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Pharmacy on Safari.
The first African Savannah Workshop, "Pharmacy on Safari," left in June for a 14-day expedition to the lush savannahs of Kenya. This trip was a part of the ongoing series of accredited pharmacy workshops co-sponsored by the American Botanical Council (ABC), Texas Pharmacy Foundation, and International Expeditions, Inc.

Thirty-five participants accompanied James Duke, Ph.D., and Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director ABC, co-presenters of two workshops. The first, "Roots Revisited," was a workshop focussing on African medicinal plants in world trade, Pan-African medicinal plants and uses, and major local Kenyan and Tanzanian medicinal plants. The second, "The Evolutionary Diet," featured discussions about the local African food "farmacy," pantropical food "farmacy," and the medicinal spice rack. Blumenthal presented a workshop, "The Evolution of Herbs in Medicine -- the Rational Use of Herbal Therapies." Local scientists and native healers also gave presentations.

Accredited workshops were held at the Delamere Tented Camp (within the Great Rift Valley and on the shore of Lake Elmenteita), the Lewa Downs Conservancy (long range goal: providing protection for the numerous species of plants and animals that inhabit the 170 square miles of the Lewa ecosystem), and the Mara River Tented Camp (includes "The Mara" game preserve and the "Maasai Medicine Trail" which provides insights into traditional medicinal plant uses from the "savannah medicine cabinet").

Since 1994, over 380 individuals, including 190 pharmacists, have participated in these precedent-setting workshops set in the Peruvian Amazon, Costa Rica, and Belize. The expeditions usually last one week and include varied and intensive sessions in small groups led by experts in the fields of pharmacognosy, phytomedicine, ethnobotany, and ethnobiomedicine research.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.


By Barbara A. Johnston