Medicinal Plants: The Science of Discovery

Mary Bridgeman (Pharmacy) and
Lena Struwe (Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources)

Plants have been utilized since ancient times in an attempt to cure disease and relieve suffering. Pharmacognosy, a branch of medical science devoted to drug plant history, selection, identification, and study, remains an alive and flourishing area of research in our modern medical world. Do plants, as medicinal agents, have a role in modern healthcare? The seminar will explore the complexities of this question and will provide students an opportunity to hear various perspectives from clinicians and scientists to help formulate an opinion. Activities will include a research trip to the Alexander Library to review ancient texts on the use of plants as medicines, a field trip to a medicinal marijuana dispensary to view the state-of-the-art of delivery of this controlled substance, blogging, and in-class discussions focused on the multiple dimensions to consider regarding use of herbals and natural remedies in medical care.