Links to Plant Species Summaries for BIO 368 - Medical Botany

This page contains links to plant-species summaries developed by students in the BIO 368 - Medical Botany course. Those summaries are condensed reviews of recent literature concerning plants of medicinal interest. They represent a course assignment for BIO 368, and each is graded based on content, organization, quality of references, grammar, and response to feedback.

Students are assigned a plant species based on a lottery system. They are then asked to search for literature related to that species. Most of the information is based on that appearing in Biological Abstracts, though information derived from reputable websites (especially PubMed) is also acceptable. The students must then critically read the information obtained, organize it, and present it in a coherent fashion. The students are to answer two main questions. First, what are the therapeutic uses of the plant in question, and how have those benefits been demonstrated by research (clinically, in vivo, or in vitro)? Second, what adverse side effects have been demonstrated?

The process by which these papers are generated is as follows. First, students scan the literature, identify potentially relevant articles, summarize pertinent information from each article, and submit the summaries for the instructor. After being reviewed by the instructor, the summaries are returned to the students with comments as to the general quality of the scholarship. Second (assuming that the literature search is sufficient), students then develop a condensed review, following instructions that are provided. Those first drafts are submitted, critiqued, and returned. A final draft is then prepared and submitted for grading, distribution to the class, and publication on the Web. In some instances, students submit a second draft for critique before the final version.

The summaries presented below result from the class of students that took the course in the summers of odd-numbered years beginning in 1997. The list will continue to grow as the course is offered in the future.  Essays prepared in spring 2009 and thereafter were typically updates to those that were more than ten years old.  The original essays remain posted for archival purposes.

The purpose of presenting these summaries is to promote general awareness of the scientific understanding related to plants of medical interest.  In keeping with scholarly practice, use of information contained in these summaries is permitted, as long as the authors are properly cited.

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This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758,