Botanical medicine course takes multi-disciplinary look at how plants can heal
Cassandra Quave’s Botanical Medicine and Health course combines botany, chemistry, anthropology and pharmacology to give students the practical ability to sort between what is marketing and what is science when it comes to plant “cures” such as the aloe juice. Dr. Quave is a faculty member in the MMG and MSP programs.
With a patent on a compound she teased from the roots of an elmleaf blackberry that helps battle antibiotic-resistant staph, Quave is the ideal instructor.
She starts with the ancient history and cultural interactions of botanical medicine before zipping through the plants that form the basis of drugs for everything from infectious diseases to cancer and the safety and ethical issues in ongoing research.
A course that details the plant compounds and the underlying mechanisms of action of botanical drugs is also a prime example of the human health program, a pioneering effort that highlights Emory’s diverse efforts in health education, research and the liberal arts.