The use of biologically active products derived from nature for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes is no new phenomenon. Ethnopharmacology is a unique and diverse area of study that converges historical, social and scientific perspectives in an attempt to understand the why, how, where and what of human drug use. Being inherently interdisciplinary in nature, this unit aims to introduce you to relevant concepts in the fields of pharmacology, botany and ethics in order to provide a broad overview of a number of natural products derived from plants, animals and fungi, and their use by global communities. By doing this unit, you will learn why these products are used, be it for medicinal or ritualistic purposes, and how they are prepared and administered by different cultural groups. You will also be introduced to the pharmacological principles underlying how these natural products affect the body. In turn, you will apply your knowledge and understanding and explore a specific natural product in greater depth, while engaging in interdisciplinary teamwork with students from differing backgrounds. Furthermore, you will examine and reflect on ethical dilemmas encountered in the field, with a particular focus on modern medicine development.
Online Quizzes (x6/65%: 10%, 15%, 10%, 10%, 10%, 10%); Discussion Board Participation (x1/10%); Digital Media Assignment (x1/25%)