Visiting Scholar Examines Decline and Rise of Herbal Medicine
To correspond with the 100th birthday of Dr. John Bastyr, internationally recognized herbal medicine expert Alain Touwaide, PhD, will give a presentation that goes through the whole paradoxical life cycle of herbal medicine called "1912-2012: The Decline and Rise of Herbal Medicine." Dr. Touwaide is Bastyr University's first visiting scholar through the William A. Mitchell, Jr., ND, Memorial Fund for Botanical Medicine.
After years of research by the German pharmaco-chemist Paul Ehrlich, the period 1909-1912 inaugurated the large scale production and marketing of the first chemical agent developed to target a specific pathogen. This new therapeutic strategy potentially meant the end of traditional herbal therapy. One century later, natural medicines and medicinal plants are living a period of extraordinary renaissance that goes beyond fashion, and questions the theoretical basis of 20th century pharmaco-therapy.
Dr. Touwaide is the co-founder and scientific director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions, and a historian of sciences associated with the Botany Department of the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. Among his many honors and grants, Dr. Touwaide was elected as a Fellow of the International Academy for the History of Pharmacy in 1991, a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1997, a Fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences in 2003, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK) in 2010.
On Friday, May 18, Dr. Touwaide will conclude his weeklong visit at the University with the brownbag talk "A Future for the Past? Traditions and Today's Practice," from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bastyr University Auditorium.