Dr. Nirmal Joshee provides insight into medicinal plants

Published By: Latasha Ford March 31, 2020

Dr. Nirmal Joshee, a Fort Valley State University professor of plant science, holds a draft copy of the newly released book “Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy.”

A book that explores the issues and health benefits of medicinal plants is now available for researchers, students and readers interested in herbal and modern medicines.

Dr. Nirmal Joshee, a Fort Valley State University professor of plant science, served as the lead editor of “Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy.” With almost 30 years of experience studying medicinal plants, he said working on this book was perfect timing. Published by Springer, the book took a year and a half to edit. 

Joshee collaborated with editors Dr. Prahlad Parajuli, who specializes in immunology research with the Department of Neurosurgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and Dr. Sadanand Dhekney, plant biotechnologist with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Joshee praised working with well-versed scientists who made the editing process easy.

A Springer representative saw Joshee’s presentation at the 2016 American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) meeting in Atlanta and contacted him six months later to expand the concept of the ASHS session into a book and serve as the lead editor. Joshee gathered his team, Parajuli and Dhekney, and they began identifying experts in the field of medicinal plants to develop 17 chapters.

“The book discusses how medicinal plants are being used all over the world as modern-day tools to validate that traditional knowledge,” Joshee said.

Joshee served as the lead editor of “Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy.”

Included in the book are chapters from renowned researchers representing Stanford University, Emory University, the Caribbean Islands, South Africa, India and Brazil. In addition to Joshee’s work on skullcaps (Scutellaria spp.), the book includes research on dietary brown seaweed extract supplementation in small ruminants (goats and sheep) by FVSU researchers Drs. Govind Kannan, Thomas Terrill, Brou Kouakou and Jung Lee.

Also included is a chapter about Scutellaria research by FVSU alumni Lubana Shahin, Ankush Sangra, Richa Bajaj, Lani Irvin, Carissa Jackson and Aisha Hill, along with collaborator Chonour Mahmoudi of Iran. Furthermore, there is a chapter on medicinal orchids by alumnus Brajesh Vaidya.

Joshee plans to have some copies of the book available on campus at Hunt Memorial Library for FVSU students to use for research purposes. Proud of the outcome, Joshee said he and his team wanted “Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy” to be a valuable and good product.

“People are moving toward natural, plant-based medicine. Students and faculty can read about different medicinal plants and the research that is being done, in addition to finding their niche,” he said.

According to Joshee, there are more than 350,000 plant species in the world, with experts researching more than 7,000 of them for medicinal properties.

“Dr. Joshee’s leadership on this project is a great representation of the knowledge of our professional researchers and exceptional students in the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology (CAFST),” said Dr. Ralph Noble, dean of FVSU’s CAFST. “His expertise on medicinal plants and research by our faculty and students serve a valuable purpose for the prevention and treatment of diseases.”

For more information about “Medicinal Plants: From Farm to Pharmacy,” contact Joshee at (478) 822-7039 or josheen@fvsu.edu. For online purchases, visit http://bit.ly/2O9MEAs. The 450-page book costs approximately $180.