Your immune system is one of your most important body systems, as it constantly defends you against invasion by a variety of pathogens. In addition to a good diet and regular exercise, there are some plants found around the world that may be beneficial to keeping your immune system working at peak efficiency. In many developed countries, one of the major causes of death is cancer. While it is impossible to predict or prevent cancer, there are some medicinal plants that may be helpful in boosting your natural defenses against this disease. In this course, you will learn about plants such as gotu kola, Madagascar periwinkle, mistletoe, and many others, that have the potential to improve the function of your immune system and possibly impede the development of cancer.
The following course is required to be completed before taking this course:
Key Course Takeaways
Assess the effects of medicinal plants in order to evaluate their impacts on the immune system, then choose the appropriate plants based on the symptoms of an ailment
Assess the effects of medicinal plants in order to evaluate their impacts on cancers as either preventative or treatment, then choose the appropriate plants based on multiple factors
Senior Research Associate and Senior Lecturer, Cornell CALS
Giulia Friso obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biology and her Ph.D in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Padua (Italy). She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biochemistry at Imperial College, London (UK), and at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF in San Francisco. Giulia was a research scientist at the discovery unit of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Stockholm (Sweden). She joined the Plant Biology Department at Cornell University in 2001 and is currently senior research associate and senior lecturer.
“My goal as a teacher is to inspire my students in the learning process and engage them in the process of discovery; facilitate mastery of plant biology; and help them integrate concepts of biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, and bioprospecting. I also aim to transmit my enthusiasm as a researcher and a teacher, influencing my students to commit to my course and interest them in the field of medicinal plants and drug discovery. I am deeply interested to convey a knowledge and awareness of different cultural practices, values, and beliefs, and help my students gain an understanding of their own cultural perspective.”