Botanical Medicine: Medicinal Plants Move Into The Mainstream

October 8, 1997

Today one out of every three Americans use some type of alternative medicine, in particular herbal remedies that are currently the focus of much attention in the popular press. As unconventional treatments move into the mainstream, doctors and consumers are searching for a better understanding of these remedies. From Oct. 13 to 17, medical doctors, pharmacognosists, and ethnobotanists, among others, invite you to join them as they explore contemporary clinical treatments and past and present botanical research at a conference titled Botanical Medicine in Modern Clinical Practice (brochure enclosed). The Botanical Medicine in Modern Clinical Practice conference is the first and only continuing medical education (CME) course on botanical medicine offered to clinicians and physicians at a major academic medical center. The conference is sponsored by Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center; the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine; the Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine in Women's Health; and The University of Arizona College of Medicine. The fifth day of the conference, Friday Oct. 17, includes a field trip to The New York Botanical Garden where the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features the exhibition Nature's Pharmacy. Here conference participants will see firsthand many of the plants that figure so prominently in past and present therapies, and attend a presentation on Historical Uses of Botanicals In Western & Other Cultures (schedule enclosed) . Contemporary medical practice involves many drugs derived from plants that have been used for centuries. Almost 200 years ago in 1801, medical botany was taught by Dr. David Hosack, a practicing physician and professor of Materia Medica at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hosack started a botanical garden and herbarium in New York City that would serve the medical profession and the public at large.

The New York Botanical Garden was founded in 1891 by Nathaniel Lord Britton, a professor of botany at Columbia College; some of the items in the Library and Herbarium date back to loans to the Garden by Columbia College when the Garden was first established.

Due to limited seating R.S.V.P. is necessary to attend any of the following days:

Monday, Oct. 13 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. - Botanical Medicines: Safety and Clinical Practice Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D. Andrew Weil, M.D. Michael Balick, Ph.D.

Wednesday, Oct. 15 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.- Incorporating Botanicals into your Practice: Guiding your Patients in Botanical Use Woodson Merrell, M.D. Robert Schiller, M.D. Andrew Weil, M.D.

Friday, Oct. 17 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Day-long field trip to The New York Botanical Garden Michael Balick, Ph.D.

Friday, October 17, 1997 Field Trip to The New York Botanical Garden Participants are advised to wear comfortable clothing and shoes and prepare for the possibility of inclement weather.

7:30 a.m. Check-in at Union Theological Seminary

8:00 a.m. Buses Depart to The New York Bontanical Garden

9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast: Main Building Rotunda Garden Shop & Bookstore

9:45 a.m. Ethnobotany & Pharmaceuticals from Tropical Forests .................................Michael Balick, Ph.D.

10:30 a.m. The New York Botanical Garden Group Tour Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Institute of Economic Botany Herbarium Phytochemical Extraction Lab 1:00 p.m. Terrace Room Luncheon Overview of Chinese Botanical Medicine ...............................Kevin Ergil, M.S., L.Ac.

2:00 p.m. Pacific Institute of Oriental Medicine Touch & Taste Demonstrations

3:00 p.m. Board Buses for Return

This day was made possible by a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.


Andrew Weil, Columbia College, Haupt Conservatory, Michael Balick, Nature Pharmacy