CLEMSON — Researchers from all over the world will convene at Clemson University for the eighth annual conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants (ACMAP) to talk about how plants can be used to help fight diseases, provide proper nutrition and much more.

Jeffrey Adelberg, Clemson horticulturist, talks about echinacea grown at Gaia Herbs in Brevard, N.C.

Jeffrey Adelberg, Clemson horticulturist, talks about echinacea grown at Gaia Herbs in Brevard, North Carolina.
Image Credit: Denise Attaway / Clemson University

The ACMAP conference takes place June 20-23 at the Madren Center. Jeffrey Adelberg, a Clemson horticulture professor and conference organizer, said its aim is to teach people about plants that are considered to have specific healing properties and more.

“We have a great lineup of presenters who will speak on topics ranging from plant biotechnology and human health to plant bioactives for infectious diseases, plant nutrition and so on,” Adelberg said. “These speakers are from globally recognized research institutions, while some are growers and some are practitioners. All will share information about their work with medicinal plants and functional foods.”

Topics to be covered include plant biotechnology and human health, traditional knowledge and healing practices, plant bioactives for disease prevention and management, nutrition and more. (Click here for conference agenda)

Speakers include:

  • Jim Simon from Rutgers University, who will talk about his studies of African botanicals and medicinal plants;
  • Bhimu Patil from Texas A&M University will speak on “Healthy functional foods: Effects of processing and storage on health-promoting molecules”;
  • Toni Kutchan of the Donald Danforth Center will talk about “Production of terpenes in Camelina sativa oilseed”;
  • Mark Hamann from the Medical University of South Carolina will chair a session on “Transforming traditional botanical medicines into precision medicines”;
  • Kalidas Shetty from North Dakota State University will speak about “Metabolic innovations for food microbiome to advance global food security and health”;
  • Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council will talk about “Adulteration and fraud in the global herbal marketplace”; and
  • Kevin Zhou of Wayne State University will talk about “Development of grape skin components for diabetes management.”

An herbal workshop, featuring Phyllis Light, fourth-generation herbalist and healer, is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, June 20. Folk medicine techniques and Southern Appalachian Folk Medicine will be addressed during this workshop.

Also on Tuesday, conference participants will have an opportunity to visit the South Carolina Botanical Garden and have dinner with director Patrick McMillan, who also hosts “Expeditions with Patrick McMillian.”

A bus tour Friday will take conference participants to Gaia Herbs in Brevard, North Carolina; the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville; and Mushroom Mountain in Easley.

A poster session will be held for students and postdoctoral research associates to present their research in a competition for cash prizes.

This conference is for educational purposes only, Adelberg said. People should always consult with their personal doctor or medical professional regarding any specific health concerns or questions they may have about using medicinal plants.

Visit for registration and other conference  information.