Haywood Community College’s Continuing Education Department will offer an eight-week Medicinal Botany class beginning May 19 through July 14. The class will explore the historical, botanical and traditional uses of medicinal plants, including Southern Appalachian native herbs.
Course information will be offered in an online format and will meet for lab sessions on campus two Saturdays, covering basic herbal preparation techniques and common cultivation methods. A working knowledge of Moodle (an online course management system) would be helpful, but assistance will be provided for those not familiar with Moodle.
The instructor, Richard Gualandi, Jr., is a graduate of HCC and Western Carolina University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee. He has instructed classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. Gualandi currently works for the NC Bionetwork’s Biobusiness Center and Lab helping natural products businesses with product development and analysis of medicinal plants.
“Western North Carolina has a special heritage related to its indigenous plants,” explains Gualandi. “The region’s unique geologic and climactic characteristics have combined to create one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world attracting botanists and herbalists alike. Beginning with the Cherokee Indians and continuing to this day, inhabitants of the southern Appalachians have utilized local plants for a variety of purposes including their medicinal properties. Many of our traditionally used plants including ginseng, golden seal, black cohosh and many others have become sought after in the global medicinal plant trade.”
This historic relationship between plants and people in Western North Carolina is still significant today although it is beginning to evolve to a more contemporary face. Western North Carolina is emerging as a regional center for the herbal industry. Many people in Western North Carolina are familiar with the ideas of herbal medicines, but may not be aware of the substantial progress being made to create a viable and progressive herbal product industry here. This course will explore some of these issues.
The cost of the Medicinal Botany class will be $100. For more information or to register for this class, please call Howard Tew at (828)565-4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the class will be open through May 14.