biological effects of their extracts (Aurita Butkevičiūtė).
  • Study of biological activity and technological functionalization of phycocyanin isolated from the cyanobacterial biomass (Daiva Galinytė).
  • In vivo study of the chemical composition of taxa of the cranberry Oxycoccus Hill. genus cultivated in Lithuania and growing in natural habitats and of the effects of its extracts (Rima Šedbarė).
  • 2022 – now. Evaluation of phytochemical composition and antioxidant activity indicators in raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) plant raw materials of phenological stages. P-ST-22-41, the Research Council of Lithuania (student research during the semester) (Prof. Dr. Lina Raudonė)
  • 13474 EUREKA – ECO-AQUA-RECYCLE (Design of functional fish feed additives from wild algal biomass). Implementation period: 2021–2023 (Prof. Nijolė Savickienė).
  • Project “Studies of the variability of biologically active and anticancer compounds in organically and biodynamically grown and fermented fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub) leaves”, Ekhagastiftelsen Foundation, Sweden (VMU-LSMU-Warsaw University of Life Sciences), 2022-2024 (head of the project at LSMU: S. Trumbeckaitė).
  • Commercialisation of a class 1 medical device PerioHeal (No. 01.2.2.-MITA-K-702-090034 / ID 001158 / 2020-PRO-00160 / 2020-JV-00076). Implementation period: 2020–2022 (head of the project at LSMU: Prof. L. Raudonė)
  • Project “Development of eubiotic multifunctional neutraceutics (EUNUTRITECH)”. 01.2.2- LMT-K718-01- 0062. The Research Council of Lithuania, under measure No. 01.2.2-LMT-K-718 “Targeted Research in Smart Specialisation Areas”, activity “Research Projects Implemented by World-class Researcher Groups” (SMART) Implementation period: 2017–2021 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project “Promotion of investment by AB Birštono mineraliniai vandenys & Co in R&D activities for innovative products” No. J05-LVPA-K-03-0114. Implementation period: 2018–2020 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project “Promotion of R&D investments by UAB AKVAVITA in the development of innovative products in the beverage industry” No. J05-LVPA-K-03-0117 2018-2020 (Prof. V. Jakštas). Implementation period: 2018–2020 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Horizon 2020, M-ERA.NET project “Engineering and functionalization of delivery system with Pelargonium sidoides biologically active substance on periodontal inflamed surface area” (PELARGODONT). Implementation period: 2017–2019. Project agreement No. S-M-ERA.NET-17-2 (Prof. N. Savickienė).
  • Project “Biopolymers as Carriers of Bioactive Substances (BIOPERNAŠA)”. Funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. Implementation period: 2015–2018. Agreement No. MIP-055/2015 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project MEDiKOMPLEKSAS; BN16-60/SV5-0060. Sources of funding: The LSMU Research Fund. Implementation period: 2016–2016. Project agreement No. BN16-60/SV5-0060 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project BIOKOMPLEKSAS; SV5-6-1; MTEPI-L-15005. Sources of funding: The LSMU Research Fund. Implementation period: 2015–2015 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project “Selection of buckwheat varieties and growing conditions, development of technology to increase the content of functional components” (No. SVE-14003), 2014–2015 (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project “Diversity of species and biotypes, abundance regulation and use of Solidago species” (No. MIP-50/2013), 2013–2015. Research funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. (Prof. V. Jakštas).
  • Project “Eureka” E!3695 ANTIOKSDIABET (“Creation of the methodology for effects of natural antioxidants on the development of the Diabetes mellitus”). Implementation period: 2009–2012. Project agreement No. VP1-3.1-ŠMM-06-V-01-003 (Prof. N. Savickienė).

The researchers at the Department collaborate with the following research and higher education institutions in Lithuania:

Vytautas Magnus University Botanical Garden, Šiauliai University Botanical Garden, Klaipėda University Botanical Garden, Lithuanian Institute of Horticulture (LSDI), KTU Department of Food Science and Technology, Biochemistry Laboratory under the LSMU Neuroscience Institute, LSMU Biological Research Centre, Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology.

The Department collaborates with the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of Kiel, Germany), the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Romania), the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (Charles University in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic), the Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Botany (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain), the Department of Pharmacognosy of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Acibadem University of Istanbul, Turkey), Department of Pharmacognosy (Gdansk Medical University), Departments of Pharmacognosy and Botany (National University of Pharmacy, Ukraine), Laboratory of Biochemistry (Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia), Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials (Polish Academy of Sciences), Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Jagiellonian University of Krakow (Poland), University of Piemonte Orientale (Italy), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), and others.

Industry partners:

UAB Aconitum, UAB Švenčionių vaistažolės, MB Probiomas, UAB Innovative Pharma Baltics, UAB Laifarma.

Department of Pharmacognosy
+370 37 327 249
Sukilėlių pr. 13, Kaunas, Lithuania
Prof. dr. Sonata Trumbeckaitė
Head of the Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical Academy
All contacts