Medical Botany (BIOL 4499 999)
This is a web-based upper-level elective course that will be offered at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR).This 4-credit course includes a lecture and laboratory component, all offered through a distance-learning/online format. This course is designed for students interested in ethnobotany or in pursuing a career in healthcare (pre-medical, -dental, -nursing, and -pharmacy students). It is best suited to upper-level (junior, senior, or post-bac) Biology or Chemistry majors.
Mankind has long recognized that plants are extremely useful as a source of medicine. Medical traditions based on botanical drug sources can be found in all human cultures and date back to prehistory. In this course, we will explore both ancient and modern day botanical traditions across many cultures as they pertain to medicine. We will learn how natural drugs are made by plants and how they affect humans. Some examples include plant drugs for infectious disease (malaria, bacterial infections, helminth infections), cancer, cardiovascular health, dental heath, central nervous system (hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, and anesthetics), and much more. By the end of this course, you will have a good understanding of the major plant drugs, including their sources, applications, and cultural relevance. You will also know how to collect botanical voucher specimens and understand the basic principles behind laboratory tests routinely used to assess the bioactivity of medicinal plant products.
[Information from the Summer I term offering, May 23 to August 2, 2011]
University of Arkansas from Flickr
The following module was given as a Workshop during the OSN's Teaching Tuesday Symposium and Workshops held at the Society for Economic Botany in Frostburg, MD (July, 2012).