Detailed Course Description
In recent years there has been an increase in both use and sales of herbal natural products in pharmacies, health food stores, and other outlets. As herbal products have entered the medical mainstream, pharmacies have emerged as important and fitting resources for consumers and patients in need of health advice. Therefore, the modern-day pharmacist is constantly challenged to counsel consumers, patients, and other health care professionals, on various aspects pertaining to natural products. The ultimate goal of this class is to educate and train the pharmacist in basic and applied science underlying medicinal plants and their derived natural products. This course is designed to allow students to accomplish the following goals:
- To gain knowledge on why and how medicinal plants and herbal natural products are used for beneficial, preventive, and/or therapeutic purposes and as non-pharmacologic treatments for common self-treatable ailments; and to understand the current status of herbal products and the future for botanical drugs in the United States.
- To develop and increase confidence in managing the questions and requests of patients, consumers and other health care professionals seeking advice in the use of herbal products.
This 3-credit course will utilize a combination of didactic lectures, field projects (in the Heber Youngken Jr. Medicinal Garden and other URI environs), oral presentations (with both individual and group medicinal plant projects), and journal club/case studies to effectively deliver and reinforce course materials.
Didactic lectures will be provided throughout the semester covering topics including basic scientific, and clinical research that have been conducted with natural products.
Non Cumulative Exams/Quizzes
Three equally weighted quizzes will be given during the semester which will cover materials from the preceding lectures and/or field portion of the course.
Individual Medicinal Plant Project (IMPP)
Each student will choose (or may be assigned) a medicinal plant from the Heber Youngken Jr. Medicinal Garden at Fogarty Hall. You will be required to complete a written ‘monograph-type’ report and an oral presentation on your designated medicinal plant. Further details on the report and presentation will be provided in class.
Group Medicinal Plant Project (GMPP)
Groups of students will be assigned to a medicinal plant for which a ‘panel-type’ group presentation and discussion will follow. Further details on the report and presentation will be provided in class.
A cumulative final exam will be given at the end of the semester.
Attendance (with strict adherence to punctuality) = 15%
3 Quizzes = 30%
Individual Medicinal Plant Project (IMPP) = 15%
Group Medicinal Plant Project (GMPP) = 20%
Final Exam = 20%
After taking BPS 533, students will:
- Have a fundamental understanding of the utilization of plant natural products for preventive and/or therapeutic purposes by consumers and understand the current status and impact of medicinal plants, herbal medicines, and botanical drug use. Areas that will be discussed will include but not be limited to: plant botany, taxonomy and chemistry; history of various traditional systems of medicines with overlapping medical theories and use of medicinal plants by different cultures; reliable information resources on herbal products and pharmacognosy glossaries; botanical authentication and identification of major chemical constituents; challenges and issues with quality control of herbal products and clinical trials with the same; toxicity, efficacy, dosage, adverse effects, and herb-herb and herb-drug interactions; etc. Challenges in clinical research of herbals and the future of botanical medicines will also be discussed.
- Students will be able to use effective written and oral skills when providing information to consumers, patients and other health care personnel regarding safety, efficacy, dosage, adverse effects, and administration of medicinal plants and herbal products.
- Through field projects, students will have hands-on experience in identifying botanical and morphological characteristics of medicinal plants grown in the Heber Youngken Jr. Medicinal Garden, and other URI environs, and increase their knowledge base of popularly consumed plant products.