Medicinal Plants of Iowa

Throughout history, cultures all over the world have used plants to heal various ailments. Many of these plants are still used in traditional medicine, and the chemical components of these plants are used in modern medications. The aim of my project is to provide high school and college-aged Iowa residents with a resource that describes medicinal plants and their uses in healing. My book, Medicinal Plants of Iowa, will give information about the plants’ scientifically-proven medicinal properties, how plants are used in traditional medicine, and the chemical components that give plants their healing properties. I hope to convey this information in a way that is understandable to those who have not studied science or medicine. The purpose of my book is to increase public knowledge about the medicinal plants that grow in Iowa, and more generally, the wonders of the natural world. I also hope to increase readers’ interest in science by summarizing scientific studies in a way that is easy to understand and jargon-free. Finally, I hope that readers will see, from the refining of plant-based healing techniques in traditional medicine, that scientific techniques are used in many different settings, not just in a lab environment.

Project Author(s): 
Author Bio(s): 
Lorena is a sophomore from Iowa City studying Cell and Developmental Biology and Arabic. She works in the Pezzulo Lab studying the effects of roundworm infection on lung function, as well as the epigenetic memory of airway cells in response to inflammation. As a Latham fellow, she would like to encourage kids from underrepresented groups to consider careers in science. She also wants to increase awareness of inequities in healthcare. In her free time, Lorena enjoys biking, swimming, birdwatching, and watching basketball.