Medical Ethnobotany, IB 117/L
Fall 2006

Course Syllabus Announcements

Welcome to Medical Ethnobotany, IB 117/L, University of California, Berkeley

Professor, Thomas Carlson, M.D., M.S.

Office Hours  8–9 PM Thursday evening in VLSB 1001 (entrance to herbarium across from T. rex)


Lecture IB 117 (2 credits)

Biological diversity and ethnolinguistic diversity sustain traditional botanical medicine systems of the world.  Major topics covered in this course include: ethnolinguistic origins of medicinal plant knowledge on plant-derived pharmaceuticals and phytomedicines; field research methods in ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology; examples of how traditional botanical medicines provide safe, effective, affordable, and sustainable primary health care to tropical countries; human physiology, human diseases, and mechanisms of action of plant-derived drugs. There will be one 120 minute lecture a week in 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building. There will be a one hour written midterm exam and a ninety written final examination.


Lab IB 117L (2 credits) 

The laboratory portion of the course (IB 117L) will be for 2 credits.  There will be a total of six hours of lab per week with a three hour lab (2:00 – 5:00 PM) in the Valley Life Sciences Building and on a three hour lab in the UC Botanical Gardens. These labs will focus on studying medicinal plants from the major ecosystems and geographical regions of the world.  Students will learn common names, scientific names, plant families, field identification, habitats, and ethnomedical uses of medicinal plants.  How the medicinal plant is prepared, administered, and used as a phytomedicine will also be discussed.  There will be reference to the phylogenetic relationships between the plant families and genera represented by the medicinal plants.  The course will have a laboratory room in the 3030 Valley Life Sciences Building where fresh botanical specimens and dried botanical voucher specimens of the medicinal plant species will be displayed for students to study throughout each week.  The first lab is Tuesday, September 12th.

Useful Info

1st lab is Tuesday, September 12th.

Christopher Hobbs
Joshua Povich      

Lecture IB 117
(2 credits)  

Lab IB 117L (2 credits) 

Readers available: Krishna Copy Center, 2111 University Ave. Phone: 540-5959

Students may take the lecture course (IB 117) alone for two credits, the lab course (IB 117L) course alone for two credits, or both the lecture and the lab for a total of four credits.

No course prerequisites are required for either the lecture or the lab.

©2006 IB, UCB