Welcome to the class website for Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants (PlSoil 280) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This general introductory course, offered through the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, focuses on the myth, tradition, and science of medicinal and aromatic species while studying the fundamentals of production, bioactivity, and application of these plant materials. Completing the course satisfies a biological general education requirement at the University of Massachusetts and students from any major or background are welcome to enroll.

          The class, accessible through the University undergraduate program and through Continuing Education, has both lecture and laboratory sessions. Lecture sessions are used to introduce the terminology, history, and science needed to understand the properties of herbs, spices, and medicinal plants that make these species unique. Laboratory sessions, in which students get to grow their own herbs, are used to explore the propagation, growth, identification, and use of medicinal and aromatic plants.

          Each year, the highlight of the course is HerbFest, a celebration of herbs at which students get the opportunity to demonstrate their personal interests in herbs and facts about herbs that they have learned throughout the semester. HerbFest is open to the public and students are encouraged to invite relatives and friends to see their work. For an idea of the excitement associated with HerbFest, check the pictures of past classes.

          Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants is a fun class in which you can learn a lot about medicinal and aromatic plants.

*Note: The class syllabi are in .pdf format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view these files. If you need a copy of Acrobat Reader, you may download your free copy by clicking on the button below.