Synergy

Two or more things being ‘more than the sum of their parts’.

When one plant compound aids the absorption or distribution of another, it is called pharmacokinetic synergy.

One plant may contain various compounds that work in pharmacokinetic synergy. Or two or more plants may work together in synergy, one helping the body to absorb or use useful compounds of the other.

Once absorbed into the bloodstream,the understanding of the mechanisms behind the effectiveness of plant compounds (and of drugs generally) is known as pharmacodynamics.

The effects of many substances are measurable in what is termed a ‘dose-response’ relationship. This helps drug companies recommend dosages of specific drugs to achieve a desired result. When the resulting therapeutic benefit of giving a patient two or more substances/drugs together is greater than expected from their actions in isolation, this is termed pharmacodynamic synergy.