DOYLESTOWN, PA â€” Delaware Valley University will offer a course on medicinal plants each spring semester, starting this year.
The new course, which will be open to visiting students, will teach students about the science of medicinal plants and their cultural significance. Students will not be handling medical cannabis or CBD oil, the university said.
The three-credit course will provide a background and understanding of medicinal plants and their role in culture, medicine, and history that can be applied in a variety of industries, the university said in an announcement.
According to DelVal, the course is being offered in response to a “growing demand” for education on medicinal plants.
“This new course will help meet the needs of students who express strong interest in human health, the herbal industry, healthy living, alternative crops, and conservation of natural resources,” said Michael Fleischacker, chair of the University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences.
The course will also provide an opportunity for professional development for area residents. It may also appeal to master gardeners and employees of pharmaceutical companies in the region.
Medicinal plants was offered as an experimental course for the first time in early 2018 and received positive feedback from students. It will now be offered each spring semester.
It will be taught by Dr. Mingwang Liu, a faculty member with a Ph.D. in plant science and botanical expertise and extensive knowledge about medicinal plants.
The course will offer field trips for hands-on experiences. Field trips will include the Barefoot Botanicals, a certified organic local farm, the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden, Peace Valley Lavender Farm, Bartram’s Garden, and pharmaceutical companies and clinics that use medicinal plants.
“The course will strengthen the curriculum and student success for landscape architecture, landscape design, horticultural therapy, environmental sciences, plant science, horticulture, and agriculture,” said Fleischacker. “By taking this course, students will develop specialized skills and knowledge that is in demand due to the growing public interest in medicinal plants, healthy lifestyles, and curbing high medical expenses. This type of experience will help with expanding students’ employment market.”
Image via DelVal