Why do Plants Make Medicine?

We are delighted to have author and good friend, Judith Sumner, join us here at the Herbal Academy for a lecture and hands-on presentation of Why Do Plants Make Medicine? We invite you to stop in for a night of learning and mingling!


We will explore various medicinal plants, including many herbs, to understand the biological origin and action of their medicinal components. For instance, many medicines evolved as toxins and deterrents to discourage hungry herbivores, and their active principles are often concentrated in the tiny hairs that coat their leaves. Other compounds evolved as natural antibiotics and allelo-chemicals, often concentrated in roots, which help plants to establish “territory” in their habitats. Some plants even synthesize compounds that resemble reproductive hormones, most likely an evolutionary strategy that affect the life cycles of leaf-eating animals and insects.

We will investigate and contemplate the origin and role of medicinal plants in nature, including the fascinating new field of zoopharmacognosy–the study of healing plants used by animals.

The course will include lecture, slides, discussion, and hands-on work such as leaf microscopy and assays for allelopathic activity.

If you are in the New England area, please join us on the 14th for this fascinating presentation! This is one class you don't want to miss! Judith is is an author, professor, and botanist. She's been featured on the Martha Stewart Living show, the PBS program “Cultivating Life” with Sean Conway, Horticulture magazine along with several other reputable publications. In 2007 she was awarded the Gertrude B. Foster Award for Excellence in Herbal Literature by the Herb Society of America and in 2005 her book, American Household Botany, won the American Horticultural Society Book Award.

** Walk ins are also welcome. Please bring $35 if you are paying at the door, either cash or check. See you all soon!

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