Hikers often explore the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, but this group of hikers has a purpose. They are learning how Native Americans used the local vegetation in their healing.
The hike is led by James Adams, who teaches pharmacology at the University of Southern California.
“The science of pharmacology originally was the science of going out, talking to traditional healers, finding out which plants they used in their healing, and then taking those plants back to the lab to figure out why they work,” Adams said.
Aspirin, for example, was derived in the 19th century from salicylic acid, a long-time remedy for pains and fever found in plants like willow and meadowsweet.
Adams says each society has developed a form of medicine based on plants.
He says, the Chumash people learned from experience which plants helped with specific ailments.
“We have, of course, the sagebrush, which makes a very powerful pain-relieving liniment that I think we should all learn how to use, because it is much safer than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is much safer than the opioid drugs,” Adams said.
1.pharmacology n. 药物学，药理学
She took up a post as research assistant in the Department of Pharmacology.
2.healer n. 医治者（尤指用宗教迷信方式给人治病的人）；治疗物；治病术士
Time may be a great healer , but it's a poor beautician .
3.ailment n. 小病；不安
The pharmacist can assist you with the treatment of common ailments.
4.anti-inflammatory adj. 抗炎的 n. 抗炎药
The doctor put me on anti-inflammatory drugs.