Professor Dan Palevitch, "Dashi", was born in Czechoslovakia in 1935 and immigrated to Israel in his childhood. He studied agronomy and completed his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot, Israel, in 1967.
For many years he worked in agricultural research at the Vulcani Institute where he established the department for medicinal plants and was its director until 1991. He organized ethnobotanical research on the medicinal plants of Israel and their use in the Arab and Bedouin populations. The results of this research were published in the book The Medicinal Plants of the Land of Israel by Dan Palevitch and Zohara Yaniv, as articles in an international journal and in Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants. In 1996 he authored another book: Medicinal Plants.
Research projects under the direction of Professor Palevitch were treatment of enlarged prostate with Opuntia (prickly pear) flowers,prevention of migraine headache with feverfew (reviewed in HerbalGram No. 42, page 18), and development of new strains of paprika and specific cultivation methods leading to outstanding yields. For this research he was awarded the Kaplan Prize, one of Israel's highest honors, in 1996.
Professor Palevitch was a pioneer in the field of medicinal plants in Israel. He was among the first to be involved in the teaching of this subject in many and varied frameworks. His international activities included the organization of two international conferences held in Israel. Within the framework of the International Association of Horticulture, he headed a group which dealt with the cultivating of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Dashi was highly appreciated as a researcher, a colleague, and a friend. The vacuum that he leaves will not easily be filled.
Article copyright American Botanical Council.
By Mina Ferna