Frequently Asked Questions


What’s a pharmacopedia or pharmacopeia?

Page from the 6th century Vienna Dioscurides, an illuminated version of the 1st century De Materia Medica

A pharmacopoeia, pharmacopeia, or pharmacopoea, in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification of compound medicines. The terms derives from Ancient Greek and it means literally “drugmaking” (φαρμακοποιΐα).

De Materia Medica (Περί ύλης ιατρικής), a five-volume book originally written in Greek by Pedanius Dioscorides is considered to be precursor to all modern pharmacopoeias, and is one of the most influential herbal books in history. In fact it remained in use until about CE 1600.


What’s Pharmacopedia.org?

Pharmacopedia.org is The Free Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.
It’s a non-profit, non-commercial, science-based source for the latest in medicinal plants and natural remedies covering hundreds of health conditions profiled in simple articles and recipes.

A re-invention of the ancient herbal pharmacopeia humanity used for thousands of years, re-built to suit our modern life, making use of the latest advances in science, medicine and technology.


Who created Pharmacopedia.org?

Pharmacopedia.org’s founder is Albert Peiró, an engineer, entrepreneur and botanics enthusiast from Barcelona, Spain.


Does Albert Peiró make any money off of this site?

None whatsoever. Pharmacopedia.org is a labor of love. All donations go straight to keep this site running, from which Albert Peiró may draw in the future a salary that allows him to quit his 9-5 job. We’re in the process of registering Pharmacopedia.org as a nonprofit.


How can I donate?

You can make a donation to Pharmacopedia.org via a credit or debit card.


How do I become a volunteer?

If you’d like to help out, please take a look at our current volunteer opportunities.


Albert, what’s your story with medicinal plants?

In March 2015 my mother was diagnosed with kidney cancer by a private clinic in Barcelona. The only solution her doctor offered was to remove her kidney. About 7 months after the operation her tests came back positive again and further testing revealed her remaining and last kidney now had a tumor. Humans need at least one kidney to live and options like a transplant were discarded for being too risky at her age. At this point I decided I had to do something myself, I couldn’t sit around waiting for her to die. I’m not a doctor, I’m an engineer, so I tried to think about it like a problem waiting to be solved. I started with two hypotheses 1) what if our doctor doesn’t know everything there is to know about this type of cancer? and 2) what if in other countries they have found a solution that’s not widespread? I googled, researched, watched and read everything I could on alternative therapies for cancer. My preliminary research concluded there were two main things that would help: diet and medicinal plants. I came across and read all books from Maria Trebens - recognised Austrian herbalist - and dozens of websites from latin america about medicinal plants. I then highlighted all and every mention to “kidney” and “cancer” and I built a list of 12 herbs that were supposedly good for cancer, kidneys or both. I bought them on-line and sent them to her, she took them for a few months and to my astonishment, they dissolved her tumour. You can read more here.


Albert, why did you create Pharmacopedia.org?

My experience

After spending a bunch of time looking for medicinal plants for my family and reading books about them, I realised information was pretty inaccessible, scattered, lacked readability, consensus and was poorly referenced. I wanted to solve all these complex problems in a simple way that democratized this valuable information. Ultimately creating a space that brings people together working on the three pillars of what I believe modern medicine should be: tradition, science and experience.

My beliefs

I grew up in Spain, where we enjoy virtually free health care - paid with our tax. I’ve always believed health care should be free - how can you put a price on someone’s life? I believe if pharmacological tools and information are given to people, everyone will take more responsibility over their own health, leading to a better and more empowered society.

My legacy

Pharmacopedia.org is my attempt at giving back to the world what I think it deserves. We don’t deserve to be a sick society where each individual is trapped in loops which involve anxiously seeking capitalist lifestyles so we can pay our health care bills. We deserve a society built on transparency, community, love, integrity, where people are well taken care of when they fall ill. A society where it’s mainstream to grow your own medicine in your backyard and share it with your local community - like our ancestors.


Why is Pharmacopedia.org free?

Making it free is our way to achieve our main core value: accessibility. Free maximizes accessibility. Free also means no advertisement - this is especially important in health care since I find an honest and fair healthcare system would never use subconscious techniques to make you use or buy a certain product.


Why is Pharmacopedia.org a non-profit?

It’s to protect it from the species it’s meant to help - humans. Where there’s money, there’s greed. If the information served in a widely used health service was to be controlled by a group of organisations or privileged individuals, then profit would lead their efforts and inform their decisions, in detriment of the people who use it. In other words, we don’t want to make a single compromise.


How’s this site funded?

Everything on Pharmacopedia.org is free. There is no members-only area where additional life-saving information is available—for a price. There are no advertisements of any kind allowed. We don’t accept corporate sponsorships. Pharmacopedia.org is strictly non-commercial. We are not selling anything. Pharmacopedia.org simply produces this website as a public service for those hungry for evidence-based herbal remedies.

Then how do the bills get paid? Albert funds it privately for now, and he would love the opportunity to quit his 9-5 job to dedicate himself exclusively to Pharmacopedia.org.

If you feel like Pharmacopedia.org has enriched your life, please consider supporting us by making a one-time or monthly donation.


Is Pharmacopedia.org a non-profit?

Yes. Although it’s not yet officially registered as such. There’s a large fee to pay to achieve it in Spain, which we can’t afford currently. If you want to help us achieve it faster please make a donation.


Albert, are you against using modern medicine?

No. I’m not against modern medicine or synthetic drugs. I think it’s a blessing we’re able to enjoy modern surgery and even some synthetic drugs. I’m however, against the systematic lobbying, manipulation and lying the health care industry does practice - especially big pharmaceutical companies. The adoctrination of doctors as mere puppets, part of a belief system that hides real science from the population to keep their profits. Health care has become more of a profits-led religion than a scientific community!


Albert, what makes you think you can publish pharmacological information not being a pharmacist, naturopath or medical doctor?

Firstly, we don’t create pharmacological information ourselves. We only organise information from other sources, verify it, scrutinize it and publish it, with the highest rigor standard. One of our main commitments is to cite and reference every piece of content, so you can backtrack all the information contained in an article, and read straight from the source, if you wish. We also encourage discussion and debate which helps improving the content. Ultimately all our efforts are focused on explaining the science-based truth about plants in a simple way for people to understand and use.

Secondly, we follow a three step process. Tradition: listening to native and local communities; experience: examining current testimonials; and science: finding scientific evidence in official medical databases. This is the same process I followed to help my mother back in 2015, and it’s not very different from what industrial profit-led medicine does. What’s very different is why we do it, and how.

Finally, we live in a world where most synthetic drug medical doctors have been trained to recommend only profit-making drugs and lobby-contracted diets. This means they are biased, and hence not scientific about medicine. I personally believe in science and can’t fully trust professionals who act like that, I’m better off reading on-line the raw science from the source, to find the truth.


Albert, why do you believe plants are better than synthetic drugs?

I don’t think they’re necessarily better in all cases. But in most cases I’ve experienced they are at least as effective, if not more. We’ve evolved in symbiosis with our natural habitat for millenia as mostly herbivores, not as synthetic chemical eaters. It’s not by chance that we’ve developed receptors for a lot of the compounds that plants have.

Many of Pharmacopedia.org’s plants have multiple therapeutic effects and seem to have fewer secondary effects than synthetic drugs. In other words, each plant is good for more than one thing. Unlike synthetic drugs, plants don’t have just one isolated molecule, but many as well as phytonutrients, minerals and antioxidants. When we use synthetic drugs, we create more imbalances: we alter our chemistry by touching only one receptor with only one molecule. Plants touch many receptors and provide many more components at the same time resulting in less of these imbalances. And this may well have to do with evolution.

“Synthetic drugs address symptoms caused by specific diseases as understood by scientific pathology, however, a herbal medicine usually directs towards aiding the body’s own healing process.” [1]

A natural plant-based cocktail of compounds may be more advanced therapeutically and evolutionary speaking - than a lonely synthetic molecule from a pill. Our science is not as smart as nature.


Why don’t doctors promote plant-based remedies more?

Because they’re not trained on medicinal plants. If you want to know why they are not trained I recommend you watch one of the numerous documentaries on how the pharmaceutical industry works.


What do you think about nutrition?

Nutrition is the single most important factor to prevent and revert the top most common chronic diseases we suffer in the west. In a nutshell, we should use food to prevent, and both nutrition and medicinal plants as a treatment. For the latest in science-based nutrition I recommend you to visit NutritionFacts.org


Do you publish your own research?

No, we don’t.


Why don’t you just use Wikipedia or the Wikimedia engine as a platform?

Wikipedia wasn’t designed as a medical encyclopedia, and as such it lacked a lot of things we believed were necessary.
Some of the things were: robust domain modelling, publishing control mechanisms and usable design.


Historically, when did humans switch to the synthetic drug craze?

The first medicinal drugs came from natural sources and existed in the form of herbs, plants, roots, vines and fungi. Until the mid-nineteenth century nature’s pharmaceuticals were all that were available to relieve man’s pain and suffering. The first synthetic drug, chloral hydrate, was discovered in 1869 and introduced as a sedative-hypnotic. The first pharmaceutical companies were spin-offs from the textiles and synthetic dye industry and owe much to the rich source of organic chemicals derived from the distillation of coal (coal-tar). The first analgesics and antipyretics, exemplified by phenacetin and acetanilide, were simple chemical derivatives of aniline and p-nitrophenol, both of which were byproducts from coal-tar. An extract from the bark of the white willow tree had been used for centuries to treat various fevers and inflammation. The active principle in white willow, salicin or salicylic acid, had a bitter taste and irritated the gastric mucosa, but a simple chemical modification was much more palatable. This was acetylsalicylic acid, better known as Aspirin®, the first blockbuster drug. At the start of the twentieth century, the first of the barbiturate family of drugs entered the pharmacopoeia and the rest, as they say, is history. [1]


Albert, where do you see Pharmacopedia.org going?

I believe the free exchange of information through the internet to be one of the most revolutionary achievements of our time as a species. It’s completely changed how the world works, bringing bad things (surveillance), and good things (truth, well… sometimes).

When I think of Pharmacopedia.org I think of a new health system, allowing people to take more control and responsibility as well as action finding, researching and sharing health solutions. It will be more democratic and create opportunity for everyone. It’s also more sustainable, we should be planting a lot more than cutting, and it’s making people reconnect back to nature - a very positive thing.


Why’s it named Pharmacopedia.org?

Because Albert’s initial idea and inspiration was to create a digital version of the ancient pharmacopeia book used for millenia by our ancestors. These books contained beautiful drawings of dissected plants accompanied by monographic explanations on how to elaborate remedies from them. They were the reference manual to heal people naturally.


Do you accept corporate sponsorships?

None whatsoever.


More questions?

Shoot me an email at [email protected]