Nomenclature of alkaloids

1.1 Nomenclature

The major characteristic of the nomenclature of alkaloids is the lack of any agreed systematic prevailing system. Therefore, by a general agreement, the chemical rules designate that the names of all alkaloids must end with the suffix (–ine). The latin names end with (–ina). Thus, the names of the alkaloids are usually obtained in a number of ways, namely:
(a) From the generic name of the plant producing them:
Examples: Atropine from Atropa belladona Linn., (Solanaceae); and Hydrastine from Hydrastis canadenisis L. (Ranunculaceae).
(b) From the specific name of the plant yielding them:
Examples: Belladonine from Atropa belladona L. (Solanaceae); and Cocaine from  Erythroxylum coca Lam. (Erythroxylaceae).
(c) From the common name of the drug producing them:
Example: Ergotamine from Claviceps purpurea (Er.) Tul. (Hypocreales) commonly known as ergot.
(d) From their specific physiological activity:
Examples: Emetine from Hedera helix L. (Araliaceae) called Ivy; Narcotine from
Papaver somniferum L. (Papaveraceae) known as Opium Poppy; and Morphine from P. somniferum L.
(e) From the name of the discoverer:
Example: Pelletierine from the barks of Puniea granatum Linn., (Punicaceae).
(f ) From their physical property:
Example: Hygrine from the roots of Withania somniferum (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae) called Ashwagandha (Hygro = moist).

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