Seminar Recording - From flavour to flavonoid

Plant Chemistry and Pharmacology for herbal medicine practitioners

A workshop by the White Crane Academy of Chinese herbal medicine

Presented by: Christopher Etheridge PhD MCPP

Learning Objectives for the workshop

Day 1 will cover content that is directly relevant to experienced practitioners as well as students. There will be necessary revision of the theoretical understanding of plant substances and analytical methods, as this may have changed a lot since the practitioner did their original training courses (techniques like HPTLC have only been used routinely in the last few years).

The two days are designed to be self-consistent. Obviously it will be better (though not essential) for revision purposes to have been to day 1 before attending day 2.

Who should attend?

The workshops will be suitable for herbal practitioners, nutritionists, botanists, pharmacists and allied subjects, and any researcher with an interest in plant chemistry and/or pharmacology. The workshop will also be very useful to students in all these subjects.

Day 1: Phytochemistry

By the end of the seminar the attendee will:

  • Have a detailed knowledge of the nature and properties of primary and secondary plant substances.
  • Know some of the key plant metabolic pathways that produce secondary plant substances.
  • Be able to evaluate simple chemical identification tests and separation techniques such as chromatography.
  • Understand the value and use of more sophisticated techniques such as High-performance thin-layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and High-performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Day 2 Pharmacology

By the end of the seminar the attendee will:

  • Be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the pharmacological effects of the major groups of plant compounds used in their practice.
  • Have a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the mode of action of common medicinal plants, including Schedule 20, restricted and some toxic herbs.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the limitations of plant biochemistry as an explanatory model for herb actions.
  • Know how to use a range of established techniques to undertake information searches and to be able to evaluate current information on plant biochemistry, pharmacognosy and toxicology.



Your Instructor


Christopher Etheridge
Christopher Etheridge

Chris holds a first class honours BSc and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Imperial College, London. He was a Lecturer and Research Fellow in Gene Therapy at Imperial’s Department of Chemistry and at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at St Mary’s Hospital from 1995-2002, where he taught on the undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He published a diverse range of research in areas including synthetic, medicinal and biological chemistry, and biochemistry.

After this, Chris completed his professional training on the four-year Herbal Medicine degree programme at the College of Phytotherapy, East Sussex, where he graduated in 2006 with a first class honours BSc. His dissertation on quality control in herbal medicine was subsequently published. Chris currently works fulltime as medical herbalist and runs two busy practices in Central London and Epping.


Course Curriculum


  Seminar - 8 Dec 2020
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