It is believed that on Enyovden (Enyo's Day, Midsummer Day)
herbs gain healing powers. So this day marks the beginning for gathering medicinal herbs. The holiday and the rituals related to it are spread all over the country. By tradition, before dawn women pick up 77 kinds of herbs and weave a wreath of herbs early in the morning, and everyone should pass through it in order to be healthy. These herbs, picked up on Enyovden, served as "cure" throughout the whole year.
According to the World Health Organization, 80% of the world population relies on folk medicine for its treatment. About 40% of all drugs and formulations are Phytomedications, and the number of healing plants needed for their preparation exceeds 20 000. A great part of the drugs contain active ingredients derived from plants. A study in the UK proves that 60% of the population uses herbal medicines. But despite their wide use, only 5 to 15% of the world's known 250 000 higher plants have been studied for the presence of bioactive compounds so far.
The study and investigation of the healing properties of plants is one of the key research areas of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Medical University - Varna, which was established in 2008. Integrating their training and research activities, the academic staff at the various departments of the Faculty explore the properties of the Bulgarian herbs
such as sumach, danewort, sticklewort
and so on.
Future pharmacists study a variety of subjects, which provide them with ample knowledge and skills to extract medicinal substances from healing herbs and to utilize them. During the practical training in Pharmaceutical Botany students get acquainted with medicinal plants in their natural habitat and take part in the collection of plant material to enrich the University herbarium.
By the end of 2015 the nine-story building for the Faculty of Pharmacy at MU-Varna will have been completed. There will be scientific laboratories for biopharmaceutical analysis, chromatography and spectrophotometry, molecular biology, nanotechnology, radiopharmaceuticals, cell cultures. Besides its own training and production pharmacy, the new building will have an interactive exhibition of medicinal plants with open access to the public.
Happy Holiday to all pharmacists, lecturers at the Faculty of Pharmacy, to our present and future students of Pharmacy!